7 Afro-Colombian Music Artists To Check Out

A significant part of Colombian identity and music comes from Africa

Photo: Unsplash/@zvandrei

Photo: Unsplash/@zvandrei

A significant part of Colombian identity and music comes from Africa. However, not enough of a spotlight is shined on Afro-Colombian culture, artists, and their achievements. This primer will introduce you to some of the classic musicians, and newer groups, who represent the Afro-Colombian experience.

Totó la Momposina

You can’t have a list of Afro-Colombian music without including Totó la Momposina. The singer, born Sonia Bazanta Vides, has been representing her African and Indigenous background through cumbia and bullerengue music since the 1950s. Some of her well-known songs include “Prende la vela,” “Yo me llamo cumbia,” and “El pescador.”


Joe Arroyo

Another Afro-Colombian music icon is Joe Arroyo. Starting out in the group Fruko y sus Tesos, in the ’70s, Arroyo eventually went solo, and is known for the classic salsa jams “Rebelion,” “La noche,” and “En Baranquilla me quedo.”



ChocQuibTown is made up of Gloria “Goyo” Martinez, Carlos “Tostao” Valencia, and Miguel “Slow Mike” Martinez. It’s a hip-hop and alternative music band hailing from Chocó. They formed in 2000; some of their known songs are “De Donde Vengo Yo,” “Cuando Te Veo,” and “El Mar de Sus Ojos.”



Profetas—made up of Antombo Langangui and Pablo Fortaleza—is a hip-hop-alternative music duo. Active since 1997, their hits include “Chocolate,” “Tiempo,” and “Me Gustas.”


El CaribeFunk

El Caribefunk, hailing from Cartagena, is a band that blends both Caribbean and funk music. Some of the songs members Funk-cho Salas Lopez and Andres Mordecai have created include “Rumba Del Tiempo,” “La Chamuyera,” and “Mi Burro.”



Mitú, with Franklin Tejedor and Julian Salaza, is an electronic music duo from Colombia (one half of who is Afro-Colombian—Tejedor). Their songs include “Solitario,” “Mercedez,” and “Atolon.”


Petrona Martinez

Known as the “Queen of Bullerengue,” Petrona Martinez is an Afro-Latina who has been singing for decades, but received international fame in her 60s. Songs she has sung include “Las penas alegres,” “El Ventarron,” and “Rama de Tamarindo.”

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afro latino Afro Latinx Colombia culture music
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