Peru is celebrating its independence day today (July 28) and in celebration, Billboard highlights 15 Peruvian artists you should be listening to, if you’re not already.
With fusions of its Andean, Spanish and African roots, Peruvian music is not only rich in melodies but also diverse.
Artists such as Eva Ayllón and Susana Baca put the spotlight on Afro-Peruvian music; Pedro Suarez Vertiz and Libido are timeless in the Latin rock scene; Los Mirlos and Grupo 5 are some of the popular cumbia groups; and Latin Grammy winners, like Gianmarco and Tony Succar, have put Peru’s music on an international map.
These are only a few examples of the blossoming music scene in the South American country, which is also tapping into salsa, reggaeton and pop. In celebration of their fiesta patrias, check out other artists to keep on your radar.
Peruvian-born, New York-raised, and currently residing in Los Angeles, A.Chal (real name: Alejandro Chal) is a Latinx singer-songwriter who’s meshing his bilingual flow in his trap and R&B music. A.Chal has collaborated with artists such as Nicky Jam, Darell, & Lali.
Alejandro y Maria Laura
For over a decade, duo Alejandro y Maria Laura, composed of singer-songwriters Alejandro Rivas and María Laura Bustamante, has crooned fans with their enthralling indie-folk music. The duo is currently making the rounds with their single “Sana Sana.”
Forming part of Peru’s popular salsa scene is powerhouse Daniela Darcourt. Darcourt has previously collaborated with other salsa icons such as La India and Tito Nieves. Currently, her N’Klabe-assisted track “Probabilidad de Amor” entered the top 10 on Billboard’s Tropical Airplay chart.
Ezio became known in his country after participating in a reality show called “Super Star.” After forming part of a group called Adammo, which won best new artist at the 2009 Premios MTV, Ezio kicked off his solo career. In his soulful pop music, Ezio tells relatable stories about love and heartbreak.
With his chiseled jaw and clean-cut look, Emilio Jaime is part of Peru’s growing reggaeton scene. In the midst of quarantine, Emilio teamed up with Colombian artist Daniela Legarda, Cuban urban act Nesty, and fellow Peruvian colleague Marya Goñi for his “Calendario (Remix).”
With a nearly 50-year trajectory, Grupo 5 is known as one of Peru’s most popular cumbia groups. Led by new vocalist Christian Yaipen, the tropical group is not only renovating their sound but also attracting a new generation of cumbia lovers. Grupo 5 is currently making the rounds with their single “La Subienda.”
After establishing herself as a Hollywood actress, in films such as Transformers: The Last Knight, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, and Dora and the Lost City of Gold, where she portrays Dora, Isabela Merced officially kicked off her music career in 2019. With her singles “Papi” and “Apocalipsis,” Isabela brings a fresh bilingual pop sound to the table.
Kanaku y El Tigre
Hailing from From Lima, Peru, Kanaku y el Tigre is a psychedelic indie-folk act that experiments with wild tunes featuring a range of instruments like ukuleles, toy synthesizers, and acoustic guitars.
Meshing their musical influences and Peruvian roots, Laguna Pai has become a household name in Peru thanks to their rock and reggae melodies fused with traditional Peruvian music.
Leslie Shaw, which once represented Peru in Chile’s renowned Viña del Mar International Song Festival, kicked off her career as a rock artist. In recent years, Shaw has dipped her toes in urban waters, collaborating with artists such as Mau & Ricky and recently with Thalia and Farina in “Estoy Soltera.”
An actress and singer, Mayra Goñi stepped into the musical spotlight after winning reality show Operacion Triunfo in 2012. With singles such as “Maldito,” “Victima,” and “Te Vas,” Goñi demonstrates her versatility as a singer, from dulcet pop to cumbia to reggaeton.
With the mission of empowering women through her music, as heard in her single “Lero Lero,” and others, comes emerging Peruvian artist Mia Mont. Mont fuses reggaeton and cumbia melodies.
From indie to reggae to folk music, Moncho Berry (real name: Simón Yriberry) is a bilingual singer-songwriter who resides in Lima. In 2015 he dropped his debut studio album La vida, muerte y mala suerte de un cantautor olvidado and recently dropped “Moniquita,” a sweet homage to all Peruvian women.
At only 19 years old, Renata Flores Rivera, from Huamanga, Peru, is bringing a different and promising proposal to the music industry. Renata, who participated in La Voz Kids Peru in 2014, is now making waves with her indigenous activism found in her trap songs, which for the most part, are sung in her ancestral language of Quechua.
With the mentorship and support of award-winning producer Sergio George, Yahaira Plasencia is establishing herself as one of the rising salsa singers you shouldn’t sleep on. Besides tropical music, the once circus dancer also taps into pop and reggaeton melodies.