Iconic Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winning singer Lila Downs is one of the world’s most singular and powerful voices, whose compelling stage presence and poignant storytelling transcend all language barriers. Raised in Minnesota and Oaxaca, this global superstar’s exquisite artistry bridges traditions from across the Americas, with influences ranging from the folk and ranchera music of Mexico and South America to North American folk, jazz, blues, and hip-hop. As a passionate human-rights activist, Lila’s lyrics often highlight issues relating to social justice, sharing stories that too often go untold.
On her new album, Al Chile, the famed singer-songwriter pays homage to chile and the complicated relationship Mexicans have with the fiery fruit that causes them happiness, suffering, sweat and tears. “Food and emotions are very similar in the way that they take us on a journey that can be very complex and spiritual,” says Lila, “Chile is one of the mysteries of the Mexican personality and Mexican people. It is addictive and brings us happiness as well as a painful effect. It is part of our character. If you think about it in terms of our social and political lives, it is part of us in Mexico as well in all of Latin America.”
Lila has graced the stages of many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Hollywood Bowl. She has been invited to sing at the White House, and performed on the Academy Awards and Latin Grammy Awards telecasts. Her music has also been included in several feature films such as The Counselor, Tortilla Soup, Real Women Have Curves, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Carlos Saura’s Fados, Mariachi Gringo, and Hecho en Mexico.