Sonia De Los Santos on Welcoming Hope – and ‘Esperanza’ – This Spring

By Marisa Torrieri Bloom 

Sonia De Los Santos creates music for children and families inspired by the Latin American folk music traditions. And although her songs are primarily in Spanish, the music is universally triumphant, filled with guitar, trumpet, violin, accordion, drums, but also other traditional instruments like the Mexican jaranaleona and the Colombian native flute: gaita.

Sonia De Los Santos

We recently caught up with Sonia find out what’s next, as the cooler weather starts to taper off.

Rockmommy: It’s been one year since the pandemic became our daily reality. What are the biggest challenges you encountered in the last 12 months? 

Sonia De Los Santos: One of the biggest challenges has been learning to perform without a physical audience in sight. To me, singing and playing for the camera feels very different from doing it in a theater. It might seem easy to turn the camera on and start playing but putting on a virtual show seamlessly takes a lot of energy and test runs! On the upside, I’ve learned a couple of tech tricks that have hopefully taught me how to make better videos!

Rockmommy: How did 2020 influence your music and creative process? 

Sonia De Los Santos: My creative process got turned upside down in 2020. Inspiration as I knew it, had a different face this year and it was hard to recognize what the “right” moment was to sit down and write. In past years, I would return from a tour or rehearsal with an idea to develop, and sometimes that idea would be fleshed out with words, rhythm and melody within hours! I’ve been writing songs during the pandemic, but at some point I felt like I was going in circles! So, yes, I struggled a lot more to be in a particular creative space all the time, so I tricked myself to get there. On the other hand, I wrote some songs that I would’ve never written had I been living my past life, so it’s all good! 

Rockmommy: What are you most hopeful for in 2021? 

Sonia De Los Santos: I’m hopeful that we will find a way to go back to our lives in a better fashion. Having learned about what’s truly essential will hopefully present other ways of living, being aware of the impact we have on the planet, in our communities, and in what we choose to fight for. 

Rockmommy: Any recent or upcoming projects you’d like to share? 

Sonia De Los Santos: I’m currently recording our next studio album Esperanza (Hope) that will be released in 2021, so we’ll have more hopeful songs to share with you in the months to come! Although the writing and production process has been a little bit different with this one, we’ve made it work. It draws inspiration from these challenging times and offers a message of hope and resilience for what’s coming next.

Last October, we put out the first single called ¡Fiesta, Fiesta! and it’s available in my website and all digital platforms. If you haven’t listened, go check it out and let me know what you think!

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.

Kids Imagine Nation Gives High-Energy Vibes to ‘Christmas Time’

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom

I’m a HUGE friend of Christmas music, and have heard probably every popular Christmas song ever made, from the likes of Bing Crosby and Brenda Lee to Mariah Carey and — of course — Alvin and the Chipmunks. I love hearing all of the cool versions of the classics; every song takes me back to when I was little and my dad used his analog cassette recorder and handheld mini microphone to make annual carol recordings.

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Kids Imagine Nation’s ‘Christmas Time is Here’ 

And so it was with a caroling lover’s ear that I listened to kindie rock trio Kids Imagine Nation‘s new collection of seasonal ditties. And I was definitely not disappointed! ‘Christmas Time is Here,’ available for download on iTunes since Saturday, is filled with high-energy songs inspired by the trio’s high-energy live shows, plus a dose of holiday mirth.

[RELATED: The Most Danceable Kiddie Record for Ska- and Punk-loving Parents is Coming in September] 

The much-anticipated follow-up to Kids Imagine Nation 2 is infused with the ska-meets-surf-pop spins on classics like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Deck the Halls” that you’d expect from Aaron, Rachel and Beatz (incidentally, Rachel sounds a lot like Brenda Lee). I thought I was revving up for a Mighty Mighty Bosstones tune during the opening riffs of “Up on a Housetop;” I thought I was hearing Ziggy Marley’s opener while listening to “Gift of Giving,” a song about kindness tucked within a cool ska guitar rhythm. 

Download it now for the road trip to Grandma’s (or the mall) with the family. Or jam out solo with your bad self.

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the founder and editor of Rockmommy.