La Brega

Bonus Track — Songs for the Future of Puerto Rico

Una notita: This episode is in Spanglish.

This season, we explored songs that tell the complicated, beautiful story of Puerto Rico. We wanted to bring that exploration into the present moment, so we called up some of the most innovative Puerto Rican artists making music today and we gave them a challenge: what would you do with these classic anthems?

In this special bonus episode of the show, we go behind the music with the artists featured on La Brega: El Álbum — including ​​RaiNao, Xenia Rubinos, ÌFÉ and Ana Macho.

Plus, in an interview recorded live at On Air Fest, host Alana Casanova-Burgess speaks with Angélica Negrón and José Olivares of the band Balún, who composed music for La Brega and recorded a cover for the album. The band members talk about how they incorporated a broad palette of sounds and instruments into their score. “Balún es estar en la brega todo el tiempo,” Angélica explains. “Tener una banda entre diferentes lugares entre Puerto Rico entre San Juan … It's about that kind of layered complexity of ‘ni de aquí ni de allá,’ pero de aquí, siempre, también.” They also unpack their cover of Sylvia Rexach’s “Olas y Arenas,” featured on the album.

Listen to the album here!

Learn more about the voices featured on the album:

• Ana Macho

• Balún


• La Tribu de Abrante

• Mireya Ramos

• RaiNao

• Velcro

• Xenia Rubinos

La Brega: El Álbum is sponsored by Marguerite Casey Foundation.

This season of La Brega is made possible by the Mellon Foundation.