There’s no way to think about Friends without humming along to The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You” (clap! clap! clap! clap!). Or conjuring up Game of Thrones without immediately hearing Ramin Djawadi’s theme music to the Westeros-set drama. When done well, a theme song can sets the tone for a TV show. But when it’s also the kind of track you wanna cue up on your (end of) summer playlist – well, it doesn’t get better than that. Thankfully, some of our favorite bands and musicians have been recruited by savvy showrunners and network marketers with impeccable taste to lend their talents to some of television’s most exciting opening credits.
Whether rocking to the beats of Chile’s very own DJ Raff or swooning to the crooning voice of La Marisoul from LA-based band Santa Cecilia, current TV shows featuring Latino talent are putting others to shame when it comes to choosing lit theme songs. We narrowed our list to just five that are on constant rotation and that, even if you haven’t caught up with the shows they rep, you should be listening to as well.
This Labor Day, catch up with all five episodes of El Desconocido on Cinelatino starting at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT)
'Vienen a verme' by iLe (El Chapo)
What better way to introduce the most infamous druglord on the small screen than this catchy song by the female lead of Calle 13 herself, which is all about a force of nature.
Tengo la calma que no dice nada
Soy esa brisa que se hace más fuerte
I’ve got that wordless calm
I am that breeze that only gets stronger
'Me verás' by La Santa Cecilia (Ingoberable)
Kate del Castillo’s DF-set political thriller has a gorgeous set of opening credits cued to Mexican-American band Santa Cecilia’s dreamy ditty that spells out the moral quandary of the Netflix show.
Cuentan que soy culpable
creen todo lo que miran
dicen que la traición
suele ser femenina
They say I’m guilty
They believe all they see
They say betrayal
Tends to be by a woman
'Tuyo' by Rodrigo Amarante (Narcos)
Narcos may be a high-octane action series about drug trafficking in Colombia, but its theme song gives nods instead to the more lyrical, low-key musical stylings of the South American country.
El castillo, la torre yo soy
La espada que guarda el caudal
In the castle, I’m the tower
The sword that guards the moat
'Las penas' by The Chamanas (El Desconocido)
To set its drug trafficking drama apart from others, Cinelatino’s foray into original programming opted for a dreamy theme song courtesy of the bicultural indie band The Chamanas.
Que pongan bajo juramento
Su palabra si todo lo dio
Y el candado de su alma en pena
Alguien se lo quebró
Put him under oath
His word is all he gave
And someone just broke
The lock that guarded his soul
'Latino & Proud' by DJ Raff (Broad City)
Ilana and Abi’s show may have a blink-and-you’ll-miss it opening credits, but there’s no denying the impact that Chile’s hip hop artist DJ Raff’s aptly-titled track has on the hilarious New York City-set comedy.
I say it loud I’m Latino and proud
(Don’t stop, the body rock)