That’s Lila Downs. Here is some information about her, taken from her official website.
Lila Downs, born in Oaxaca, Mexico, is the daughter of Mixtec singer Anita Sánchez and Allen Downs, a Scottish-American art professor and filmmaker. She grew up in Oaxaca, California, and Minnesota, where she graduated from the University of Minnesota in voice and anthropology. Downs is usually accompanied on her musical journey by her longtime band, La Misteriosa, multi-cultural multi-instrumentalists who include Paul Cohen, her collaborator, producer and husband.
Her musical vision is anthropological in nature and as varied as the ancient and earthy cultures that continue to nurture and inspire her. Embracing and highlighting indigenous origins, whether in the U.S. or Mexico, has always been an important aspect of her music, as well as the topics of political and social justice, immigration, and transformation, all rooted in the human condition. She strives to make a meaningful connection with her diverse audiences through her music and performances.
Take a listen at one her songs, “Dignificada.”
“Dignificada” is a song written in the memory of Digna Ochoa, a Mexican human rights activist and lawyer. Digna’s involvement in various human rights campaigns and her opposition to various political groups led to several abductions and phsyical abuses during her lifetime. Digna’s unexpected and suspicious death eventually came to be ruled a suicide by authorities in Mexico, despite an abundance of evidence suggesting her death was, rather, an assassination.
“Dignificada” is a song that captures all of what I love about Lila Downs. Lila is extremely versatile -she writes lyrics in both English and Spanish – and her music weaves together both indigenous and modern influences (from a variety of cultures). She sings powerfully, her voice fluctuates in volume and sweeps over a range of octaves in her music, and she utilizes it to convey lyrics with meaning and a social consciousness.
Who are some of your favorite female artists who address injustices within society?