Listen: The Linda Lindas Are “Growing Up”
The teens in this punk rock band are half Latinx/half Asian and 100% inspiring!
By Lindsay López-Isa Lamken
The Linda Lindas are an up-and-coming punk rock band from Los Angeles composed of four amazing teens: “Linda No.1 ” is guitarist Bela Salazar (18), “Linda No. 2” is bassist Eloise Wong (14), “Linda No. 3” is guitarist Lucia de la Garza (15), and “Linda No. 4” is drummer Mila de la Garza (12). All of the girls sing, and they take turns as lead vocalist.
Lucia and Mila are sisters, Eloise is their cousin, and Bella is their friend. The girls have Chinese, Mexican, and Salvadoran family roots and describe themselves on their website “half Asian and half Latinx.” They have been playing together since they were in middle school and have developed their own unique sound influenced by punk, pop, and garage rock. The magic in their music is the way they somehow convey their wholesome, “real girl” personalities through a high-energy, “take no prisoners” performance style.
Earlier this year, The Linda Lindas recently released their first album, Growing Up, that features creative and compelling songs about teenage life written during the Covid lockdown. There’s even a Spanish language song — “Cuántas Veces” — written by Bela. In “Cuántas Veces,” Bela channels the “peak teen” feelings of not fitting in and trying to find yourself in a groovy-meets-bossa nova soundtrack that’s surprisingly chill: ‘La inseguridad/ El malestar/ Ellos burlandose/ De como yo soy . . . Soy diferente/ No como los demás/ Y no todo el mundo/ Me va entender.”
The Linda Lindas have been getting lots of well-deserved attention from major media outlets such as The New York Times, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” and PBS Newshour. They also played a fun, four-song set on NPR’s World Cafe.
The Linda Lindas show no signs of slowing down anytime soon, and we can’t wait to see what they do next!
Hey, Before You Go . . . Check Out Some Great Music Programs
If you’re a teen who’s interested in music (or you know one who is!), be sure to check out some of the great music programs for middle and high school students in our Lateenz Teen Resources database. Here is just a sample of the programs you will find:
Sound Thinking NYC Summer Intensive Program
The Sound Thinking NYC Summer Intensive is a FREE three-week program designed to help young women in New York City public high schools explore careers in the music industry. The program aims to promote gender equity and build leadership skills in the music industry, with activities such as music production and field trips to venues and studios. Workshops focus on sound engineering, music business and management, and communication skills, using applied theatre strategies to discuss topics such as equity, critical thinking, self-efficacy, community-building, and professional growth. Students also have the opportunity to engage with music industry professionals through mentorship and panels. Students who complete the program also may be invited to participate in school year events such as weekend workshops, music performances, and internship opportunities, and may be eligible to take free college credit courses at the City University of New York during their junior and/or senior year of high school.
YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles)
YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) provides young people in under-resourced communities across Los Angeles, ages 5 – 18, with free instruments, intensive music instruction, and opportunities to perform on stages in their communities and around the world. YOLA currently comprises five sites across Los Angeles (East L.A., Rampart District, Inglewood, Westlake/MacArthur Park, and South L.A.). YOLA was originally inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema music education program, but it has now become a model for other music programs around the country. Each of the five sites in YOLA is tailored to meet the specific needs of its community, while all of the sites are guided by a shared philosophy and mission. The success of YOLA, both locally and nationally, is built on partnerships with community organizations, peer programs, and philanthropic partners who work towards the goal of providing equitable access to the transformative power of music for all young people.
Summer Arts Institute
The Summer Arts Institute is a free, virtual, four-week arts summer program for New York City Department of Education public school students entering grades 8 through 12 in the fall (students currently in grades 7 through 11). Students participate in one of the following studios: Dance, Instrumental Music, Moving Image, Strings Orchestra, Theater, Visual Arts or Vocal Music. The program is designed for students at an intermediate or advanced level of study in their discipline. Summer Arts Institute offers a unique opportunity for students to work with DOE arts specialists, arts organizations, and guest artists. This experienced team guides each student in developing an artistic point of view and developing a portfolio or audition skills for their next level of study: an arts-focused high school, college/university, a conservatory or professional work.
People’s Music School
The People’s Music School offers free, high-quality, and intensive music education programs to Chicago metropolitan area teens. All programs are free and are led by professionally trained faculty. Students can join ensembles, take music theory, get lessons, or join the SLAM (Service, Leadership, Artistry, and Mentorship) program. SLAM is for older students who want to participate in chamber music groups, complete required service hours for high school, and mentor younger students.
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