French-Chilean hip-hop artist Ana Tijoux is coming to Motorco Thursday as part of Duke Performances' semester-long spotlight series on hip hop.
Tijoux is known globally for her Latin-American hip hop style and political lyrics. She began her music career in the 1990’s as the lead of Chilean group Makiza only to branch out on her own in 2007. Now she specializes in a rap-pop combination that makes for catchy yet cerebral music that communicates across continents.
“Every country has their own issue, but in the end I feel the music of protest repeats themes,” Tijoux said.
Tijoux is excited to take the Duke community by storm.
“It’s always interesting to open music in academic places,” Tijoux said. “It’s appealing to tear down the walls between academic words and music.”
Duke Performances Executive Director Aaron Greenwald has heard about Tijoux for a long time—and this year the stars finally aligned for him to book her. Late last year, Provost Sally Kornbluth asked Greenwald to bring more events to campus that would be popular with students.
“The real challenge at Duke is programming something that is attractive to the students but still passes muster artistically and is affordable for us,” Greenwald said.
Thus, an idea was born: increased hip-hop programming at Duke Performances. Tijoux will be the very first guest for Greenwald’s hip-hop-themed series.
“She seemed like a really good person both because she could put on a great live show but also because she could engage around a lot of different subjects here on campus,” Greenwald said.
Tijoux, however, said she prefers not to identify with any one genre.
“I feel that we have been given different labels between genres of music,” Tijoux said. “We are in the moment that I feel that everything is so mixed.”
Motorco makes an excellent choice for Tijoux’s intellectually engaging music because it is a standing room venue, Greenwald added. The space allows for up to 420 people in the audience, and tickets to the upcoming concert have been sold out.
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“This is a community that responds really favorably to artists who are politically engaged, who are feminists and who are willing to stake that out as a political position,” Greenwald said.
Greenwald said the event will be a combination of political discussion and musical entertainment, making it an “ideal night” for many.
Wherever she is and whatever the theme, Tijoux is just happy to perform.
“If they invite me anywhere, I will go,” Tijoux said. “I don’t like to stay in one place or in one type of crowd.”