The emergence of a new music scene in Nicaragua has not gone unnoticed in the region. Earlier this year, the Argentinean Mute Magazine published their top 13 new Nicaraguan bands and last week Indie Hoy revealed 7 bands from Nicaragua you should know. These sites target mainly a (Spanish-speaking) Latin American indie audience and both their lists focus on the newest acts (of the last 5 years) like Digan Whisky and Garcín.
So I decided to explore even further and compiled this list of more than 50 Nicaraguan contemporary musicians from all genres and styles. It is definitely work in progress and your feedback is more than welcome to improve this post. [If you would like me to add a band, please write a comment or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the link to their material on Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Spotify or Youtube.]
Many websites, bloggers and TV shows in Nicaragua have done an outstanding job in promoting, showcasing and documenting the latest developments in the industry but it is generally a strictly genre-based effort (www.rocknica.com and this report by TV Channel 6) or lacks the functionality and user-friendliness (this blog) that would allow readers to have a glance of the big picture. Furthermore, there is very little information available in English or that aims at a broader international audience.
(If you search “Nicaragua” in Youtube, the first piece of music that comes up is Nicaragua from the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, among a parade of clips about tourism or the new canal. Searching “Nicaraguan music” will only get you slightly better results, which include some folkloric songs and this home video featuring a guitarist and a pig. This is most disappointing considering how vibrant music scene has become and the amount of original material that has come out in recent years, a large portion of which is available online.)
This is a unique article in two ways: First, that it discusses Nicaraguan music in a serious way and shows lots of different musical genres that are represented by some of these musicians and groups. Second, it links to lots of YouTube videos and SoundCloud feeds, so it takes a long time to load if your Internet speeds are less than optimal.
It doesn’t appear to me that this is any sort of ranking; it’s more of a listing of some of the better-known talents out here in Nicalandia. I’ve seen a few of these bands live and all I can say is that live music is awesome and I always encourage people to take in live music wherever they can.
Also, as in any review or overview of a whole country’s music scene, it is incomplete and subject to critiques as to the bands included, why the author included bands no longer in existence or playing together, etc. but for all that I commend Jaime Zuñiga on writing this article and I’ll try to do my part to make sure it is well-covered in the social media.