Nuevo Culture

Tokischa Talks About Racism in the Industry & Juan Luis Guerra’s Distaste for Dembow

Tokischa is getting real about how Afro-Latine artists are treated in today’s music industry. In an interview published on Sept. 22, the Dominican superstar opened up about pushing back against racism and Juan Luis Guerra’s apparent distaste of dembow music.

Tokischa is one of the biggest stars in the world right now. As an Afro-Latina who empowers women to be free with her music, she is breaking down boundaries and setting trends. In an interview with the Spanish publication El País, Tokischa was asked about the progress of Afro-Latine artists in a music industry that thrives off their culture and trends.

“The other day, I was reading about my ancestors, which is something that interests me a lot, and I realized that things haven’t changed that much,” she said. “Racism continues, slavery continues, perhaps no longer literally with a whip, but there is slavery through work, through lack of education (our ancestors did not have the right to it). It is a cycle that repeats itself. However, we try to continue opening doors.”

Tokischa cites brands promoting diversity by letting Afro-Latine artists be the face of their campaigns as progress. In addition to fronting international campaigns, Tokischa has also been sought after by artists like Rosalía and Madonna for collaborations. The interviewer asked why Black and brown women sometimes need white friends in the industry to stand out.

“Not me. I had my Black friend who taught me how to get the boys who were in love with me to give me money in exchange for a kiss,” she said. “What if Beyoncé was my friend? Beyoncé had two black friends, and I had my two white friends.”

While on that topic, Toksicha appeared to say that one of her country’s icons, Guerra, is not a fan of the dembow music scene. 

“In my country, there is neither a Madonna nor a Rosalía,” she added. “There is a great artist, Juan Luis Guerra, who does not look at us. Because for him, the genre of the streets is a shame. So we had to go outside to search.”

Toki recently teamed up with Natti Natasha for the “No Pare Remix.” A music video for the collaboration is expected soon. Also, the “Linda” singer will be opening for the West Coast leg of Kali Uchis’ upcoming Red Moon in Venus Tour.