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Latin Roots: Helado Negro

Helado Negro's most recent album is <em>Private Energy</em>.
Ben Sellon
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Courtesy of the artist
Helado Negro's most recent album is Private Energy.

Helado Negro (yes, that translates to "Black Ice Cream") is the alias of electro-pop musician Roberto Lange. Lange grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and made frequent trips to his parents' home country of Ecuador. He'd gotten used to living among mostly Spanish-speaking people; southern Florida is "like the capital of Latin America," he says. But from Fort Lauderdale, he moved to Savannah, Ga., where he attended art school; then to Miami; and finally to Brooklyn, where he began performing as Helado Negro.

Lange's new album, Private Energy, includes powerful songs that comment on Latin identity, such as "Young, Latin And Proud" and "My Brown Skin." You'll hear him perform and discuss those songs in this session. On another note, you have to check out the the tinsel-clad dancers who accompany him in the World Cafe studio in the video below.

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David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.
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