credit: Thalia Gochez
La Doña is taking over. Blending Caribbean beats, reggaeton, and hip hop styles, San Francisco-
born Cecilia Cassandra Peña-Govea composes songs that explore her radical brown femininity,
inspired by love, sex, pain, and climate catastrophes. The Mexican-American singer, songwriter,
and multi-instrumentalist grew up performing professionally as a trumpeter in her parent’s
conjunto, eventually mastering instruments such as the guitarrón, vihuela, guitar, and Latin
percussion. “To be a part of my family is also to be a musician,” she says — her father will be
joining La Doña’s upcoming U.S. tour run with Cuco, for which she’s composed all
arrangements and will lead a live band.
La Doña’s sound and stage shows converge hip hop, rumba, and corridos, and are characterized
by a full horn section and fat layered harmonies. Identity informs all parts of Peña-Govea’s
process as she creates a new style of reggaeton — “Femmeton” — and composes cut-throat
rancheras al estilo Tejano, influenced heavily by Bay Area hyphy styles, lowrider culture,
Mission muralismo, and musica de la (U.S./Mexico) frontera.
La Doña is building her catalogue with releases such as dembow-laden cumbia “Nada Me
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