Tidal just launched its first animated project, Footprints, a series dedicated to celebrating the African and Indigenous roots of Latin music that are often overlooked. Episode one, which is narrated by Afro-Latinx artist Amara La Negra, highlights the work of black Latinx like Joe Arroyo and Celia Cruz.
“The irony is that we could never escape our blackness regardless of how we define or quantify it because it lives everywhere; in our foods, our religions, our medical practice and of course the music we create and rhythms we move to before we can even speak,” says Amara La Negra in episode one.
Thanks to musicians like Cardi B, Bad Bunny and Amara La Negra, both English and Spanish language music created by Latinx artists has gained recent mainstream visibility. Still, conversations surrounding these music genres often erase the contributions of the black Latinx creators who paved the way for and propelled non-black Latinx superstars today.
The episode breaks down classic tracks like Joe Arroyo’s “Rebelión” and “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” by Celia Cruz, and also delves into the Afro-Puerto Rican roots of Reggaetón, a genre that has been politicized and historically looked down upon by many non-black Latinx.
Tidal also shows Afro-Latinx rapper Cardi B major love in this episode, as they explore the African influences of Pete Rodriguez’s “I Like it Like That,” which was brought back into the spotlight by Cardi’s spin on the classic in 2018.
“As Latin music continues to surge in popularity, TIDAL’s ‘Footprints’ educates fans by shining a light on the often overlooked African and Indigenous roots of today’s hit songs,” said Marjua Estevez, TIDAL’s Latin Culture and Content Editor. “We’re thrilled that Amara La Negra is narrating the premiere episode because she’s a force in the Afro-Latinx community and has empowered countless fans through her music.”
Catch the first episode of Footprints above.