Sponsored By:

4 Afro-Latine Artists Who Are Harnessing the Power of Music for Advocacy and Change

Sponsored By:
Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla.
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla.
Read more

Afro-Latine artists have had a profound impact in shaping many of our beloved music genres like reggaeton, salsa, merengue, cumbia, bachata, dembow, samba, saya, and more which have emerged from their expressive experiences as they address the challenges faced in their communities. Through captivating rhythms and heartfelt lyrics, these musical movements have become catalysts for social change inspiring solidarity, pride, and empowerment.

In the realm of reggaeton, artists like Tego Calderon have shed light on poverty and justice in Loíza, Puerto Rico. Similarly, salseras like Celia Cruz have created anthems that transcend borders, advocating for civil rights and racial equality through her music. Merengue artists, such as Sergio Vargas, have gone beyond their musical talents to stage protests to demand improved conditions for their hometowns, serving as a testament to Afro-Latine artists using their platform to bring about tangible improvements in the communities they represent.

Further south, Afro-Latin artists in genres like Venezuelan tambor, Bolivian saya, Colombian bullerengue, Brazilian samba, and countless others continue to affirm rights and vie for greater social mobility.

Despite Afro-Latine artists being intrinsic advocates within the frameworks of our cultural milieu, they are often under-recognized for their invaluable contributions. To celebrate their immeasurable impact, we spotlight four Afro-Latine musicians utilizing their music and platforms to champion diverse social movements.


Colombian singer, rapper, and songwriter Mabiland fuses Spanish rap, neo-soul, and R&B genres. She has gained recognition for her collaboration with Juanes, “Canción Desaparecida.” The Afro-Colombian singer also uses her platform to help empower LGBTQIA+ communities–especially for queer Black Latines.

Mabiland’s music often explores themes of identity and self-acceptance. She draws upon her own experiences as a queer woman where she unapologetically addresses topics of gender, sexuality, and anti-Black discrimination. She also emphasizes her support for the LGBTQIA+ community by amplifying their stories her social channels. They have “paved the way for me to love freely…but it’s not just about loving freely it’s about the ability to live and feel proud of who we are,” she states.

Mabiland’s unyielding statements in music and through her platform asserts her commitment to creating a safe space for queer empowerment and furthering inclusive representation for Black Latine LGBTQIA+ communities.

Rauli V

Dominican Republic artist Rauli V explores various genres ranging from punk to alternative rock as well as dembow and latin trap. Through his music he emphasizes mental health and overcoming feelings such as loneliness and doubt. He sheds light on the consuming nature of negative self-talk that often prevents people who are struggling with their mental health from seeking help. With the lessons learned and vulnerability expressed from his personal journey, he hopes people can find solace in his lyrics along with cultural and community support.

In a 2022 interview about his song “Problems,” Rauli V. shared, “Every time I hear this song I get chills and it reminds me to put my mental health first, above all. The visual pairing is one of my proudest videos. I get a chance to bring you into the best confessional everyone has access to…the barbershop. Dominican barber shops are such an amazing part of the culture no matter the age. So many stories are exchanged here…” Rauli V. expresses the barber shop is one of the significant cultural cornerstones where he has a safe outlet to share what he’s going through.

Often, the Dominican singer supports the community through partnerships with mental wellness podcasts such as Check Your Head and by donating proceeds from his shows to Baltimore’s Black Mental Health Alliance. He hopes his music can continue to shine a light on taking care of mental health while platforming a relatable and resilient community for his audience.

DJ Jigüe

Cuban DJ, producer, and cultural activist DJ Jigüe blends Afro-Caribbean music and electronic sounds to create an eclectic soundscape that raises awareness about the contributions of Afro-Cuban music worldwide. His tropical Afro-futurist ethos challenges stereotypes to highlight cultural diversity within Cuba. He often collaborates with fellow artists, both local and internationally, to create cross-cultural dialogues and to bridge the gap of knowledge between different music scenes.

Beyond the dance floor, the Afro-Cuban DJ utilizes his platform to enrich emerging music artists by being involved in educational workshops and mentorship programs. In Cuba, DJ Jigüe was part of a pioneering community of music artists that blended club, house, and Afro-Cuban rhythms to provide places of refuge and release from the stresses of economic uncertainty. His music has served as a powerful reminder of the support and creativity that can emerge in challenging times while offering a soundtrack of hope and unity.

La Dame Blanche

As a Cuban singer, rapper, flutist, and percussionist, La Dame Blanche is known for uniquely merging hip-hop, reggae, cumbia, and Afro-Cuban sounds that produce a vibrant and politically charged music style. In addition to her musical talent, La Dame Blanche combines spirituality and advocates for environmentalism to raise awareness about climate change along with her work to empower women.

Her last album ELLA was a powerful and rebellious tribute for women that discusses themes about domestic violence, spirituality, and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Her smooth melodies paired with punchy lyrics call for women to feel safe and embraced in the autonomy to be themselves in all spaces by honoring their desires. Her lyrical spiritualism seeks to embody a connection and veneration with the earth and the communities around us while honoring the lineage of both her musical and Afro-Cuban heritage.