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Alt.Latino Playlist: J Balvin & Bad Bunny's Ukulele Jam, Bruja Energy, More

J Balvin (left) onstage with Bad Bunny at Coachella 2019. Their collaborative album, <em>Oasis</em>, is out now.
Scott Dudelson
Getty Images for Coachella
J Balvin (left) onstage with Bad Bunny at Coachella 2019. Their collaborative album, Oasis, is out now.

This week on Alt.Latino's Spotify and Apple Music playlists, we jump the tip of the American continent to the clubs of Spain with a stop at a groovy samba party in Lisbon and finally check in on the groove filled streets of Bad Bunnylandia.This week's tracks have something for everyone no matter what language you speak.

Mala Rodríguez, "Aguante"

If you staked as much of your personality on the cult 1996 horror-lite film The Craft as I did when you were 17, then Mala Rodríguez's latest will fill with you with as much righteous bruja energy as it did me. "Aguante" is a powerful, vindictive spell of a song that recreates the high drama scenes of corniest, finest teen witch film of all time in its music video, from the beach invocation of the spirit to the iconic Catholic school strut of its poster. La Mala has long embodied the independence and power of brujeríaand folk magic, as she did on her last album Bruja(2013) and 2018's "Gitanas," long embracing her gitanaroots. Her flow is a growl that hits stiff as a board: "Yo soy una errante," she snarls. "La tierra es mi mamá, me dice que pise en la llama y yo voy." Kind of like Manon, La Mala is deathless. — Stefanie Fernández

Rua de Pretas, "Calma Morena"

While their album Lisboa Editionwas released a while back, this new video offers a closer look that is the phenom known as Rua de Pretas. The band is a roving collective of like-minded internationalists led by guitarist Pierre Aderne that explores the vast musical styles of his native Brazil mixed with compatible influences from every corner of the globe. This track is decidedly in the samba tradition, including a strategically placed pop! of a wine bottle being uncorked. This video makes me think I missed quite a musical hang. — Felix Contreras

J Balvin & Bad Bunny, "Un Peso"

Bad Bunny lightly experimented with rock en español on his first album X100PRE back in December (see the pop-punk-tinged "Tenemos Que Hablar" and a foreshadowing ukulele intro on "Ni Bien Ni Mal," as Remezcla's Eduardo Cepeda pointed out). On Oasis, the much-hyped joint album from el conejo malo and J Balvin, "Un Peso" embraces the genre fully, even featuring a verse from Argentine band Enanitos Verdes' Marciano Cantero. On "Un Peso," Cantero serves the wounded spite that Enanitos Verdes mastered decades ago and that Bad Bunny carries so well into the present. Seriously, who hurt y'all? — Stefanie Fernández

Ms Nina, "Te Doy"

Among the printable things Argentine neoperreo pioneer Ms Nina gives us on "Te Doy": a glitchy backbeat, a sweating tempo breakdown, a heavy double-entendre and la bendición. That, and the baseline that especially on Ms Nina's floor, every woman belongs solely to herself. I'll allow her to handle the rest. — Stefanie Fernández

Francisca Valenzuela, "Ya No Se Trata De Ti"

Every time I see the phrase cantante Chilena I never know what to expect. The southern most tip of the continent has produced an entire class of modern vocalists that span genres with an amazing grace and musicality. Think about it: Ana Tijoux, Claudia Acuña and Mon Laferte are just three names whose styles could not be more different yet just as engaging.

has also staked out a place for her strong and supple voice in her work with exquisitely crafted pop that borders on folk. This new single is a great introduction to Valenzuela if you don't know her. If you're already a fan, then it's a great new treat. — Felix Contreras

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.