HomeLife StyleAna Tijoux’s First Album in a Decade Fights Sorrows With Joy

Ana Tijoux’s First Album in a Decade Fights Sorrows With Joy

On “1977” and the albums that followed, Tijoux glided easily between rapping and singing. With her 2011 album, “La Bala” (“The Bullet”), she began collaborating with the producer and multi-instrumentalist Andrés Celis. He helped broaden her music across eras and regions, drawing on R&B, reggae, rock, electronica and multiple folk traditions along with far-reaching hip-hop samples.

“We’re not super experts on any style of music,” Celis said in a video interview from his studio in Santiago, Chile. “So we’re used to blending everything in a genuine, almost naïve way.”

They build all of her songs together. “She’s a very intuitive artist,” Celis said. “The style of working that we have is like, I bring something very simple — some chords, maybe a little melody, sometimes a bass line, whatever goes with the vibe, you know? And then she’ll say, ‘Yes, that’s what we have to talk about.’”

Tijoux has often written about politics, feminism, resistance, solidarity and the predations of capitalism: songs like “Somos Sur” (“We Are the South”), a modal stomp about the silencing, strength and fearlessness of Africa and Latin America, which features the Palestinian rapper Shadia Mansour; and “Antipatriarca” (“Anti-Patriarch”), a feminist manifesto set to Andean flutes, guitars and drums.

But after the release of her 2014 album, “Vengo,” Tijoux’s songwriting slowed. While she continued touring, she was also raising two children — Luciano, now 18, and Emiliana, 10 — and working on assorted collaborations. One was “Lightning Over Mexico” with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and the Bloody Beetroots, which had Tijoux rapping angrily about murdered Mexican student activists. Another was “Almacén de Datos” (“Data Warehouse”), a reggaeton song with the Argentine songwriter Sara Hebe that pushes back on treating music as a commodity in the attention economy: “For a businessman, everything is a market,” Tijoux taunts.

Between albums, events spurred Tijoux to write singles. They included “Pa’ Qué” (“Why”), a brisk salsa song, with the Puerto Rican rapper PJ Sin Suela, that mocked politicians downplaying Covid-19; “Rebelión de Octubre” (“October Rebellion”), a ballad that crescendos into an anthem praising protests in Chile and worldwide; and the hard-nosed rap “Antifa Dance.”

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