10 Chilean Musicians Everyone Needs to Know

Discover the Heartbeat of Chile Through Its Music: 10 Must-Know Chilean Musicians

Chile’s musical landscape is as diverse and vibrant as the country itself, offering a rich tapestry of sounds that resonate with cultural significance and artistic depth. From folkloric melodies that tell the tales of indigenous heritage to contemporary beats echoing through the Andes, these ten Chilean musicians provide a gateway to understanding the soul of Chilean culture and its global impact.

Meet the Icons: A Spotlight on Chile’s Must-Know Musical Talents

1. Pascuala Ilabaca

Pascuala Ilabaca was born in Gerona, Spain in 1985. She arrives in Chile in 1987, where she has resided since then (in Valparaiso city). When she was 12 years old lived in India, from where she came back. At her 15 years old, lived in Mexico with her family and then came back to Valparaiso. Her music is totally electric and with an endless creativity.


2. La Mano Ajena

La Mano Ajena is a Balkan music band. In its sonority also converge elements of the Latin American music, like cumbia, ska, jazz, manouche, klezmer and rock. Born in 2002, the group has already realized four international tours, going through Denmark, Spain, Serbia and Argentina. In October, 2008, the group participated as guest band in the Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra’s concert in Santiago.


3. Newen Afrobeat

Newen Afrobeat is a Chilean band with an Afrobeat style created in 2010. It is based on the musical heritage of the Nigerian singer Fela Kuti. Newén means strength in mapundundun. Their first album, eponymous, was released in 2013. Their style inspires on the Afrobeat by Fela Kuti and its repertory includes some versions of Kuti’s songs. Newen Afrobeat music stands out also by the influence of the indigenous roots from their own country.


4. Vicente Cifuentes

Born in 1989, is a new modern trova exponent. The chillanejo (Chillán, capital city of the Ñuble region) singer/songwriter Vicente Cifuentes was unknown in Chile, until he reappeared in 2013 after a decade of life in Dominican Republic, where he assimilated the Caribbean folklore, mainly of the bachata. Cifuentes was essentially activist of the protest song, especially after the social outburst in 2019.


5. Matias Aguayo

Matias Aguayo, born in 1973 in Santiago, is a German/Chilean producer and DJ techno. He spent part of his adolescence in Germany. In 2004 Aguayo released his solo career with the album “Are you really lost?”. In 2006, Aguayo was one of the four Bumbumbox parties’ organizer, that were realized without prior notice in public places from several important cities around South America. The organizers of the party founded the techno ‘Cómeme’ label, which is focused on launch music of South American producers.


6. Moral Distraída

Moral Distraída is a Chilean band founded in 2010 that fuses urban music and tropical music, with an especial influence of Cuban rhythms. The band was founded by Abel Zicavo, Camilo Zicavo and Amaru López in 2010, after they met thanks to their participation at the theater play in El Gran Bang. The band unveiled its sound performing live in parties and Santiago stages.


7. Matanza

Matanza is described as a mix of neo folk and global culture, a combination of sounds, woods, leathers, reeds and many synthesizers. This Chilean trio, pioneer in the electronic Latin American ethnic, shows a tour by the tribal rhythms and melodies of the indigenous America with live instruments, mixed with techno, house and dub sonorities.


8. Delia Valdebenito

Delia Valdebenito is a young singer, composer and author, that decided to make pop with folklore elements. This way, we can feel in her music, a fresh folk, modern and natural with city touches that transport us to her country (Chile). Delia Valdebenito counts with three phonographic productions: EP (2014), “Cantos del Alma” (2015) and “Carnaval de Flores” (2017). The last one was recorded in Mexico City, Mexico.


9. Tata Barahona

She was born in a modest Santiago family, in 1971. In 1985, started her first musical studies. At the end of the decade, debuted successfully as a singer/songwriter and participated in the resistance culture movement against Pinochet’s dictatorship with protest songs. In her music she collects the everyday talking and enhances it to give a more artistic vision of it.


10. Astro

Formed at the end of 2008, they’re a mix between alternative rock, synth pop and electric sounds. In 2011 they release their first album named “Astro”, and by 2013 they were one of the Chilean artists invited to perform at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, Mysteryland in Amsterdam and Primavera Sound in Barcelona. In 2016 the band took a break till the date.

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