You might not have heard of many musicians from Peru, but the country is bursting with musical talent. From salsa and rap to pop and folk, Peruvians have been showcasing their talent for decades.
And in this post, we’re going to take a look at 11 of the greatest and most famous Peruvian singers to give you a taste of what the country has to offer. Let’s get started.
1. Yma Sumac
Probably the best-known Peruvian singer of all time is Yma Sumac, who was notable for her five-octave vocal range. No one knows exactly where in Peru Sumac was born, but she was one of six sisters, and some believe she was an Incan princess.
Her impressive career started in the early 1940s as a radio singer, and in 1950, she shot to fame with her debut album Voice of the Xtabay, which topped Variety‘s best-seller list.
Sumac’s career spanned more than 50 years. She sang a wide range of genres, including rock, salsa, opera, and mambo. By the end of her career, she had sold over 60 million records.
2. Juan Diego Flórez
Peru’s most famous opera singer currently performing is Juan Diego Flórez, who was born to a musical family in Lima, where his father was a well-known guitarist and singer of the criolla, a Peruvian music genre.
Flórez initially wanted to be a pop singer, but his operatic voice gained attention at his music school, and he was catapulted onto the opera stage. He went on to study opera at the prestigious Curtis Institute in Philadelphia before beginning his international career.
He performed in his first major opera in Italy when he was only 23 years old. Since then, Flórez has performed all over the world, from the United States to many European countries.
3. Ezio Oliva
Born in Lima, Ezio Oliva is a Peruvian pop star currently sweeping his home nation. He rose to fame when he sang in the reality TV competition show called Super Star. Then he went on to join the group Adammo, which won Best New Artist at the Latin MTV Awards.
However, Oliva has only grown in popularity since starting his solo career in 2015. His pop songs deal mostly with love and heartbreak, making him a sensation with younger audiences.
He is married to Peruvian supermodel Karen Schwartz, and the two have a huge social media following together.
4. Christian Meier
Multi-talented actor and singer Christian Meier is from Lima and comes from a family of stars—his mother was Miss Universe 1957, and his father was the mayor of the San Isidro District of Lima.
Meier started his music career when he formed the popular Peruvian rock band Arena Hash in 1987. During the band’s reign in the 1980s and ’90s, he played the keyboard and sang.
After the band broke up, Meier released a solo album, No Me Acuerdo Quién Fui. It ruled the airwaves of Peru during that time and became certified double Platinum.
After releasing two successful albums in the 1990s, Meier decided to pursue a career in acting as well. He has starred in many Peruvian soap operas and movies.
5. Grupo 5
The band formed in Monsefu in northern Peru in 1973. There have been many members over the years, and the current leaders are the Yaipén Quesquén brothers.
Grupo 5 has had a significant influence over the popular cumbia genre since its inception and has inspired many other artists. Their current members are now revitalizing the band’s sound and image, bringing them back into modern popularity.
6. Daniela Darcourt
At just 26, Daniela Darcourt is taking the Peruvian salsa scene by storm while also being a successful actress and dancer. Darcourt gained international attention after winning the second season of the Peruvian competition show El Artista del Año in 2018.
After her win, Darcourt joined the salsa musical group Son Tentación and toured the country performing. Her charisma, voice, and dancing skills have earned her a beloved fan base.
She is now a solo artist and has collaborated with many top salsa artists. Her song “Probabilidad de Amor” topped the Peruvian Billboard charts for weeks.
7. Susana Baca
A true renaissance woman, Susana Baca is a singer-songwriter as well as a schoolteacher and folklorist. Moreover, she was the Minister of Culture for the Peruvian government in 2011. She is one of the major players in the work to revive the Afro-Peruvian music genre.
Baca was born in the small fishing village of Chorrillos and started singing and playing music at a young age. She uses indigenous Peruvian instruments such as the cajón and udu, as well as western instruments like the guitar and baby bass.
Some consider Baca the ultimate Afro-Peruvian music diva, but others view her as a more serious contributor to music theory and history.
8. Mia Mont
From folk singer, let’s move to the contemporary artist. Mia Mont is a Peruvian pop singer who works to empower women through her music. She has been performing in Lima and the rest of Peru since she was a teenager and has also worked as an actress and model.
Mont’s music combines pop and reggaeton fused with traditional cumbian melodies. She released her first album, Antifantasía, in 2010, which led to her winning the HTV award for Best New Artist.
Mont says her goal is to write and sing songs that empower women to be independent and true to themselves.
9. Alejandro y Maria Laura
Peruvian duo Alejandro Rivas and Maria Laura Bustamante are married singer-songwriters who have been captivating Peruvian audiences for over a decade with their loving and soulful folk music.
When the couple met in college, they were musicians in very different genres: Rivas was in a Led Zeppelin cover band, and Bustamante was studying musical theater. However, they used their love for music and each other to create a duo that combines beautiful folk and soft pop.
Their first album in 2011, Paracaídas (Parachute), quickly became top ten in the country, which landed them Innovation Award in the V Claro Festival, a music festival in Peru.
10. A. Chal
Alejandro Chal Salazar, better known by his stage-name A. Chal, is a Peruvian-American singer, songwriter, and rapper. A. Chal’s stage name comes from the name of a mountain in Peru near where his father grew up, a constant reminder of his Peruvian roots.
Born in the coastal city of Trujillo, he moved to Queens, New York, when he was a child. A. Chal began rapping at 12 years old and then started making his own beats and songs.
In 2010, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career full-time. As one of the newer artists to hail from Peru, A. Chal has released only two studio albums and eight singles.
Despite his freshness, he is already known for his unique style that combines Latin and rap music, known as Latin trap. A. Chal also works in the genres of chillwave, soul, and R&B.
11. Immortal Technique
Born Felipe Andres Coronel, Immortal Technique is a Peruvian-American rapper and activist. He was born in Lima but moved with his parents to Harlem, New York escape the Peruvian Civil War.
Coronel struggled with behavioral and criminal issues as a youth but eventually channeled his problems into music and became a champion freestyle rapper in NYC competitions. He is part of the distinctive East Coast Hip-Hop style and is a gifted writer.
Coronel’s music is very political, and he is passionate about economic empowerment for artists in the music industry. He also advocates for immigrants’ rights and sponsors educational programming.
Summing Up Our List Of Famous Singers From Peru
There are so many beloved Peruvian singers, and each of the singers we’ve mentioned above has contributed something meaningful to the country’s musical history.
Whether traditional and modern, the works created by these great talents are worth listening, so check out some of them! You might just find your new favorite artist or music genre!