Explore Central America’s best and brightest independent artists with this playlist

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September 15 marks the 196th anniversary of the independence of Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua, the day the province was declared free from Spanish rule. To mark the occasion, we’re spotlighting some of the region’s best and brightest talent, artists often overlooked in the Latin American indie world. While you might recognize some names here, we’ve put together a playlist with up-and-coming new talent, ranging from tricky dancehall to booming techno. Consider this a handy guide to Central America’s often overlooked music scenes.

From Nicaragua we have Téléviser, a trio of multi-instrumentalists who play bright and beautiful post-rock. Guatemalan Monterrey transplants Aguacate slips between house and techno foursome with effortless charm. Hailing from Honduras, Big Nango’s sugary dancehall and R&B nods to Central America’s longstanding reggae and español roots. Central American independent music is booming, though these bands rarely shine in Latin media.

Elsewhere on the playlist you’ll find reggaeton, rock, synth pop and more. Dig deep, let go and explore. Stream the playlist via Apple Music and see each artist’s country of origin below.

Costa Rica

Grounds
Raido
Hijos
color noise
Banton & Ghetto
Achara
Javier Arce

Guatemala

Maybe not
Castellanos Tool
Kontra Marin
Jesse Baez
Aquacate
Meneo

Nicaragua

Route Arcade
TV
Primate
Nemi Pipali

Honduras

Great Nango
JCP the specialist
empress of
El Chevo

El Salvador

AR Ferdinand
MrPelon503
Debil Estar
Drianu

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