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10 Music Artists Who Will Help You Improve Your Sp...

10 Music Artists Who Will Help You Improve Your Spanish Listening Skills

Reader Question: Hello! I recently watched your video on how you learned Spanish in less than a year. I wanted to know what songs you played in the video, and if there are other spanish songs in particular that you would like to share? Thank you! – Halee, USA

You’re actually the third person to ask this! Everyone loved the song I used in that video. Well, Halee, it’s called La Invite A Bailar by Kevin Flores. We used to play that a lot when I was volunteering in a bar in Peru.

You’re on level 2! You’re actually interested in Spanish songs now! Majority of the people don’t know that songs help us a lot in learning a language. I used this method in learning French and Portuguese but let me tell you that if you are fluent in one Latin language, the rest will follow. They are pretty much the same. Coming to Brazil first, I honestly learned Portuguese first and when I came to Colombia, without zero knowledge in Spanish, I was surprised that I can understand the majority of the sentences. Now I forgot all my Portuguese. My love for Spanish becomes stronger and stronger. The more I speak it, the more I become comfortable using it on a daily basis.

So, here are some artists that I recommend for you to improve your Spanish listening skills. Their lyrics are simple, easy to understand and their song lyrics are very clear. Believe me, they helped me a lot!

1. Manu Chao

Manu Chao is a French/Spanish artist who has songs in different languages. He’s a language God! You can also listen to his old band called Manu Negra. I really love their beat!

2. Perota Chingo

I first watched them in the streets of Sao Paulo (Brasil), bought their EP and instantly fell in love! How their voices blend is so magical it will take you to another place! Their music is good for relaxing and writing.

3. Andres Calamaro

Andres Calamaro is an Argentinian artist and is a Latin Grammy winner. He’s one of the most popular rock icons of Argentina. You see those photo captions I put on my page? Those are his lyrics!

4. Las Pelotas

Las Pelotas is also a rock band from Argentina and I also saw them live together with Catupecu Machu! In the finale, they did this amazing number where all the famous rock bands (together with Salta La Banca, Carajo, etc) sang Magia Veneno and it was an amazing experience!

5. Carlos Vives

Like Andres Calamaro, Carlos Vives is also a Latin Grammy winner but he’s Colombian. He’s the first first first first first Latin artist I listened to when I arrived in Colombia. His songs are a bit romantic but the Colombians are known as the best Spanish speakers in South America because their diction is more clear.

6. Calle 13

Another favorite (and everyone else’s as a matter of fact), Calle 13 is a Puerto Rican band with an eclectic style. Their lyrics are also known for discussing Latin American culture and issues (political) so you’ll learn a lot from these dudes!

7. Jarabe de Palo

Jarabe de Palo is a Latin rock band who has this beautiful jazz feels. Try playing the video above! This is my favourite song because it resonates my life of travel. πŸ˜‰

8. Marc Anthony

Just to have someone familiar, let’s add Marc Anthony to the list. Of course you all know him but I don’t think you are familiar with his Spanish songs. His famous track Vivir Mi Vida kept playing in the whole Latin American soil late last year, during the holidays. With that, I was able to memorise it.

9. La Vela Puerca

Vamos la vela de mi corazon! I saw them live in Uruguay for my birthday! Again, I have thoughtful friends. They also surprised me with this. La Vela Puerca is an Uruguayan band formed in 1955 but they are still famous up until today!

10. Daddy Yankee

You know him. You just don’t realise that it’s him. Do you remember that song Gasolina? That’s Daddy Yankee! I added this Puerto Rican singer to the list just to have a mix of Reggaeton but I like him too! You need some beat when you’re trying to study Spanish!

My Latin friends would not agree to some artists on the list because some of them are labeled as old school but let me tell you why I am recommending these particular artists. It’s not about the genre, it’s not about being cool but their lyrics are simple, easy to understand and very clear. Every time they hear me sing Carlos Vives, they’d be like, “WTH, Trisha!” For them, it’s uncool to listen to some of these solo artists. You know, like how you look at your friend while she’s singing Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus. I receive that type of look.

Tip: Do not go to lyrics.com and search for these songs. It is better to be familiar with the beat first. Remember, you are improving your listening skills, meaning, you should focus on how you receive the lyrics rather than understanding it. Responding is also a different case but we’ll have another discussion about that.

Learn how to sing these songs first. Understanding comes after. Once you can sing these songs, I promise you, it would be easier to understand what the lyrics mean. Additionally, you can also search some Latin playlists on Spotify or follow the playlists I made there. Just search for “Trisha Velarmino” and my profile will appear. πŸ™‚

Here are some keywords to help you search a playlist on Spotify:

  • Reggaeton
  • Rock Argentino/Chileno/Uruguayo
  • Mejor Rock en EspaΓ±ol
  • Melodia Acustico
  • Cumbia Colombiana
  • Amor Latino
  • Exitos del Momento en (country)
  • Salsa Latin
  • and many more!

Just mix and match the word in this format: genre + country. But first, you should educate yourself with what typical music each country has. For example, there are more Salsa playlists in Cuba and Colombia because it’s their forte.

Remember, songs are for honing your listening skills. This method is not for understanding or responding. I’ll make a video about this soon so keep it here! And Halee, thank you for your message! I hope this helps in your Spanish Language learning adventure!

Cover Photo Β©: Screenshot from Perota Chingo’s Rie Chinito music video (Youtube)


Are you also learning Spanish? Which artists helped you improve your listening skills? 


Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. Trisha also loves extremely spicy food, pineapples, plants and symmetry. In no particular order, her favourite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. Follow her life adventures on Instagram - @psimonmyway

  1. Crazysexyfuntraveler

    27 November

    Love most of these artists πŸ™‚ La Flaca song is one of my favorites πŸ™‚ Didn’t know about Las Pelotas haha …

  2. Trisha Velarmino

    30 November

    Great! I love Flaca too! Las Pelotas is a very good group and they’re popular here in Argentina. Thanks for dropping by, Alex!

  3. Shela

    27 January

    “Remember, songs are for honing your listening skills. This method is not for understanding or responding”- this is very true. I love languages and one of the things I do to improve them is to listen to music in that language, Korean, Japanese, Spanish and Porto. I love Maite Perroni’s Solo Tu and Contigo. It’s just sad that I get rusty on speaking them now since I don’t use it and there’s no one to converse to. πŸ™

  4. Stefan

    30 January

    Another suggestion is to listen to well known pop songs you know but have been translated to Spanish. Ricky Martin is great for that – and also my husband Enrique Iglesias (he he he). Cause when you know the lyric in English and the song well enough, you understand the Spanish version better and quickly pick up the words.

  5. When I watched your videos speaking Spanish, napa-nganga talaga ako! You’re so fluent and there’s no trace of any foreign accent! Ikaw na, Trisha! πŸ™‚ What’s your favorite Spanish song? Hope you can record yourself singing it! Haha!

  6. I love learning Spanish too, and most of the words used in my country are derived from Spanish terms. I have heard some of these artists, and they have really simple and easy to follow songs, indeed a great way to learn Spanish even more.

  7. LeAnna

    31 January

    If you think about it, we use music to teach children things all the time…why not use it for adults, too! What a great idea and suggestion

  8. melody pittman

    31 January

    Well at least I”ve heard of Daddy Yankee, thank you zumba classes! lol I seriously need to work on my Spanish living part time in Panama. Thanks for the helpers.

  9. Kathrin

    31 January

    I wanted to start learning Spanish a few years ago (and did one beginner’s course) but then I focused on English (and now French)… However, if I somehow find the time I’ll have to try Spanish again. It’s such a beautiful language.

  10. Melanie

    1 February

    Great list! I do speak Portuguese and I understand so much here in Costa Rica. I learned Spanish in school for 3 years but it’s been quite a while. So when I speak it’s a funny mix of Portuguese and Spanish. I love listening to radio over here. So much fun!

  11. Jenna

    1 February

    Some really fun music in there! Music is such a great way to help learn a language–so much easier to remember something when you have a catchy beat to go along with it! I’ll have to add some of these songs to my iTunes account! πŸ™‚

  12. Cherri Megasko

    1 February

    I am so going to do this! I have been wanting to learn Spanish for so long! I took a 4-sh college class and got an A, but in reality, it didn’t help me much at all. I’m a great student, but I really don’t have a knack for learning languages. Learning through music just might be my ticket!

  13. Mar

    1 February

    haha nice Manu Chao and Jarabe de Palo, I grew up with those bands, those were the days of summer parties, long days, short nights, partying all night long, going down to the beach and singing our hearts out to these summer songs. You just made me 15 years younger πŸ™‚

  14. Mikee Pascual

    10 February

    Enjoyed listening to this especially Perota Chingo, though I only understand Spanish un poco! πŸ™‚

  15. oh my gosh I LOVE LOVE LOVE the concept of this! But actually! I always use Spanish musicians to practice, keeps me thinking in Spanish and what not. Also ever since I moved to SA its all the music I want to listen to anyways. Love it

  16. I’ve just started in studying the Spanish language, and I love it so far. I really appreciate these song suggestions, I especially love the band from Las Pelotas. Thanks for these musical suggestions, I can’t wait to listen to them all and improve my Spanish!

  17. Rob Gumba

    3 June

    Perota Chingo’s Rie Chinito. Their voices are indeed enchanting. Your blog is very nice. I stumble over your posts about writing and it awakened my desires to write again. I was looking for motivation and your posts are a big help. Thanks.

    P.S. I did not understand the song but I loved the melodies and the harmonies. πŸ™‚

  18. Hey!
    The post is really interesting ..
    I agree to your words .

    Music is the best way to learn Spanish ..

    One of the hardest skills to master when learning Spanish is understanding clearly when you listen to Spanish.

    A great idea to tune-in your ear is to listen to Spanish/Latin American music while you have the lyrics of the song in front of you. The internet is perfect for this.

    Thanks buddy !!

    For such a really Good Share.
    Keep doing good work..
    Thumbs Up.. To your ideas

  19. Tina and Jimmy

    26 October

    Great list, I used to listen to Chekira in Spanish while I was trying to learn Spanish is college. Great tip on getting the beat instead of looking up lyrics, It does help get into the song and get beat in your head before you try to figure out what they are saying!

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