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Ana Tijoux releases 'Vivda' — a decade after 'Vengo'

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We have the music of Ana Tijoux, who was a rising global star a decade ago when she last dropped an album. Now she's back, and her latest release is giving fans "Vida," life.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NINX")

ANA TIJOUX: (Rapping in Spanish).

INSKEEP: Our friends at NPR Music's Alt.Latino caught up with Ana Tijoux, and here are Anamaria Sayre and Felix Contreras.

FELIX CONTRERAS, BYLINE: She got her start as a member of the hip-hop group Makiza in Chile, and she first made a name for herself here in the U.S. in 2010 with that second solo album she released. It was called "1977."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "1977")

TIJOUX: (Rapping in Spanish).

ANAMARIA SAYRE, BYLINE: She was born in France to parents who actually had to leave Chile in exile during the Pinochet dictatorship. She returned to Chile as a teenager, and as the kid of activist parents, she made it her mission to sing protest into existence.

CONTRERAS: Ten years ago, she released her album "Vengo" and then nothing, which is why this new record called "Vida" is such a big deal.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VIDA")

TIJOUX: (Rapping in Spanish).

CONTRERAS: Ana Tijoux, this is your first album in 10 years. Where have you been? What's been going on?

TIJOUX: Becoming older, I guess.

(LAUGHTER)

TIJOUX: I mean, yes, it's crazy because I didn't feel the time in the same way, I guess. It's the velocity of the industry where you got to do music faster and faster and more and more and more, and I don't know. I even didn't feel it was 10 years. For me, it was like yesterday. But I understand that there is also this pressure of the industry where some people say, you have been disappeared. Where you have been? Well, I've been here. I didn't disappear.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OYEME")

TIJOUX: (Rapping in Spanish).

CONTRERAS: What was that process for writing this record like?

TIJOUX: I mean, "Vida" is an album that I wanted to do because a lot of people that I appreciate so much passed away in a very short time. Like, a lot of people died one after other. It was like (vocalizing). And I think this album I wanted to make, like, for me, an homage, un homenaje, for life. And it is just a moment. Perhaps I'm beginning to be super hippie, but that's the lesson that I learned after all those people passed away.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TANIA")

TIJOUX: (Rapping in Spanish).

And I wanted to dance so much. Like, I was needing that energy. And I wanted to remember a lot of them, of those moments of joy and vitality, I guess.

SAYRE: To me, it's like to be joyful, to be childlike - that's, like, the most rebellious thing you can do.

TIJOUX: Our best revenge against death is life. And I think in those moments we need to rethink about what is life and what kind of life we want and how we want to work together for humanity. So perhaps that's the idea of what I wanted with that album about life and the meaning of life.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FIN DEL MUNDO")

TIJOUX: (Singing in Spanish).

INSKEEP: Ana Tijoux in conversation with Felix Contreras and Anamaria Sayre. You can hear more in the latest episode of the NPR music podcast Alt.Latino. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Anamaria Artemisa Sayre is co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.
Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.