From New York rapper Princess Nokia to Cuba’s Orquesta Akokán, here are 10 artists reinventing the sound of Santería today.
Santería’s sacred influences are all over some of today’s best Latin music. Of course, the religion’s ceremonial rhythms and incantations have always held a place in Afro-Latino communities, yet they haven’t always entered into contemporary popular taste without backlash.
Santería — a syncretic mashup of Christian doctrines and west and central African spiritual figures — inevitably carries with it a history that many in the Western world would rather care to forget. The formation of Regla de Ocha, as it is also known, harnesses the legacy of enslaved Yoruba peoples first brought to the solares of Cuba and the Americas.