b. Danae Blanco, 23 January 1970, Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. With her feisty delivery and direct lyrics, Danae offers a counterpoint to traditionally male son and timba musics of Cuba and has been attributed with bringing salsa romantica into the twenty-first century. Although she released her debut solo album, Pido, in 2003, Danae has been singing for close to two decades. In her youth, Blanco participated in local groups and choirs in the central Cuban province of Sancti Spiritus. Relocating to the capital Havana in 1985 to study music at the Ignacio Cervantes School, Danae joined the Alfredo Rodriguez Group. In 1993, Blanco became singer with 5U4, the long-standing Cuban group celebrated for their underground take on rock ‘n’ roll from the 60s and later dubbed the Beatles of the Americas. Danae recorded the album U-Turn with the group, prior to recording her own debut. Pido - the title translates as ‘I Ask You’ - was recorded over a period of two years alongside the revered Argentinean arranger Diego Rivas and Jaquin Betancourt and featured renowned musicians such as Antonio Pérez González, Roberto Riverón Mederos, and Tomas Ramos Ortiz. Energetic and impassioned, Danae’s album inverted the passive femininity more normally associated with salsa romantica. Pido was issued by Tumi, the UK-based Latin American record label specializing in Cuban and Andean music.