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The Alt.Latino Interview Archive is currently housed at a secret location just off Avenida de La Independencia in downtown Tijuana. I dispatched a courier to pick up two interviews that were recorded recently, so I could offer this mid-summer gift to you, an Alt.Latino Podcast Extra.

This week we present two artists with albums that deserve much more attention and discussion.

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Disney and Beyoncé fans got a surprise last night, ahead of the release of a live-action Lion King reboot, with the release of a new single from the film and pop star, called

On the edges and sometimes in the center of Jenny Hval's provocative avant-pop music, there's always been a bold vulnerability. The Norwegian musician constantly pushes the form, herself and her audience to examine complacency and identity, culminating in 2016's noisy, synth-driven Blood Bitch.

New York isn't the easiest home base for musicians. Rents for apartments and rehearsal space are ridiculously high (to put it mildly), the competition for a club booking is ruthless and day jobs are necessary. Still, some hardy, stubborn bands and artists are dead set on making it in New York: These determined souls squirrel themselves away in bedroom studios in Bushwick or East Harlem, diligently releasing singles and demos online when they're not hauling gear to tiny venues across the five boroughs, hoping a few folks catch their early set.

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Sting and Shaggy might not be the most likely musical pairing. But one thing is certain, they love playing each other's music. On a bright autumn morning, the legends arrived at the NPR Music office bleary-eyed yet excited to play for the diverse staff of Shaggy and Sting fans. What surprised many of my NPR colleagues is just how well the collaboration works.

Nicki Minaj is known as one of hip-hop's most provocative artists. So it was surprising when she was offered, and that she accepted, the opportunity to headline a July music festival in Saudi Arabia — one of the world's most conservative countries, and one in which no women were permitted to give public concerts until two years ago.

Now, after facing heated criticism from human rights groups, Minaj has pulled out of the July 18 event, citing her commitment to women's rights, the LGBTQ community, and freedom of expression.

Javier Forero and Camilo Medina — bassist, guitarist and alternating lead singers of the rock quartet Divino Niño — were childhood friends in their hometown of Bogotá, Colombia. They lost touch near the end of pre-school when Forero's family moved to Miami. But years later, after Medina's family had also moved up to Miami, the old friends re-connected during middle school. The boys' friendship was bolstering by attending the same mega-church. That's where they had their first opportunity to play and perform music together.

I'll never forget the thrill of watching Tank and the Bangas' submission to NPR Music's 2017 Tiny Desk Contest for the first time.

The Travelin' McCourys On Mountain Stage

Jul 9, 2019

Siblings Ronnie and Rob McCoury struck out on their own to form The Travelin' McCourys after playing music with their father Del McCoury for over 20 years. The sons of bluegrass royalty, the younger McCourys expanded their following beyond bluegrass by working with artists in a variety of styles.

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