Photo: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images
Erika Ender To Rebeca Leon: Latin Academy Honors Leading Ladies
Inaugural Latin GRAMMY Week event honors women making a big difference in the music industry
The Latin Recording Academy kicked off its inaugural Leading Ladies of Entertainment event on Nov. 15 at Maestro's Ocean Club in Las Vegas to spotlight women who are setting a positive example in the Latin entertainment industry.
The event singled out six women: Juanes' manager Rebeca Leon, Billboard journalist/GRAMMY.com contributor Leila Cobo, Warner Music Latina General Manager and Warner Music Latin America Marketing SVP Gabriela Martinez, Univision Executive Vice President Jessica Rodriguez, "Despacito" co-writer Erika Ender, and recording engineer Marcella Araica (Britney Spears, Pink, Madonna).
The Leading Ladies of Entertainment is planned to be an annual addition to Latin GRAMMY Week activities, which provides the perfect opportunity to recognize the powerful contributions that trailblazing women in the music industry make on a daily basis.
"It's really about believing in yourself," Leon said. "I know I am a Jedi now and the best is yet to come. I hope you all realize that you are Jedis too. And may the force be with you."
"This recognition is important, as there is a sizeable gender gap in the entertainment industry, which is even more pronounced for Latinas," said Davina Aryeh, Chief Marketing Officer of The Latin Recording Academy. "Acknowledging this issue raises it to the top of public consciousness, and allows us to celebrate and learn from a diverse array of women who are leading and succeeding in their respective fields."
Graphic Courtesy of the Latin Recording Academy
2023 Latin GRAMMYs To Host First-Ever International Telecast In Sevilla, Spain, On Nov. 16; Nominations To Be Announced Sept. 19
Airing on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs marks the first-ever international telecast in the history of the organization and awards.
The Latin GRAMMYs are going global! Today, the Latin Recording Academy announced that the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, officially known as the 24th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, will be held in Sevilla, Spain. Airing on Thursday, Nov. 16, from the Conference and Exhibition Centre (FIBES), the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs marks the first-ever international telecast in the history of the organization and awards.
Nominees for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs will be announced on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
The announcement also marks the official start of a three-year partnership between the Latin Recording Academy and the Junta de Andalucía, who will sponsor the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs and Latin GRAMMY Week, as well as several Latin Academy events in the community. In addition, Sevilla joins the celebration as host city for all the events during this year's Latin GRAMMY Week, which will precede the Latin GRAMMY telecast.
This year's Latin GRAMMY Week includes the Person of the Year Gala, the Special Awards Presentation, the Leading Ladies of Entertainment luncheon, the Best New Artist showcase, the latter of which recognizes the nominees in that category, and a nominee reception, among other events.
The Latin GRAMMY telecast will be produced by TelevisaUnivision in collaboration with Radio Televisión Española (RTVE).
With the awards show expanding to Spain, the Latin Recording Academy, the organization behind the annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, is further evolving its mission to support and elevate Latin music on a global scale. Earlier this year, the Latin Recording Academy also announced the addition of several globally minded awards categories, including the Best Portuguese-Language Urban Performance category, which will be introduced at the upcoming 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.
“International growth is consistent with our mission,” Latin Recording Academy CEO Manuel Abud said in an exclusive interview. “The Latin Academy, our membership, and the music we honor have always been global. We have members from more than 40 countries, and we've always celebrated music in the Spanish language and the Portuguese language. Now, the only thing that is changing is that we're taking the celebration to another place, which will ultimately expand our global reach even further.”
Learn More: 2023 Latin GRAMMYs Explained: 4 Reasons To Be Excited About The New Categories & Changes
"It is an honor to celebrate our Latin GRAMMY Week in Sevilla and commit to our mission of elevating Latin music and its creators around the world. We are confident that it will be a memorable celebration," Abud further expanded in a statement.
"We are thrilled to produce the Latin GRAMMYs for the first time this year in Spain, and in a new partnership with the prestigious RTVE," Ignacio Meyer, President of U.S. Networks at TelevisaUnivision, said. "This is an extraordinary moment for Latin music globally and we are confident that this partnership with RTVE, and the passion and energy that Univision brings to the show, will make history and deliver an unforgettable experience for audiences who love and enjoy music all around the world."
"It will be an honor for RTVE to participate in the transmission and production of the 24th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards and we are working hard to accomplish it," said Elena Sánchez Caballero, President of Radio Televisión Española. "Music is more than an art form, it's a vehicle that unites us collectively, and we look forward to providing the best possible coverage for our viewers."
Additional key dates on the road to the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs include:
July 27, 2023 - August 7, 2023: First Round of Voting
Sept. 19: 2023 Latin GRAMMYs nominees announced
Sept. 29, 2023 - Oct. 12, 2023: Final Round of Voting
Nov. 16: 2023 Latin GRAMMY Awards Telecast
Learn more information regarding the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs awards season.
Follow GRAMMY.com all year long as we continue to announce more news and updates about the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.
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Photo courtesy of the Latin Recording Academy
2023 Latin GRAMMYs Explained: 4 Reasons To Be Excited About The New Categories & Changes
The Latin Recording Academy has announced three new categories to be introduced at the 24th Annual Latin GRAMMYs, as well as a new Field and other amendments. Here are four key takeaways to get you excited for the upcoming Latin GRAMMYs changes.
In a demonstration of its commitment to advancing the ever-changing musical landscape, the Latin Recording Academy has announced several major developments to be introduced at the upcoming 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, officially known as the 24th Annual Latin GRAMMYs, which take place this November, including the addition of three new categories and a new Field. (The eligibility period for the 24th Annual Latin GRAMMYs is Wednesday, June 1, 2022 – Wednesday, May 31, 2023.)
These include: the launches of the Best Songwriter Of The Year category and the coinciding Songwriting Field; the Best Singer-Songwriter Song category; and the Best Portuguese-Language Urban Performance category. The Latin Recording Academy has also made amendments to several existing categories, including Album Of The Year, Song categories and Best Engineered Album.
While the news of these changes alone is monumental, it begs two questions: What do they signify for the Latin Recording Academy and the wider Latin music industry? And what will they ultimately lead to?
Firstly, introducing and awarding new categories allows the Latin Recording Academy to celebrate more artists and creators who are evolving genres and creating new, boundary-pushing sounds.
"The Latin music industry is very much alive and creating," Luis Dousdebes, the Chief Awards, Membership & Preservation Officer at the Latin Recording Academy, tells GRAMMY.com. "When we are awarding something really good to this community of artists and creators, they want to participate — and then they want to be part of the Latin Academy."
Secondly, by reaching new artist, producer and creator communities around the world, the Latin Recording Academy is diversifying its global base of members and the creators it celebrates at the annual Latin GRAMMYs, while also expanding its wider mission of elevating Latin music on a global scale.
"[We're] bringing more artist and creator communities to the process," Dousdebes reflects, "giving more inclusion to everyone who needs to be recognized; we're very excited about that potential."
Below, read some key takeaways explaining what these changes and amendments will mean for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs and beyond.
Read More: The Latin Recording Academy Announces New Latin GRAMMY Award Categories And Field: Best Songwriter Of The Year, Best Singer-Songwriter Song, Best Portuguese-Language Urban Performance & More
Songwriters & The Art Of Songwriting Are Being Elevated
While the Latin Recording Academy has honored producers and artists with Latin GRAMMYs since its inception, songwriters are getting two much-deserved, standalone categories from here on out: Best Songwriter Of The Year and Best Singer-Songwriter Song.
The Best Songwriter Of The Year award, which is part of the newly created Songwriting Field, recognizes the written excellence, profession and art of songwriting.
Likewise, the Best Singer-Songwriter Song award, which lives within the Singer-Songwriter Field, honors singles or tracks from a Singer-Songwriter Album competing in the Singer-Songwriter Album Category in the same Latin GRAMMY year. Eligible songs must contain at least 51% of the lyrics in Spanish, Portuguese or any native regional dialect. As well, this category honors songs solely written by one person. "While the album can be co-written and 25% of a 75/25 share," Dousdebes explains, "we think it's a really good idea to motivate… the writing of a song by one person."
"As an Academy, we understand that everything starts with a good song," Dousdebes continues. "Since the Latin Recording Academy has been awarding artists and producers since the foundation of the Latin GRAMMYs in 2000, it was time to finally extend this honor to songwriters as well."
A Milestone For Artists Who Sing In Portuguese — A Growing Subset Of The Latin Music Community
In the past, Portuguese-speaking artists have largely competed with Spanish-speaking artists at the Latin GRAMMYs. Now, they're getting far more real estate on their own with the introduction of the Best Portuguese-Language Urban Performance award.
This exciting, new category, which lives within the Portuguese Language Field, recognizes the enormous amount of Urban music that is being created in Brazil and Portugal. Eligible singles or tracks can include a fusion mix of Urban styles with other genres as long as the Urban character predominates. This specialized performance category does not preclude Portuguese-speaking artists from competing in some of the other Urban Field categories.
"It is time to give [the Portuguese-language creator industry] the chance to grow within their community," Dousdebes says. "By introducing this categeory, we're motivating the participation of this community in the Latin GRAMMYs even more."
Eligibility For Album Of The Year And Best Engineered Album Is Now More Sharply Defined
Starting at the 24th Annual Latin GRAMMYs, all eligible albums submitted for consideration in the Album Of The Year category, within the General Field, must contain at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material. As well, award to the artist, producer(s), engineer(s), mixer(s), mastering engineer(s), and songwriter(s) of 33% playing time of the album if other than the artist will receive the award.
This also extends to the freshly amended Best Engineered Album category. As outlined in the recently announced amendments, new criteria for the Best Engineered Album category states, “Award goes to Recording Engineer(s) and Mixing Engineer(s) credited with at least 33% of the album and Mastering Engineer(s) credited with at least 51% of the album within the Production Field.”
Contributors to albums who do not meet the required percentages outlined in these amendments for both the Album Of The Year and Best Engineered Album categories will receive an official certificate.
While these amendments may seem minor on the surface, they carry profound effects.
"This is about the relevance of our award," Dousdebes says. As he explains, giving the same award to everyone who appeared on an album — even those who mixed one song — undermines such.
Of course, that doesn't mean a relatively minor participant shouldn't be honored at all. By giving certificates, as opposed to Latin GRAMMY statues, to scores of people, everybody shares in the recognition, Dousdebes clarifies. And in the end, this will bolster the integrity of both categories.
Recording Dates For Songs Are Now Requisite For Submission — Leading To Cleaner Organization And More Transparency
Obviously, a song popping up on Spotify doesn't mean it was recorded that day; the gap between a song being created and released can be months or even years.
That's why the date of a track's composition must be included when submitting eligible product for all of the Song categories going forward — to ensure it's truly new.
"We need to have the information of the date when the song was composed because it's very difficult to keep track of composition dates when you have hundreds of songs released every week," Dousdebes says. "It helps the submission process, helps the screening, and helps the staff.”
Ultimately, this small-yet-significant amendment will help streamline the submission process and screening process and will build even more transparency within the Song categories.
Listen: All Of The Latin Music 2023 GRAMMY Nominees In One Playlist
Graphic Courtesy of the Latin Recording Academy
The Latin Recording Academy Announces New Latin GRAMMY Award Categories And Field: Best Songwriter Of The Year, Best Singer-Songwriter Song, Best Portuguese-Language Urban Performance & More
Ahead of the 2023 Latin GRAMMY Awards, the Latin Recording Academy is ushering in several changes — including a new field and categories to the awards process.
In a demonstration of its commitment to reflect the ever-changing musical landscape, the Latin Recording Academy has announced the addition of several changes, a new field and categories to the Latin GRAMMY Awards Process.
"Our priority is to effectively represent all the Latin music creators that we serve," Latin Recording Academy CEO Manuel Abud said in a statement. "We are excited to present these new categories that reflect the constant evolution of our music."
All new updates will go into effect immediately for the upcoming 2023 Latin GRAMMY Awards, officially known as the 24th Latin GRAMMY Awards, which take place this November. The Online Entry Process for this year’s Latin GRAMMYs opens on Thursday, March 23.
NEW LATIN GRAMMY AWARDS FIELD AND CATEGORY ADDED:
Best Songwriter Of The Year
As part of the newly-created Songwriting Field, this new category recognizes the written excellence, profession and art of songwriting. Songwriters must have a minimum of six newly written songs in which they are credited as a songwriter or co-writer and are not the performer, producer or engineer.
NEW LATIN GRAMMY AWARDS CATEGORIES ADDED:
Best Singer-Songwriter Song
To be eligible for this new category within the Singer-Songwriter Field, the singles or tracks must contain at least 51% of the lyrics in Spanish, Portuguese or any native regional dialect, and must be from a Singer-Songwriter Album competing in the Singer-Songwriter Album Category that year.
Best Portuguese-Language Urban Performance
This new category within the Portuguese Language Field recognizes the enormous amount of Urban music that is being created in Brazil and Portugal. The singles or tracks can include a fusion mix of Urban styles with other genres as long as the Urban character predominates.
The Latin Recording Academy has also made amendments to the following existing categories:
Album Of The Year
Albums within the General Field must contain at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material. Award to the Artist, Producer(s), Engineer(s), Mixer(s), Mastering Engineer(s) and Songwriter(s) of 33% playing time of the album if other than the Artist will receive the award.
It is now required to include the date of composition when submitting product for all of the Song categories.
New Criteria For Best Engineered Album
Award goes to Recording Engineer(s) and Mixing Engineer(s) credited with at least 33% of the album and Mastering Engineer(s) credited with at least 51% of the album within the Production Field.
The Recording Academy lauds its sister Academy for this thrilling series of developments; keep watching their space for more updates on the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs!
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Photo: Rachel Kupfer
A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.
It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.
Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.
Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.
In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.
Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.
There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out GRAMMY.com's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.
Say She She
Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.
While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."
Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.
Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.
Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.
Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.
L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.
During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.
Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.
Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.
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