The emerging genre, “Latin Alternative,” is a label to more or less separate some of the newer artists that have arrived on the scene over the last few years that don’t exactly fit in some of the various Latin styles that many of us have come to know. Artists such as Ximena Sariñana, Café Tacuba and Zoé have been tagged with the Latin Alternative name, but the name isn’t quite right.
In an interview with Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras, who host NPR’s “Alt.Latino,” for About.com, Contreras brings up a good point: “Latin Alternative” is only used among those in the music industry. From my observation, fans of this genre simply call it “Alternative.” Think about it: Why would a native of Mexico call this music “Latin Alternative”? Do we in the U.S. label music as “American Modern Rock”? No. So let’s be more inclusive and simply call the genre “Alternativo”; it speaks to the style of music and the language it is in. For those who immediately disagree, consider the term “Rock en Español” – it is understood in the U.S. to describe rock music in Spanish, so why not continue the trend? I think Latino music fans will appreciate it, as well.