Chilean rapper Anita Tijoux initially established herself in the Latin American hip-hop underground as a member of the pioneering group Makiza during the late '90s. She found much more widespread success several years later as a solo artist and guest rapper, though, most notably on "Eres Para Mí," a 2006 collaboration with Julieta Venegas that was a smash hit throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Born Anamaría Merino in Lille, France, on June 12, 1977, to a French mother and a Chilean father who was in political exile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, Tijoux moved to Paris in 1982 with her family and grew interested in hip-hop toward the end of the decade. As a teenager, she moved to Santiago, Chile, where she began performing as a rapper, making her recording debut in 1997 on the song "La Medicina" by Los Tetas from their album of the same name. Around this same time, Tijoux co-founded the influential rap group Makiza, also comprised of Seo2 (born Cristian Bórquez), Cenzi (Gastón Gabarró), and DJ Squat (Jean Paul Hourton). The group made its album debut with the independent release Vida Salvaje (1998) and signed a recording contract with Sony for its second album, Aerolíneas Makiza (1999), which includes some re-recorded material from its debut and spawned a hit single, "La Rosa de los Vientos." Makiza splintered shortly thereafter, and Tijoux consequently returned to France for a few years.
Upon her return to Chile, Tijoux collaborated with Latin alternative star Julieta Venegas on "Lo Que Tú Me Das," a song for the 2003 Chilean film Sub Terra, and she also collaborated with Mexican hardcore rap group Control Machete on "Como Ves," a song from their 2003 album Uno, Dos: Bandera. In 2004 Vida Salvaje, the 1998 independently released debut of Makiza, was remastered for reissue, and Tijoux reunited with fellow founding group member Seo2, plus two new members, Sonido Ácido and DJ Nakeye, for a new album, Casino Royale, released in 2005. After their reunion, Makiza split up, and Tijoux began focusing on her solo career. In the meantime, she collaborated with Julieta Venegas once again, this time on the song "Eres Para Mí" for the Mexican singer/songwriter's 2006 album Limón y Sal, and in 2007 the song became a smash hit throughout Latin America, the United States, and Spain. Around the same time "Eres Para Mí" was getting widespread airplay, Tijoux released her solo debut, Kaos (2007), on the independent label Oveja Negra; "Despabílate!" was chosen as the lead single. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi