Latin Party Music: A Selection of 50 Latin Songs for A Night of Dancing...
In terms of dancing and having fun, I do not think there is anything that can beat a good Latin party. Using my DJ experience, I am going to lead you through the following playlist as if I were playing music in front of a crowd. This selection features 50 classic and contemporary songs from various genres such as Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton, Latin Rock and Brazilian music. Whether you are planning to have a Latin party or need some music you can dance to, the following playlist will provide you with a good spectrum of the amazing sounds that Latin music is able to offer.
1. "Congo Mulence" - Machito: When playing Latin music, the first thing I like to do is creating the mood. People like to chat or have some drinks before hitting the dance floor so it is important to set up the mood first. A Latin Jazz track will do the trick. This classic song by Machito is an ideal way to start your Latin party. "Congo Mulence" is also featured in a very nice Latin Jazz album produced by Putumayo Records.
2. "Menina Moca" - Stan Getz: We will continue to set up the mood by bringing more 'sophisticated' music with a Latin flavor to it. Another jazzy track will help us to carry out the mood of the previous song. However, this time we are going to move from the vibes of Afro-Cuban Jazz to the realm of Brazilian Jazz. Out of the many songs produced by the legendary Jazz musician Stan Getz, during the time he played alongside Bossa Nova icon Joao Gilberto, "Menina Moca" is definitely one of the best songs to get into the mood for a Latin party. With this transition, we are also introducing the crowd to a large variety of sounds.
3. "Marianao Social Club" - Cachao: We will continue with our previous jazzy mood. However, this time we are ready to turn this Latin party up a notch. "Marianao Social Club," a wonderful song included in the album Master Sessions Volume 1 by Cachao, will allow us to do that. This song offers a perfect 'bridge' to move from the sounds of Latin Jazz into something a bit spicier.
4. "Sou Negrao" - Rappin Hood: Now it is time to move into a different field. From the sounds of traditional Cuban music and Latin Jazz we are jumping into the vibrant flavors of Brazilian Urban music. One of the biggest stars in this field is Rappin Hood. In "Sou Negrao" this rapper mixes in a very fun and creative way traditional Pagode with the Urban sounds of Sao Paulo, one of the biggest metropolis in the world. Now, it is definitely the time to start heating up this Latin party.
5. "Lo Que Paso Paso" - Daddy Yankee: We will stay in the Urban field with this hit of Daddy Yankee's breakthrough album Barrio Fino. This time we are moving from the Brazilian beats of Rapin Hood's "Sou Negrao" to one of the best Reggaeton songs by the Puerto Rican superstar. "Lo Que Paso Paso" will definitely bring people into the dancing floor of this Latin party.
6. "A Lo Cubano" - Orishas: We will stay in the Urban side with this fantastic song from one of the most influential groups that Latin Urban music has ever seen. "A Lo Cubano" is one of the best tracks included in Orishas's album Antidiotico. The song offers a nice combination of rap with a background sound of traditional Cuban Danzon. This song is perfect to move into a Salsa or Timba track, something that I will do with the next song of this Latin party playlist.
7. "Tributo al Niño Rivera" - Afro Cuban All Stars: Now that you got some people on the dance floor, it is time to hit them with a nice Salsa song. "Tributo al Niño Rivera" is a fantastic song from beginning to end. It offers a very elegant sound defined by amazing musical arrangements. You gotta love the flute and the tres playing in this song. This single offers six solid minutes of pure good music.
8. "Mujer Celosa" - El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico: We are going to stay in the Salsa field. This time, however, we will switch vibes a bit. From Cuba we are moving into the sounds of Puerto Rican Salsa with this track of one of the best groups in the history of this genre. "Mujer Celosa" is one of the best songs by El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico. A very nice song that will keep your crowd dancing.
9. "Canto Al Amor" - Sonora Ponceña: I am going to close this Salsa set with a track from another of the most influential Salsa bands from Puerto Rico. "Canto Al Amor" offers the typical sound that La Sonora Poncena has forged throughout a long and successful musical career. The piano in the intro part, the brass sections, the chorus, and the hard melody of the second half of this track are just plain fantastic. Because of all this, "Canto Al Amor" remains as one of the most popular songs ever produced by La Poncena.
10. "Dulces Sueños" - Rita Indiana: Now, it is time for a little break and switch gears. To accomplish that, I am bringing the track "Dulces Sueños" by Latin Alternative artist Rita Indiana. This is a funky bilingual version of the legendary song "Sweet Dreams" by Eurythmics. This single offers the so-called Techno-Merengue (literally a combination of Techno music with Merengue) that Rita Indiana usually incorporates into her productions. This song is a nice bridge to jump into a Merengue track.
11. "Llueve El Amor" - Tito El Bambino: Now, we are going to move from Rita Indiana's funky Merengue style into the classic beats of this Dominican genre. Although "Llueve El Amor" is not the typical track from Tito El Bambino, one of today's top Latin Urban artists, this song is one of the most popular tracks that this singer has produced in recent years. "Llueve El Amor" is an ideal song to add a romantic touch to this Latin Party playlist. Lovers will surely hit the floor with this one.
12. "Tu Eres Ajena" - Eddy Herrera: Now that we have entered into the world of Merengue, it is time to bring a good track for dancing. Eddy Herrera is one of today's most popular Merengue stars. His repertoire is an ideal option to consider if you want to spice up your Latin party. "Tu Eres Ajena" is just one of the many Merengue hits this Dominican artist has produced throughout his successful career.
13. "Procura" - Chichi Peralta: Now, we are going to move to a different style without leaving the sounds of Dominican music. In order to maintain the energy of the previous song, here there is another great track for dancing. "Procura" is a fantastic song from beginning to end. It offers an intoxicating fusion of Tropical sounds that will keep people on the dance floor. This is one of the most popular singles included in Chichi Peralta's breakthrough album Pa Otro Lao.
14. "Corazon Sin Cara" - Prince Royce: After listening to some Merengue songs and the Tropical fusion of Chichi Peralta, it is time to bring a good Bachata track into this Latin Party. "Corazon Sin Cara" is one of the songs that transformed Prince Royce into one of today's most popular Bachata artists. This is also one of the best songs included in the album Prince Royce.
15. "Oye Mi Canto" - N.O.R.E.: After traveling through the sounds of Dominican music, it is time for a change of style. We will do it aggressively by bringing one classic Reggaeton hit. My choice to accomplish this is "Oye Mi Canto," a nice track by N.O.R.E. featuring different Reggaeton stars. Latin Urban music fans will definitely hit the floor with this one.
16. "I Know You Want Me" - Pitbull: With "I Know You Want Me," we will move from the classic beats of Reggaeton to the unique Urban style of Pitbull. This song is defined by Pitbull's traditional combination of Rap and Hip-Hop with Dance music. People who like this kind of Disco stuff will definitely love this one.
17. "Bossa 31" - Rosalia De Souza: We are about to switch the dancing style now. An eclectic mix of electronic sounds with Brazilian music will add something really cool to this Latin party playlist. "Bossa 31" is one of my favorite tracks from Brazilian artist Rosalia De Souza. This song provides an intoxicating sound that will keep your feet moving.
18. "Tic Tic Tac" - Carrapicho: To continue with the vibes of Brazilian music, I bring now "Tic Tic Tac," the most famous single ever produced by the Brazilian group Carrapicho. Back in the time when I used to be a DJ, people always went crazy about this track. Everytime I played this song, I had the dance floor packed. I do not know if this song still delivers the same effect but I still think it is a nice track to include in a Latin party.
19. "1, 2, 3" - El Simbolo: Time to bring this Latin party up a notch. Just like "Tic Tic Tac", this track is also one of those songs where people usually dance in groups. I prefer to stay away from very commercial stuff like the annoying "Macarena" and similar songs. However, I think "1, 2, 3" can bring a good energy to the dance floor. Once, I listened to this track in a Latin bar in Tokyo, Japan, and people just loved it. This Tropical song has definitely a global appeal.
20. "Guallando" - Fulanito: To keep the dancing mood in the right place, I bring a classic Merengue hit from Fulanito. Because of the energy it has, "Guallando" is a timeless track for any Latin party. This song offers an intoxicating sound defined by a fast Merengue beat and the nice touch provided by the notes of the accordion in the background. A fantastic track for any Latin party.
The current popularity of Latin Urban music is quite significant. In fact, this genre includes some of the most famous Latin music artists and performers around the world. Artists such as Calle 13, Daddy Yankee, Ana Tijoux, and Wisin y Yandel belong to this music style. Let's take a look at some of the most influential Latin Urban stars.
Mala Rodriguez: Spanish singer La Mala Rodriguez became the first female artist to receive the Latin Grammy Award for Best Urban Song. She owes that trophy to her hit song "No Pidas Perdon" included in the album Dirty Bailarina. Her style is mainly defined by Hip-Hop sounds.
Orishas: Orishas brought something totally different to Latin music producing amazing tracks that combined Rap and Hip-Hop with traditional Cuban rhythms in a very innovative way, which was quite different from Puerto Rican Reggaeton. If you are looking for a classic Latin Urban music album, you better get your hands on Orisha's A Lo Cubano.
Romeo Santos: Before moving into a solo career, Romeo Santos had reached the top of the world as a lead singer of the Bachata boy band sensation Aventura. Although his music falls into the grounds of Bachata, Romeo Santos is also an artist that belongs to the Urban field thanks to the Latin Pop and R&B sounds he has incorporated into his latest songs. His single "Promise," featuring Usher, is a good example of the Urban appeal Romeo Santos is building around his music.
Tego Calderon: Tego Calderon is one of the most iconic artists of Reggaeton music. He is one of the artists that has remained loyal to the original sound of Reggaeton. His debut album El Abayarde created a music star out of this Puerto Rican artist. Some of his best songs include "Pa' Que Retozen," "Metele Sazon" and "Punto Y Aparte".
Tito El Bambino: Since the late 1990s, Tito El Bambino has been defining the sounds of Reggaeton and Latin Urban music. Before moving into a solo career, Tito El Bambino produced various hits while he was a member of the duo Hector Y Tito. After the duo experience, Tito El Bambino has produced new music that combines Reggaeton with other genres including Latin Pop and Merengue. His hit song "Llueve El Amor" reflects the new influences Tito El Bambino has brought to his Urban style.
Chino y Nacho: With their music, Chino y Nacho are also shaping the sounds of the Latin Urban genre. This Venezuelan duo combines a romantic style with all kinds of rhythms ranging from Reggaeton and Rap to Salsa and Merengue. Their single "Niña Bonita" was the breaking point that launched this duo to the international scene.
Ana Tijoux: Chilean rapper Anita Tijoux is one of the most interesting stars of the Latin Urban field. Her music is defined by the sounds of Hip-Hop and her elegant rapping flow. Her album La Bala consolidated this singer as a leading star in the Urban and Latin Alternatice fields.
Pitbull: Pitbull is one of today's most popular Latin Urban music artists. This Cuban-American rapper has consolidated a unique style that combines Rap, Dance and Latin Pop music. Recently, he has produced various hit singles alongside stars like Shakira ("Rabiosa"), Enrique Iglesias ("I Like It") and Marc Anthony ("Rain Over Me").
Daddy Yankee: This Puerto Rican artist has created a whole brand around himself. Daddy Yankee is, in fact, one of the most influential Latin Urban music artists today. Although his sound was mostly Reggaeton at the beginning, his latest works have been influenced by other rhythms such as Dance music and Merengue. Hit songs by Daddy Yankee include "Lo Que Paso, Paso," "La Despedida" and "Gasolina," one of the best Reggaeton songs of all time.
Wisin y Yandel: Wisin Y Yandel are the most popular duo in Latin Urban music. These Puerto Rican artists gained worldwide exposure with their album P'al Mundo, which included hit songs like "Rakata," and "Noche De Sexo". Although their style is mainly defined by Reggaeton, the duo has also borrowed influences from Hip-Hop.
Calle 13: If there is one name that defines Latin Urban music in a perfect way, that name is Calle 13. Since the release of their hit album Residente o Visitante, this Puerto Rican duo has dominated the Urban genre for the past five years. That production included "Atrevete te te," one of the most popular songs of the Latin Urban music scene. Calle 13's album Entren Los Que Quieran received 10 nominations for the 2011 Latin Grammy Awards. Their music combines Reggaeton with various music styles.
Don Omar: Don Omar gained worldwide fame as a Reggaeton superstar right from his very first album The Last Don. Since then, this Puerto Rican artist has been constantly producing hit after hit. Despite being influenced mostly by Reggaeton, Don Omar has also became an innovative artists whose music includes all kinds of rhythms. The video of his hit single "Danza Kuduro" has become the most watched video for an artist in Spanish language in YouTube.
Very often when we think about Latin music, we probably think about music in Spanish language, a night of dancing, romantic songs or the hits of popular stars like Shakira and Daddy Yankee. However, Latin music is more than that.
Latin music is, in fact, a reflection on a whole culture and the environment where it has evolved. Because of this, there are many Latin music songs that deal with important social issues in the region. The following is an overview of the way Latin music connects with issues of identity, race, and poverty.
Culture and Identity
Since the arrival of Columbus, Latin America has been struggling with its own identity. From the very beginning, the imposition of European standards affected millions of people in the region mostly through social and racial discrimination. There is one element though, that has played an important role in the construction of culture and identity in the Americas: Latin music.
The main reason why Latin music has played this role relies in the fact that it has been an inclusive experience. In other words, Latin music has never been touched by the imposition of particular standards. It has been a popular phenomenon that has been defined by people of all races and social backgrounds.
Latin music is by itself a defining element of culture and identity. It has reinforced identities among people in Latin America as well as Latino communities in the US. This is why a classic Tango song touches the soul of an Argentinian person in the same way the notes of a Ranchera melody touches the heart of a Mexican person.
National and Regional Identities
Latin music has also played a significant role in the construction of national identities. By exalting the natural treasures of Brazil, the song "Aquarela Do Brasil" by Ary Barroso, is one example of the way music has entered into the realm of national identities. Something similar happens with songs like "Guantanamera" in Cuba and "La Pollera Colora'" in Colombia.
Very often, however, Latin music has moved beyond the national sphere to embrace a regional cause. There are many songs that deal with the identity of Latin America as a whole. For instance, the song "Por Que No Se Van" by the Chilean Rock band Los Prisioneros, is a strong call to be proud of Latin American culture.
More recently, the famous Urban/Hip-Hop band Calle 13 has enjoyed enormous popularity thanks to the song "Latinoamerica," which offers amazing lyrics about big and small things that are unique to the culture, history and people of the Americas. In this sense, Latin music has become a channel that is constantly reinforcing national and regional pride.
For many centuries, racism has remained a taboo topic in Latin America. This is in part because of the cultural mix that occurred during the colonial times. With so many skin tones resulting from that mix, color became less important than class in terms of assigning individual social status.
This assumption became even bigger during the independence period when a new flow of democratic ideals promoted the value of mixed societies. In spite of this, race remained an important element of discrimination in the region neglected by the fake victory of those ideals over the real world.
Latin music has produced many songs dealing with this kind of discrimination. This is, in fact, particularly strong when dealing with Afro-Latin music such as Salsa, Merengue or Samba. One of my favorite tracks in this field is "Etnia" by the Colombian Salsa band Grupo Niche. This is a powerful song that reminds us of the fact that we all share the same blood and origin.
Another song dealing with racism is "Ligia Elena," a single written by Ruben Blades that describes the social scandal produced by a rich, white girl who falls in love with a poor, black trumpet player.
New Latin music artists continue to touch racial issues in their songs. One of the most outspoken bands in this field is Colombia's Urban sensation ChocQuibTown. Their song "De Donde Vengo Yo" describes the struggles of black people in that country.
Besides racial inequality, poverty represents the economic side of the same coin. Because of its impact, poverty and the struggles of all of those who suffered from this social imbalance have become a recurring issue in Latin music. One of the best singles dealing with this topic is "El Costo De La Vida" by the Dominican superstar Juan Luis Guerra. This track denounces the never ending increase of the cost of living in economies that have been always in trouble.
Poverty, racism and the construction of identities are some of the social issues that Latin music has confronted. There are many more topics Latin music has touched including politics, criminality, human rights, gender, and environmental issues. This article is just a brief introduction to the relation that exists between Latin music and society. If you listen to it carefully, Latin Music can tell you many things about Latin America and its people.
... I would like to share you about certain things that might interest you.