Born to a French social-worker mama and a Chilean papa escaping a tyrannical regime, Ana Tijoux is a golden-era hip-hop superfan, rapid-fire lyricist, musical activist, party girl, and pop star.
Her youth was spent running wild in the streets of Paris to a rap soundtrack. But at the age of 13, she and the fam moved to Santiago, Chile, where she learned Spanish and started writing her own rhymes. Two decades later, Tijoux's latest album, La Bala, finds her exploring the realities of modern life in Chile through songs such as "Shock," which documents that country's student protests in support of free popular education. "I think education is for everybody in a society," she says. "And I think there is nothing more beautiful than students protesting for a free education and a better future."
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But Tijoux doesn't take a militant approach to her mission. Ultimately, she wants to bring people together. "I don't think I'm fighting," she explains. "It's an awakening of the country, and it's about everybody."