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Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, an epicenter of convergent cultures and rich folk art, De’Anza represents a new generation of young Latino artists in the United States.

De’Anza journeyed west to Los Angeles armed with a vihuela and a passion for songwriting, and on a mission to develop her own musical identity. After several years of working on her craft and refining her vision, she is ready to release her debut six-song EP, Despertar.

Using resources from various ends of the musical spectrum while taking cues from traditional mariachi sounds and blending layers of modern sonics, De’Anza is a breath of fresh air in a rather smoggy metropolis. Redefining what it is to be Latin Alternative, De’Anza creates an eclectic mix of music, crossing borders and boundaries, resulting in a new take on an old form.

“From hip-hop to jazz and everything in-between, there’s no doubt that the United States is musically rich and, like many Latino bicultural homes, I was also exposed to music in Spanish at a very early age,” De’Anza says. “Being that my grandmother was Mexican, it definitely wasn’t uncommon to hear mariachi blasting from the speakers of her boombox. When I began writing music, it only felt natural to also represent that part of me.”

In March 2015, De’Anza held a listening party for Despertar and performed to a packed house at KGB Gallery in Chinatown. The event drew a throng of well-wishers and supporters, including the trendy Los Angeles publication LA Weekly. “De’Anza herself is a force of nature behind the microphone, gesturing at the audience, smirking at her bandmates, swerving hips clad in skin-tight gold lame,” LA Weekly wrote.

“She expertly worked the crowd with winky banter, flipping between Spanish and English without batting an eye.” The weekly, which many call the bible of what’s happening in LA, went on to describe De’Anza as “a confident figure on stage—and her music reflects that assuredness, borrowing from traditional mariachi layered with a generous helping of smoky vocals and distinctly contemporary beats. And although one of her final songs paid tribute to an old Santa Fe folk song, she is clearly a creature of modern Los Angeles.”

The overwhelming turnout also piqued the interest of LA Weekly music editor Andy Hermann, who tweeted, “De’Anza is our new Latin Alternative crush.”

De’Anza found a huge supporter in the world’s largest indie music retailer, Amoeba Music. The famed retailer offered customers a free download of the song “Despertar” via their online store.

Performing acoustic selections off Despertar, De’Anza made her national television debut in January 2015 on the LATV Network show, “Rockamole.” Joel Moya of writes, “Despertar” is the first single and a hypnotic and catchy tune, thanks to a few plucks and strokes on a vihuela, some beats and, yes, that magical voice.”

With support from MTV Tres’ “La Hora Nacional,” NPR affiliated stations KEXP Seattle, 90.3 FM, KLAX Berkeley, CA 90.7 FM and KPFA Los Angeles 90.7 FM, Despertar is poised to convert any first-time listener within an earshot of “that magical voice.”

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