Ana Tijoux is a 2012 Latin Grammy Nominee of Chilean descent who is nominated in the “Best Urban Music Album” category for her album, La Bala. She is the daughter of Chilean self-exiles who had fled to France after the coup d’état of 1973 that put Augusto Pinochet into the role of dictator in Chile. When the dictatorship ended, she returned to Chile and became immersed in the underground Hip Hop scene of Santiago. Her socially-conscious lyrics and smooth delivery have led to her growing fanbase and recognition.
In many ways this album showcases her revolutionary spirit as it was recorded in the midst of the Chilean student protests. It can almost be considered a soundtrack for the civil uprising. Her first single “La Bala” vividly describes a protest in action and her second song “Shock” is paired with a video that renders the events from a student’s point of view. This album is different from her previous works in that it mixes her hip hop style with more of an instrumental or classical music base that includes strings, tuba, and trumpet.
My favorite song off the album is “Volver,” although it was very hard to narrow to just one. I love how the song starts off mellow with a soft tempo created by the gentle beating of a drum. Then the strings come in to make the sound intriguing and soothing and everything is brought together as Ana Tijoux’s beautiful voice follows. At times it even sounds jazzier than urban. The song is complemented by the music video as it takes you on a tour of urban Medellin, Columbia through scenic visuals on a sunny afternoon.