Header image with photo of Sonia De Los Santos that says "Sonia De Los Santos Shares The Story Behind Musica"

¡Celebremos! Latin Grammy nominee Sonia De Los Santos is back at the New Victory Theater with her new show Música, an upbeat and uplifting bilingual concert that cheers the women who inspired Sonia (and her all-female bandmates) to become a musician—or “una música” en español. We’re excited to celebrate Women’s History Month with this show created specifically for New Victory audiences!

Ahead of Música’s first performance, we chatted with Sonia about Mexican and Latin American folk music, as well as her love of making and playing live music for kids. Read on to learn more about the story behind Música!

Photo of Sonia De Los Santos and her all-female band from Musica

How did you get into traditional Mexican folk music?

I grew up singing casually at home with my family, so music was around me from early on. We used to listen to many different styles like: boleros, rancheras, cumbias, música de conjunto and mariachis would always show up to big festivities. That music was part of my life, but I was also listening to pop music, rock, musical theater and everything in between. It was after I moved to New York City that I started looking into learning more about traditional Mexican folk music. Being away from my home country, surrounded by other cultures and their music, inspired me to learn more about my own heritage, and that’s how this all started.

What inspires you to make music in Spanish for kids?

Spanish is my first language, and even though I’m fluent in English—I’ve been working on it my whole life!—it’s more natural for me to write in Spanish and it feels closer to my heart. Also, I see a big need for music in Spanish that is made for all ages with positive messages. When I started, I couldn’t find a lot of this kind of music rooted in Latin American Folk traditions, but there is more of this music now, and that’s great! There are more Spanish speaking children in the US than ever before, and a lot of people are interested in learning the language—music is a great way to do it.

What do you love the most about playing live music for kids?

Music is my favorite way of expressing myself and I can’t see my life without it. Playing for children and families feels very special to me because it brings different generations together. I love to see those moments when babies, kids, parents and grandparents are having fun with one another, finding common ground in a musical shared experience. The memories that come from those moments are powerful and can stay in people’s lives forever.

What has been the biggest takeaway of playing Latin American Folk Music as an all-female band?

Playing music with this band has been an incredible experience. We all come from different parts of the world, and how we each found music in our lives is different, so everything these músicas contribute to the group is invaluable. We have learned so much from each other, sharing some of the challenges we’ve faced, but also recognizing how far we’ve become, and supporting one another really makes us stronger. We see the importance of playing music that represents us as an all-female ensemble and the message it offers to new generations.

What is the most enjoyable thing about playing Latin American rhythms as a musician?

Latin music is so fun to play! Being a mix of European, African and Indigenous roots, it’s a tapestry of rhythms, melodies and colors; and its diversity offers endless possibilities. That’s why I will forever be a student of these rhythms, and it is such an honor to represent our musical journeys in this show.

What can families expect from experiencing music at your show?

This is New York City! It is such an incredible place where so many people from different parts of the world coexist. I know there are communities of many Latin American countries here, and I hope some of our songs and messages resonate with them. At the end of the day, music is music, and it doesn’t matter which language we are singing in, the feelings that music can evoke are universal and there’s a lot of common ground to be found there. Folks can expect to sing along in Spanish and English, dance in and out of their seats and learn about some musical instruments and rhythms from Latin America!

A photo of Sonia and her all-female band from Musica

You can learn about Latin American musical instruments and rhythms in our other blog. For more behind the scenes content from Música, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok

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