Selena for Sanctuary — the concert series to benefit immigrant rights — is officially going bicoastal.
After a packed rainy day performance in New York City this summer, Sanctuary for Selena has set its sights on Los Angeles’ Grand Park. The concert will take place on November 1, making it just in time for Downtown L.A.’s Día de los Muerto’s celebrations. After a week of altars, prayer, and remembrance, Angelinos will be able to cap off their traditions with free music performances by an all Latina lineup.
This is not the first time women led the fore at Selena for Sanctuary — in June, Kali Uchis was brought on to headline the NYC show. Now it looks like the concert series has used their platform to feature an exclusively female lineup, which is great news for the Latina artists involved. But who are they?
Get to know the six women performing at this fall’s Selena for Sanctuary, below.
Lorely Rodriguez, the Honduran-American woman behind Empress Of, will be headlining L.A.’s Selena for Sanctuary event. Raised on Latin jazz and Björk, Rodriguez writes up dreamy electro-pop with the occasional Spanish-language drop in — just like on “Trust Me Baby,” a track where bilingual shifts give her the vocabulary for a desperate lover’s plea. Empress Of is all about this vulnerability, and knows exactly where to find it in the language and community of her East L.A. roots. Her performance for Selena for Sanctuary will be nothing short of a homecoming then, especially after spending the earlier part of this year on tour.
If her stage name sounds off to you, it’s probably because San Cha — born Lizette Gutierrez to a Catholic, Mexican family — takes the word san, for saint, but separates it from the phonetic of her full name, sancha, as in side chick. This conflict of identity is right at the heart of what makes Gutierrez’s work so special: she is queer, brown, and dabbles in rachera, cumbia, and punk — all while never losing the church choir influences that she is at once at odds with, yet embraces. It’s this reinvention of traditional Mexican sounds, as displayed on songs like “Me Demando,” that will be sure to surprise — and excite — Selena for Sanctuary’s family crowds.
For fans of the fiercely political Mexican ska and punk band, Tijuana No.1, you may already know Ceci Bastida. Bastida, who was born in — you guessed it — Tijuana, Mexico, spent years on keyboard and vocals for the punk band. (Which she also joined at the young age of 15!) These days, Bastida is off solo and trying on a new alt-pop sound. Yet she’s still holding tight to Tijuana No.1’s political energy: tracks like “Una Ves Más,” whose music video alludes to gun violence, is a stomping, confident assertion against abuse of all kinds.
Most of us know Maya Murillo for her work as a video producer at BuzzFeed, where she writes and acts in skits for Pero Like, a Latinx-focused channel for English-language content. But in addition to being Pero Like’s “pocha concha,” Murillo is pursuing a music career after singing and songwriting on her own for years. While she’s shared some of her own music on YouTube in the past, Murillo is comfortable doing covers — which makes sense of why she’s been chosen to sing a Selena song at November’s event, in honor of the concert series’ legendary Chicana namesake.
August Eve, the L.A. based singer-songwriter has already collaborated with Selena for Sanctuary headliner Empress Of, and last concert’s alum, Cuco. But in November, she’ll take to the stage herself and share some truly sumptuous tracks. “You Already Know” is devastating in its husky, Old Hollywood-style serenade.
For Andrea Silva, the woman behind Loyal Lobos, Sanctuary for Selena’s mission is incredibly personal. Silva, who grew up on the countryside of Colombia’s Bogotá and immigrated to America as a child, spins her experiences of migrancy, femininity, love, and political depression into music that is at once haunting and soothing. “Criminals” is just the latest: an airy, atmospheric piece of bedroom pop about risking it all for love.