Spotlight illuminates Latina artists of multiple genres in credit to SXSW’s Latinapalooza.

The Tiarras (left), Lesley Reynaga

By Bella Larralde

What began seven years ago as an unofficial SXSW event has grown into an official showcase. Latinapalooza kicks off this year with performances from The Tiarras, Lesly Reynaga and more. Latinapalooza is not only giving SXSW a taste of culture but also representing women and giving Latina’s acknowledgment. 

“We’ve grown up in the music industry here in Austin,” Sophia Baltierra, drummer of The Tiarras, says. “It’s been hard to find little places or niches as far as live shows where we can all just celebrate women in general. But for Latinas, it’s harder,”  

The Tiarras, a local band of three sisters, have been playing Latinapalooza for the past two years. 

“We got introduced through Patricia Vonne, who we met with around the time we were writing our song ‘Soy Chingona,’” Baltierra says. “She mentioned she was doing this project, a festival called Latinapalooza. We just thought it was amazing that she was going to create a space in South by Southwest just for Latinas in music.”

The band, made up of three sisters—Sophia (drums), Tori (guitar and lead vocal) and Tiffany (bass)—have played music since they were children.

“I started guitar at 8 years old, Sophia started at 10 and Tiffany 14, all taking separate music classes,” Tori says. “It wasn’t until my mom brought up the idea of taking the lessons together. We were all for it.”


The Tiarras, inspired after their last name Baltierra, began playing smaller venues and festivals and gained recognition from not only being Latinas playing music but also a family affair. (Their parents are also involved with the band.)

“It has been a roller coaster for sure,” says Baltierra. “Each year we get busier with gigs and start writing our own music. We signed with a label and management around 2020 and released some singles. We’re now working on our first album.” 

The Tiarras classify their music as Latin alternative/indie. The variety of artists playing at Latinapalooza will bring awareness to the mixture of sounds. 

“It’s not even just like if you’re making Spanish music, or reggaeton, or even mariachi. You can just be a Latina musician because it’s a palooza,” Baltierra says. “Such great artists are being added to the lineup. It is growing and doing a lot for our community.”

Reynaga connected to Latinapalooza through EQ Austin. According to EQ Austin’s website, their mission is to promote equity, diversity and inclusion through helping musicians find representation and economic success.

“I know EQ Austin has been doing a lot of work with SXSW and a lot of local music magnates that predominate the industry,” Reynaga says. “So, EQ Austin is the one that kind of helped me put my name on that bill.”

Reynaga’s grandmother taught her how to sing at the age of 4 using a song in an old traditional folk music book. In high school, Reynaga pursued mariachi band. Today her music swirls together several genres to show Spanish music in a different light. 


“I don’t necessarily record mariachi songs, per se,” she says. “Rather kind of a blend of pop and mariachi, hopefully in a more contemporary way.”

Instead of fame, Reynaga says her goal is to be a voice for the Latino community. Through her lyrics and songs, she wants to represent and make an impact to show the importance of culture.

“The fact that I get to be part of a group that represents the larger community, the Latino community, and more specifically women who are brave enough to put themselves out there and create their own music and follow a career pursuit is a huge honor and privilege,” Reynaga says. 

“Austin, Texas has been and will continue to be home to the Hispanic/Latino community. We are happy not only to showcase a new sound in our restaurant but to give Latina women a voice,” Juve Mendez, bar manager at Coopers BBQ says.

Latinapalooza, a night dedicated to showcasing the talents of multiple Latina artists, comes to Coopers BBQ on Saturday, March 16, as part of SXSW. Latinapalooza begins at 8 p.m. You can experience The Tiarras taking the stage at 9 p.m. and Reynaga at 11 p.m. Coopers BBQ is located at 217 Congress Ave.

Follow The Tiarras

Follow Lesly Reynaga


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