ANI CORDERO is a Puerto Rican singer, songwriter, and activist, well-regarded in the World Music scene and based in NYC since 1999. Ani grew up between two cultures in Atlanta, Georgia, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Throughout the pandemic, Ani worked intensively on new music, as well as organizing grass-roots assistance for Puerto Rican musicians affected by the ongoing post-hurricane reality on the island via her non-profit organization, PRIMA, (co-founded with Buscabulla’s Raquel Berríos).
In 2019, just a few months before the pandemic, Ani released the album “El Machete,” a record with songs calling to tackle oppression and injustice with hope, love, and determination. The first single from the album, Pan Pan, highlighted corruption in Puerto Rico and wryly called for handing out bread or revolution – foretelling the “Ricky Renuncia” political movement only months later, in which Puerto Ricans successfully ousted their governor. Notably, the news program Democracy Now played Pan Pan in their coverage of the massive protests.
Ani Cordero has often looked at activism’s past for inspiration for the present. In 2014, she released “Recordar“which re-imagined songs by influential Latin American songwriters of the turbulent Nueva Cancion era, including Victor Jara, Violeta Parra, Chavela Vargas, and Atahualpa Yupanqui. This critically-acclaimed album received accolades from NPR’s All Things Considered, Alt-Latino, Soundcheck, Billboard, USA Today, PRI The World, Brooklyn Vegan, BUST,Remezcla, and more.
Following the success of Recordar, Ani made an album of her own political protest and love songs, “Querido Mundo“. The album was Ani’s love letter to a complicated world and addresses several themes, including immigration, Black Lives Matter, feminism, and government corruption.
Ani is also an accomplished drummer and well-known player in several music scenes. She has toured internationally as the drummer for the legendary Os Mutantes, as well as performing with the acts Rasputina, Bee & Flower, Josh Joplin Group, and Tuff Sunshine, and was a founding member of the celebrated Mexican rock band Pistolera. In the early 2000s, Ani led the bilingual art rock band Cordero, who released feminist anthems such as Vamos Nenas and Matadora on Chicago’s beloved Bloodshot Records and Amy Ray’s (Indigo Girls) label, Daemon Records.
Outside of making her own music, Ani actively supports creating new models of mutual support for musicians. In addition to her work as co-founder of Puerto Rico Independent Musicians and Artists (PRIMA), which provides resources and opportunities for independent musicians and artists in Puerto Rico, Ani is the founder of the artist collective Panapén Records. This coop-style label features a roster of Latinx songwriters, all of whom use music as a tool for artistic and political expression. Ani’s newest project is Mama’s in the Band, a blog and soon-to-be podcast with parenting advice for balancing motherhood and being a musician.
Ani lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn, with her partner Chris Verene, their son Nico, and their corgi Roxy.
LISTEN TO “SOUNDCHECK” PODCAST: RADICAL LOVE, TIMELESS MELODIES, AND PEACE FROM ANI CORDERO HERE