Ana Tijoux: Revolution

El Sonido: Cancioneros
Albina Cabrera

El Sonido: Cancioneros is the first season of KEXP’s newest podcast series, El Sonido, and the first produced fully in Spanish. 

What keeps us rooted in a world where everything is changing? Music. We each have songs that connect us to our origins, and through those, we can draw the sound map of our lives. The first season of the El Sonido podcast offers a musical tour through the personal songbooks of key artists in modern alternative, popular and independent Latin music to explore what it means to be from a place and what Latin music is today. Host Albina Cabrera guides us through each artist's story across eight episodes, from the song that decided the destiny of Mon Laferte to the visual and political approach of Lido Pimienta, from the revolution of Villano Antillano to the childhood of Trueno and the comeback of Buscabulla. As we journey through the songs that shaped each artist, we get a portrait of the present and future of their music scenes.

Listen to the podcast with English subtitles on the KEXP Podcasts YouTube channel, or read an English transcription of our latest episode below. A Spanish transcription and audio is available here.

[MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “Sacar la voz” ft. Jorge Drexler ]

Ana Tijoux: Our faces, our features, our skin, our cheekbones, our eyes, our mouth, our way of approaching life, seeps from the pores of our people, our community. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “Sacar la voz” ft. Jorge Drexler ]

Ana Tijoux: The truth is always revolutionary in that sense. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “Sacar la voz” ft. Jorge Drexler ]

Albina Cabrera: Revolution. That’s the word that came out of my mouth when I tried to describe my conversation with Ana Tijoux in one word. It was revealing. As time passed and I re-listened to our conversation, I understood that there was a deeper meaning tied to this 10-letter composition. 

The number 10 corresponds to the month of October, a month spiritually associated with the realms where our deceased loved ones exist. A time of the year that also means a lot to the rapper who we hear from in this songbook. Ten, October, life, death are some of the themes in her songbook that give us the key to access her heritage, and the history of her country. 

[ AUDIO: Natural Sound, water ] 

Ana Tijoux: Music has also been a part of that, that curiosity and the desire to explore new sounds, new things, do things that I wouldn’t have otherwise done. 

[MUSIC CUE: Roberto Carlos Lange - El Sonido Theme] 

Albina Cabrera: Hello, how are you? I’m Albina. Welcome to El Sonido podcast, the first series in Spanish from KEXP. Here we’ll piece together the songbooks of fundamental artists across different scenes in Latin America, Iberoamerica, and the diaspora. In our seventh and second-to-last episode of this first season, we’ll dive into the songs that have formed Ana Tijoux, the French-Chilean rapper with Aymara roots, pioneer of rap in the region and a fighter since before she was born. It’s a soundtrack that’ll take us to legends of Latin American music and gems of modern indigenous music.

[MUSIC CUE: Roberto Carlos Lange - El Sonido Theme] 

Albina Cabrera: She was born in 1977 in the French city of Lille due to the exile of her parents, the well-known sociologist María Emilia Tijoux and Douglas Olivares, who abandoned Pinochet’s Chile to settle in Europe. Later, Ana'd be raised by her mom and her adoptive father Roberto Merino.

Ana Tijoux: I’m from a Chilean family that was exiled in France. I’ve been fortunate to learn many things, music, and culture from them. 

Albina Cabrera: Ana is a part of a generation of children of political exiles who, when they were younger, flocked to the arts and recorded the experience as part of the culture of the 90s.

[ MUSIC CUE: Grupo Makiza - “Rosa de Los Vientos” ]

Ana Tijoux: Even today, I’m very aware that my parents gave me an incredible cultural legacy. You always learn from your parents, it’s really beautiful what family gives you, and I’m referring to family in general, not necessarily the institutionalized family.

Albina Cabrera: You already heard from Ana in episode 4 alongside Trueno and the Rap in Spanish movement. We went to Chile and Latin America 50 years ago to observe what was happening while hip-hop was being born in the Bronx. We roughly painted a picture of the social climate and political tumult, which was at the same time revolutionary, that the South American continent lived through. Ana Tijoux is the daughter of that revolution.

[ MUSIC CUE: Grupo Makiza - “Rosa de Los Vientos” ]

Ana Tijoux: No matter how far away one was born from their roots, there are certain instruments that, when you hear them, strike a chord, they remind you of your family or your ancestry

[ MUSIC CUE: Grupo Makiza - “Rosa de Los Vientos” ]

Albina Cabrera: Ancestry is a relational process of your origins which includes physical and social spaces where your ancestors live, your relationship with the community, and the language. Ana doesn’t live in Chile anymore, nor in France. She now lives in Spain with her family, but her music is strongly linked to the origins of her people. When did music come into her life?

Ana Tijoux: I think there’s music that’s just naturally a part of daily life. I can’t tell you exactly when because I feel like it’s always been there.

[ MUSIC CUE: Atahualpa Yupanqui - Tierra Querida” ]
Albina Cabrera: Ana Tijoux comes from a political lineage that’s been strongly aligned with indigenous communities since birth. She herself comes from the indigenous communities in the north of Chile, the Aymara people. It’s one of the most important ethnicities in South America, distributed across Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. I call on her for this episode because, over the course of her career, she’s become a fixture in the musical agenda addressing political problems in Chile, the struggle of the Mapuches (the largest and most persecuted indigenous population in the country) and reparations post Pinochet dictatorship, as bastions of her lyrics and activism. I’m interested in going deeper into her upbringing and the music that surrounded her. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Atahualpa Yupanqui - Tierra Querida” ]

Ana Tijoux: I don’t know how to exist without music in my house. There’s always music playing, always. Silence is tough for me, which is maybe worthy of therapy, but something always needs to be playing. Growing up it was always like that. Latin American classics really impacted me. I think that Atahualpa Yupanqui…

[ MUSIC CUE:  Los Olimareños - “Los Orientales’ ] 

Ana Tijoux: Los Olimareños, obviously… Obviously Astor Piazzolla…

[ MUSIC CUE: Astor Piazzolla - “Libertango” ]

Ana Tijoux: Víctor Jara… 

[ MUSIC CUE: Víctor Jara - “Te recuerdo Amanda” ]

Ana Tijoux: Violeta Parra… 

[ MUSIC CUE: Violeta Parra - “Volver a los Diecisiete” ]

Ana Tijoux: Chico Buarque... 

[ MUSIC CUE: Chico Buarque - “Construção” ] 

Ana Tijoux: And a ton of music… Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Pablo Milanes - Te quiero porque te quiero ] 

Albina Cabrera: It appears that Ana Tijoux chooses to surround herself with classics of Latin American music to adorn her refuge. It goes from the innovative Argentinean tango composer, Piazzolla, to the unforgettable songs of her compatriot Victor Jara.

From her beginnings, Ana doesn’t shy away from appearing as a political animal and, again, revolutionary. Violeta, Chico with tropicalia, Pablo with Nueva Trova… of course Victor with the Chilean Nueva Canción, are fundamental chapters in the political songbook of the region, which she and her family are also a part of. 

But Ana Tijoux would choose another tool to use for her revolution: Rap.


Ana Tijoux: Rap came into my life like love at first sight. It was that kind of love that blew my mind. Like it’s my home, my spine. Even today I listen to rap all the time, it wasn’t a phase. It’s a culture.


Albina Cabrera: For Ana, rap is her home. A place where she feels free to start a revolution with her words. A house built with the cultures that raised her, the places she’s been, the people she’s encountered and the borders she’s crossed. That’s why Ana can’t imagine doing anything but rap.

Ana Tijoux: Never, never, never. No, it’d be like denying who I am, what I like and what I’ve enjoyed. It’d be an almost biological contradiction.

Albina Cabrera: Ana discovered rap in France when she was 10 years old, that magic number again, while she went with her mom to work. Growing up with an identity fractured by exile in a country where cultures and music from the Americas, Europe, and Africa were in constant fusion oriented Ana towards rap. Something she artistically developed in Chile.

Albina Cabrera: She visited her parents’ homeland in 1983 when she went to meet her grandparents. She would move to Chile with her family in 1992 when Democracy was restored. It was there in 1997 that she formed the hip hop collective MAKIZA.

Albina Cabrera: All of its members experienced stories of migration and social struggle.

[ MUSIC CUE: Makiza - En Paro ]

Ana Tijoux: In my case it was a connection among many children of immigrants. We all felt a part of something. The land of the landless. I always saw it that way.
Albina Cabrera: That is the definition of hip-hop that Ana has and it’s also the one she grew up with. The multicultural bridges that she learned in France and the struggle of her family and the Chilean people generated a super open and visionary mind.

I emphasize the visionary aspect because she’s among the few Latin American rappers who, over 6 albums, aligned herself and the struggle with Africa, via collaborations like You Sold Me A Dream with Jupiter & Okwess from the Congo, released on the album Nacosonga in 2021.

[ MUSIC CUE: Jupiter Okwess - “You Sold Me a Dream” ]

Ana Tijoux: I think the question is the other way around – why haven’t people collaborated more with African artists?

Ana Tijoux: You have to think of slavery in Latin America. African culture in Latin America, we’re very aligned. I think there’s a really strong connection there.

[ MUSIC CUE: Jupiter Okwess - “You Sold Me a Dream” ]

Ana Tijoux: I’ve always considered Africa to be a sister continent.

Ana Tijoux: We’re very westernized, so it makes sense that people end up collaborating with Europeans or people from the United States. But they’re skipping one of the most musical continents on the planet.

Albina Cabrera: Ana has also formed political alliances with Palestine through the unforgettable song “Somos Sur” featuring the Palestinean Shadia Mansour also known as the first lady of Arabic hip hop.

[ MUSIC CUE; Ana Tijoux - “Somos Sur” feat. Shadia Mansour ]

Albina Cabrera: This hasn’t excluded her from the global market and successful collaborations like “eres para mi” with the Mexican Julieta Venegas.

[ MUSIC CUE: Julietas Venegas - Eres Para Mi feat. Ana Tijoux ]

Albina Cabrera:  Ana Tijoux also composed “No Estamos Solas”, the soundtrack for the series La Jauría for Amazon Prime.

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “No Estamos Solas” ] 

Albina Cabrera: It was with her album 1977 released in 2010 that the that the homonymous song, and also autobiographical ended up on Breaking Bad and was recommended by Thom Yorke and Iggy Pop.

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “1977” ]

Albina Cabrera: I can keep talking about the potpourri of milestones and legitimate reasons to jump into the musical mind of the MC protagonist of this story. But I prefer to go a little deeper into Ana Tijoux’s creative process and how that early success impacted her life.

Albina Cabrera: I find someone with admirable processes. A very spiritual person who decides to break up the famous MAKIZA and go back to France to work rather than fall into the overwhelming vortex of success. In 1998, Ana Tijoux thought she’d never rap again, but her roots had other plans. After a few years, she returned to Chile and started her solo career which includes Kaos from 2007…

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijouz - “Dolores, dólares” ]

Albina Cabrera: The acclaimed 1977 from 2010 where she talks about the process in the song “Crisis de un MC”

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “Crisis de un MC” ]

Albina Cabrera: “La Bala” from 2012

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “La Bala” ]  

Albina Cabrera: And her last studio album, Vengo. A whole songbook that fights against oppression and supports social justice. With Ana, there is no doubt about who she is and what she has to say.

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “Antipatriarca” ] 

Albina Cabrera: She says that when she started rapping something about words captivated her. It’s notable in the way she reconfigures and accentuates certain syllables. 

Ana Tijoux: This culture is bigger than the industry, much bigger. It embraced things
that would have been unimaginable. And it was obvious… a response to the 70s in new York… and crazy that in the middle of it all there is a culture that’s impacted the last years in music. Not just music, dance, DJs, production, graffiti, b-boys and b-girls. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “Todos Somos Erroristas” ]

Albina Cabrera: Ana Tijoux takes these elements and starts conversations that amplify the music of other cultures and generations and causes that she believes are important. In recent years she went through something that would become one of the inspirations for the new music that will be a part of her album VIDA, due out in October 2023.

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “CACEROLAZO” ] 

Albina Cabrera: On October 18 2019, the largest social uprising in Chile since the return of democracy began.

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “CACEROLAZO” ] 

Albina Cabrera:  A group of students jumped the turnstile of the metro in protest against the rise in public transportation prices.

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “CACEROLAZO” ] 

[ AUDIO CUE: Vice -  Chile Despertó ] 

Ana Tijoux: A lot of people say “the new generations don’t get to have an opinion because they didn’t live through certain things”, but they are the product of the things that happened

Albina Cabrera: The backdrop? Years of hunger, inequality, health and housing debt that, in just hours, caused the people to take to the streets across the country.

[ AUDIO CUE: Vice -  Chile Despertó ] 

Albina Cabrera: The then administration, with President Sebastian Piñera, decreed repression by armed forces against citizens in Chile, leaving many people dead, hurt, tortured, and hundreds of political prisoners detained and mutilated. Chile was on screens across the world because of the protests, and hit a world record for the amount of people hurt by rubber bullets, the violent makings of what would become known as Chile Despertó or Rebelión de Octubre. 

Ana Tijoux: So that this never happens again there needs to be collective reflection, there has to be a movement… here the enemy is another person. I believe that we have to walk together to achieve social justice, that’s what it’s all about, dignity and social justice.

Albina Cabrera: The word revolution appears here again, 10 words. Ten, the number that represents unity, the healing of wounds and that’s associated with intangible energies. A figure that represents the month of October that’s a time for celebration and connection to those who are no longer with us.

[MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux & MC Millaray - “Rebelión de Octubre” ] 

Albina Cabrera: On the first anniversary of Chile Despertó, Ana Tijoux released the song “Rebelión de Octubre” as a musical chronicle of what happened in her country, an homage. She does it alongside a spokeswoman who represents another cause important to Ana and Chile: the Mapuche people. Here appears the artists who she believes is the present and the future. The rapper Mc Millaray. 
[MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux & MC Millaray - “Rebelión de Octubre” ] 

Ana Tijoux: MC Millaray, who to me is emblematic in Chile, is a beautiful mapuche colleague who’s 17 years old, I believe. She raps in mapudungún and spanish. 

[ MUSIC CUE: MC Millaray - “Mi Ser Mapuche” ]

Ana Tijoux: New generation. I like her a lot, her grit, she has a lot of grit. 

MC Milaray: I’m MC Millaray and a rapper. I discovered rap when I was five. I grew up in a family where rap was an extremely important culture. My mom and dad are rappers and met because of it. 

[ MUSIC CUE: MC Millaray - “Mi Ser Mapuche” ]

MC Milaray: I grew up in a housing project, in a marginal place, where kids didn’t experience childhood the way they should and the way that is necessary for their age. So I saw, these needs are very close to me and I wanted to express them with my lyrics. I also felt guilty for not knowing my language and for having grown up in a far away city, away from where I belong.

[ MUSIC CUE: MC Millaray - “Mi Ser Mapuche” ]

Albina Cabrera: MC Millaray was the spokesperson for the Defense Network of Mapuche Children.

MC Milaray: That’s where I get the strong need to talk about our history. Not just speaking for me, but to be able to help many people my age, my siblings, feel seen by what I say, express, and expose.

[ MUSIC CUE: MC Millaray - “Mi Ser Mapuche” ]

Albina Cabrera: The songbook of Ana Tijoux is a massive part of contemporary Latin American indigenous rap. Historically they’re all related. These children of indigenous families in Latin America use rap as a way to bring to life their ethnic identity, their spiritual connection, and the intent to educate their communities. Ana takes me to Guatemala.

Ana Tijoux: Sara, who you also mentioned...

Albina Cabrera: We’re talking about Sara Curruchich, a Guatemalan Mayan Kaqchikel singer-songwriter. She sings just as much in Spanish as she does in Kqchikel, and is one of the first musicians in her community to use her mother tongue in popular music.

Sara Curruchich: My name is Sara Curruchich. I’m indigenous Maya Kaqchike from Guatemala. It means woodpecker, actually. I like to begin by sharing this because understanding our ancestral language is a way of recognizing the resistance of my people.

[ MUSIC CUE: Sara Curruchich - “Ati’t” ]

Sara Curruchich: I like to be seen as being stubborn about hope, because I strongly believe that with music we can find these beautiful manifestations and avenues towards emancipation.

[ MUSIC CUE: Sara Curruchich - “Kixampe” ] 

Albina Cabrera: In October, we also celebrate the day of Indigenous resistance. We return to the month tied to the other dimension that encompasses our ancestors, that connection that’s not visible in the systems the world moves in, and sometimes can only be seen by looking in a mirror. 

Ana Tijoux: The face tells no lies, as much as I want it to, it’s been like that since I was little. 

Ana Tijoux: You have to go by luck when it comes to looking into where you come from. As far as I know, part of my family comes from the north of Chile, the desert, which is a totally different culture. The Aymara.

Albina Cabrera: As indigenous women and rappers, the composers in Ana Tijoux’s songbook fight against not only beauty stereotypes but centuries of oppression.

Ana Tijoux: From colonialism until now, with new modern modalities around types of beauty, as you said so well before, there’s a new generation who’s totally proud of where they come from.

Albina Cabrera: Sara Curruchich is one of them. 

Sara Curruchich: On my journey I’ve also noticed that there’s a relationship between what women experience in my community, as an indigenous woman, with the whole country, and all of Latin America actually.

Sara Curruchich: A colonial concept.

Albina Cabrera: And MC Millaray as well 

MC Milaray: My great-grandmother lives in the Wallmapu territory. My grandmother came to the city because she needed to, and my mother taught me to be proud of being Mapuche and growing up in the city.

Ana Tijoux: I’ve always been proud of my roots, very proud of my cheekbones. Now people get operations to have them, but it was always a reason for not being comfortable in your body, now everyone wants cheekbones. 
Albina Cabrera: Sara Curruchich decided to do an investigation on indigenous artists in her country, Guatemala, and the details were key in refining her perspective and identifying what exactly makes musical development of indigenous Guatemalan and Latin American women so difficult.  

Sara Curruchich: I can tell you that 98% of indigenous women composers’s music contains messages of vindication, identity, and defense of the land. And so I also notice that many times it is that very system, that same context and that same industry that leads us to write these kinds of songs. It’s the same exclusion, racism, and violence that’s devastating these communities.

Albina Cabrera: This new generation that Ana mentions to us, comes to settle historical debts but they, on top of being composers, become historians of their own communities.

Sara Curruchich: Historically, indigenous communities have been silenced in many, many ways. And music has been no exception. In the case of Guatemala, I can specifically tell you that during the 36 years of war that happened here, up until the signing of the Peace Treaty in 1996. From 1996 until now there wasn’t a single indigenous woman who sang. 

Ana Tijoux: It’s interesting to see how it’s progressed and our communities have been using rap as a tool as well, giving it their grit and their own spin. That, to me, is super interesting.

Albina Cabrera: The map comes together with many artists like Rentata Flores in Peru, Alwa in Bolivia, Mare Advertencia Lirika in Mexico, and hundreds more.

[ MUSIC CUE: Renata Flores - “Tijeras” ] 

Sara Curruchich: We can be separated by hundreds of kilometers, be we’re like trees in that we’re connected by our roots underground. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Renata Flores - “Tijeras” ] 

ALBINA: Here’s MC Millaray...

MC Milaray: Being Mapuche, growing up in the city, not allowing our voices to be silenced can sometimes make people angry. The fact that we’re still standing and resisting and defending our rights and our land generates anger and fear in people, the way they want to silence me… it’s tragic, sad, but it also gives me the inspiration to get stronger as the Mapuche woman that I am, who brings to the table the messages of her ancestors and those still to come.

Ana Tijoux: There’s a system in place that was made for the youth to follow a certain formula. But there are tons of young people going a different route, doing different things.

Albina Cabrera: Ana will be releasing a new album after nine years. It’s not just her that’s different, the industry is as well. In the era of algorithms and standardization, she shares her vision with me.

Ana Tijoux: Across Latin America and also across our sister continents, like Africa, in all African countries as well, who have been greatly obscured and forgotten, and of course, the irony of life, of history and the music industry is that the entire world wants to dance like the African people, the whole world wants that flow. And now a similar thing is happening with Latin American music, like the accent, the flavor.

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux -  “Canelo Sagrado” ]

Albina Cabrera: As you can imagine, the author of “Dolares Dólares”, “Antipatriarca”, and “Canelo Sagrado” has an opinion about the state of music production. She feels that it’s very violent.

Ana Tijoux: This is a crazy moment in the world… I don’t understand much about how it works really, I feel a little lost. I think that’s actually a good sign. I think that if someone is okay with all of this something is wrong because now everything’s about algorithms, robots, statistics, and strategy. 

Ana Tijoux: And the beauty of the arts is the total opposite of that, it’s questioning, it’s allowing room for doubt. And now doubt’s no longer on the table. People want to be famous at all costs. That’s very stressful. This standardizing of the way to feel music is really heavy and I find it to be very violent.

Albina Cabrera: While we spoke, I remembered another one of her epic collaborations. This time with the Argentinean rapper Sara Hebe for Almacén de Datos. It happens that for Ana Tijoux, Sara represents the most disruptive side of her songbook. They both share many of the same causes and spaces in the music scene.

[ MUSIC CUE: Sara Hebe - “Almacén de datos” ] 

Ana Tijoux: Sara Hebe’s journey is really interesting to me. It’s interesting because I feel like she comes from a very punk scene, but she raps.

[ MUSIC CUE: Sara Hebe - “Almacén de datos” ] 

Sara Hebe: It came to be after conversations about what we go through with music and the industry, or of the monstrosity of the production system today in every sense of it. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Sara Hebe - “Almacén de datos” ] 

Sara Hebe: We can’t deny that aesthetics sometimes take precedence over ethics and we talked about that a bit and I think it turned out really well.

Albina Cabrera: Sara is an artist who comes from a similar vein as Ana. In the political sense and in hip-hop where they intersect. Sara also chose rap as a tool to express what she was going through.

[ MUSIC CUE: Sara Hebe - “ACAB” feat Sasha Sathya ]

Sara Hebe: I had a deep desire and need to speak and expose. My feelings, my rage. To make myself a space. I think it was also the need to establish myself and build my business independently. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Sara Hebe - “ACAB” feat Sasha Sathya ]

Sara Hebe: A cis white woman with certain privileges. I watched and grew up with my working mother, also fighting against sexist abuses of power. The trans-feminist struggle in Argentina and how it got so strong. I think that affected me and made me want to use rap as a platform to screen and expose my feelings, both about myself or society.

[ MUSIC CUE: Sara Hebe - “ACAB” feat Sasha Sathya ]

Albina Cabrera: In October of 2023, Ana releases her new album. A year full of events
that are specially important for her.

Ana Tijoux: As a Chilean I always say, this year is really important. In 2023 it’s 50 years of hip-hop and in a few months it’s 50 years since the Coup d’etat in Chile, it’s 50 years of both things. For me that parallel is really crazy. 

Albina Cabrera: Ana shared this thought with us in episode four with Trueno. She thinks that despite there being 50 years since the military coup in Chile, Chileans are still owed. 

Ana Tijoux: There’s an historic debt with our dead, our detained, our disappeared, our disappeared detained, our executed, our tortured. There’s a debt to an entire generation which causes a crack in the foundation. I think it’s a really eventful year for us, because we’re children of the dictatorship, the children of that generation.

Ana Tijoux: What do we do with that historic debt, what do we do with this legacy, what do we do with this impunity, what do we do, how do we move, how do we talk about it. Of course, I don’t have the answer because I’m also in that process.

Albina Cabrera: It’s not 30 pesos, it’s 30 years, was the slogan of the movement Chile Despertó, another long standing process that directly relates to what Ana expresses on five years of the Pinochet dictatorship. All of these elements have been brewing for a while, and created base for her new album.

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “Niñx ] 

Ana Tijoux: The album is called Vida and it’s also the result of the deaths of many people around me, people very close to me, of a lot of reflection, which is what always happens when someone you love dies.

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “Niñx ] 

Albina Cabrera: I asked her at the end of our conversation if there was any special reason the album comes out in October because I was really impacted by the space-time connections surrounding the launch of VIDA. Ana gave me more reasons.

Ana Tijoux: My sister died in October of 2019, my brother in October of 2021, and the album comes out in October 2023. Now that you say it, everything happens in October, death, life… I’ll play with that, yes. What a good month for cycles, the opening and closing of cycles. 

Ana Tijoux: But also in the reflection of the cycle of life, and it can be really existential and cliche, everything you want, but it happened to me and I needed to make an album in that tone, from a place of reflection, but also playful. 

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “Niñx ] 

Albina Cabrera: Between playfulness and reflection, Ana looks in the mirror, already consecrated as an artist, person, and declares pride for her origin and respect for the natural and ancestral cycle of life. That is where her revolution is  

Ana Tijoux: You can try to suppress it, hide it, dilute it, but at the end of the day the root is always there You can escape anything but yourself, or history.

[ MUSIC CUE: Ana Tijoux - “Niñx ] 

Albina Cabrera: I’m Albina Cabrera. We’ll be back for the next and last episode of our first season, Cancioneros, where we hear the personal soundtrack of the composer Roberto Carlos Lange, known as Helado Negro.

Helado Negro: For me, what really changed me was the album by Juana Molina, the album Segundo. It came out in 2000 and I was in University exploring a lot of music and beginning to play it. I think that album changed my brain chemistry. This can be more, it doesn’t have to be a part of this place, these sounds and this language can be a part of the world. For me, it’s like magic.
Helado Negro clip: Para mí, lo que me cambió bastante, fue ese disco de Juana Molina, el disco Segundo. Salió en el 2000 y yo ya estaba en la universidad explorando bastante música y empezando a hacer música. Y yo creo que ese disco me cambió el cerebro bastante. Esto puede ser más, no tiene que ser parte de este lugar, pueden ser parte del mundo estos sonidos y este idioma. Para mí it’s like magic.

Albina Cabrera: El Sonido Podcast: Cancioneros, will bring you eight songbooks with artists across the continent. This podcast is an extension of the live show El Sonido which has aired every Monday night for over a decade on KEXP with me and DJ Chilly.
Three hours a week and two voices were not enough. You can follow El Sonido Podcast in Spanish on all digital platforms and the version with English subtitles on the new KEXP youtube change. Please go and subscribe. Until next time.

Albina Cabrera: This episode of El Sonido en su edición cancioneros was written by me, Albina Cabrera, alongside Leonor Suarez. The editing was done by Nuria Net from La Coctelera Music. Our production team includes Isabel Khalili, Francisco Sanchez Garcia, and Dusty Henry. Audio editing is by Joan Alonso, Pau Aymi, and Alex Garcia Amat from La Coctelera Music and mastering by KEXP. Original music was composed and performed by Roberto Carlos Lange whose musical project is Helado Negro. You can find a playlist with all of the music that we included in this episode on You can also find this episode on our new Youtube channel “KEXP PODCASTS”, with English translations by Phoebe Smolin, art and animation by Yarará, and subtitles by Lucero Otero who also transcribed the interviews for this series.

We want to thank Ana Tijoux and her team for making this songbook with us and the artists Mc Millaray, Sara Hebe, and Sara Curruchich for contributing context, vision, and testimonials to this story. 

Lastly, we want to thank you. KEXP is funded by its listeners. That means that the freedom we have to do projects like these podcasts comes completely from the support of our community. And if you’re here with us now, you’re part of that community. So, if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard and you want to support our program, you can go to and make a donation. You can also show your support by rating, commenting, and sharing this podcast.

Related News & Reviews

El Sonido: Cancioneros

Lido Pimienta: Chronicles of the Sublime

Afro-Indigenous Colombian-Canadian composer, producer, and singer Lido Pimienta shares her songbook and how she uses her musical and political crusade to honor her culture.

Read More
El Sonido: Cancioneros

iLe, Villano Antillano, y Buscabulla: The New Order

In our fifth episode, Albina Cabrera heads to Puerto Rico’s current music scene and the personal songbooks of iLe, Villano Antillano, and Buscabulla.

Read More
El Sonido: Cancioneros

Trueno: Hecho de barrio

We delve into the heroic movement of rap in Spanish through Argentina rapper Trueno. We look at his personal songbook and his place in a lineage of revolutionary artists.

Read More