Songs for the Road No. 4: Lila Downs’ Rendition of “Paloma Negra”

by Ekua on August 12, 2010 in Mexico,songs for the road

When a friend suggested that I check out the music of Lila Downs, at first, her name made me assume she was an R&B singer. I later learned that she is actually a Mexican-American singer with a Mixtec mother and a Scottish-American father and she grew up in both Mexico and the United States.

When I enjoy a country as much as I enjoyed Mexico, I always look for ways to experience a little bit of the culture at home. So now that I am back, I’ve finally listened to her music and I have been pleasantly surprised. Her approach is similar to that of Marie Daulne of Zap Mama; she fuses elements of music from both of her cultures with other styles from around the world.

I chose to share this particular song, because although she has a rich alto voice rather than piercing soprano voice, it resembles the type of song and feeling from the experience I wrote about in my previous entry. The genre of music is ranchera, traditional Mexican music which is often performed by mariachi bands and usually revolves around the subjects of love, nature and patriotism. Enjoy:

For more on Lila Downs’ interesting history, go here.

To listen to some more of her music, go here.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary R August 12, 2010 at 4:44 pm

What a deep gorgeous voice! Isn’t it funny how we draw mistaken conclusions about someone’s name?

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Ekua August 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm

So true. I should know better as a musician and lover of discovering new music!

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Fly Girl August 12, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I’ve always loved Lila. She’s fierce.

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Ekua August 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Fierce is definitely the right word to describe her!

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Andi August 15, 2010 at 7:45 am

I adore her!!! I fell in love with her after I watched Frida. Her voice is insane.

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Ekua August 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I have a secret… I have yet to see Frida :/ It’s definitely on my list though!

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