meta-scriptDrill Music Is On The Rise Around The World. Can Latin Drill Take Over Next? |
Drill Music Is On The Rise Around The World. Can Latin Drill Take Over Next?
L-R: Nexiio, Davinci, Hotllywood, DJ Chirrix, Catore, Chucky73

Source Photos Courtesy of UFF Records, NarxFilms, and


Drill Music Is On The Rise Around The World. Can Latin Drill Take Over Next?

Latin drill was recently one of the most overlooked movements in Latin music. Now, everyone from J Balvin to Rauw Alejandro are exploring and expanding the emerging sound, launching the nascent subgenre from underground circles to mainstream audiences.

GRAMMYs/Jul 13, 2022 - 04:31 pm

Earlier this year, Rauw Alejandro, one of Latin music's hottest new superstars to break onto the global Latin pop stratosphere, debuted Trap Cake, Vol. 2. Although the Puerto Rican artist regaled that the charting EP featured more of an underground vibe reminiscent of his earlier SoundCloud days, the release saw the singer/rapper return to harder sonic terrain, a notable difference from his 2021 pop-glimmering, breakthrough album, Vice Versa.

Among the nine-track EP stands the revved-up single "Gracias Por Nada," or "Thanks for Nothing," a snarling kiss-off that captures an equally brutal yet quickly emerging sound: Latin drill. Released in February, the power-chord-heavy track has since gone viral: The song's official music video counts more than 14 million YouTube views to date. Moreover, it reaffirmed the rising microgenre's entry into the mainstream arena.

Latin drill, the Latin trap counterpart bolstered by sinister verses stacked over ominous sliding basslines, was recently one of the most overlooked movements in Latin music. It is now permeating popular culture, with underground artists and superstars alike exploring and expanding the gritty art form.

Over the past year, a handful of international artists and producers have launched Latin drill from underground circles to mainstream audiences. Latin GRAMMY-nominated rapper Eladio Carrión delivered one of the most grueling Latin drill numbers to date last summer. Leading with dramatic, dissonant piano keys, "Tata (remix)" brings forth a coalition of drill, trap and reggaetón G.O.A.T.s working as one. Carrión, a Jester-turned-trap star, enlists two pioneers for the remix: reggaetón icon Daddy Yankee and Brooklyn drill pioneer Bobby Shmurda — his first major collaboration since his release from prison last February following a six-year sentence for conspiracy and weapons possession. The hard-hitting track also features Colombian reggaetón ambassador J Balvin, who raps on the original version.

In May, 2020 Latin GRAMMYs Best New Artist nominee Cazzu stepped into Latin drill territory with the premiere of her deep, booming track, "Jefa," the first single off her new album, Nena Trampa. The song comes equipped with gunshot sounds while the Ledesma native raps about reclaiming her status as the top Argentine trap villain.

The relentless rise of Latin drill comes as drill music, named one of the most important rap subgenres in the last decade, continues to dominate the rap scene and wider pop music landscape around the world. In April, GRAMMY-winning rapper Cardi B revisited her early drill sound on "Shake It," a "sample-driven drill posse cut," per Pitchfork, from Kay Flock and featuring Dougie B and Bory300. One month prior, in late March, Chicago rapper Lil Durk, who's associated with the rise of drill in the U.S. in the early 2010s, topped the Billboard 200 chart with his seventh album, 7220, which features the drill-powered "Ahhh Ha." That same week, rap superstar Nicki Minaj released "We Go Up," a collaboration with Fivio Foreign, the latter of whom, it is believed, is poised to take drill music mainstream.

Outside of American audiences, drill continues to expand around the world, with regional scenes cropping up in South Korea, Australia, Ghana, Kenya, and beyond.

Today, artists and industry leaders alike are taking notice of the Latin drill movement, which is staking a formidable presence stateside and across the world.

"[Latin drill] could be [the next big wave] if more artists keep making the drill sound,"' J Balvin told last October. "We are happy that we were one of the first ones that, let's say, elevated drill in Spanish," he said of the aforementioned "Tata (remix)." "Bobby [Shmurda] is one of the drill kings, and we did our homework of finding him. He was such a nice person. And also Daddy Yankee, he is the G.O.A.T. Eladio Carrión opened up the floor for us so it was really cool."

In 2021, rap newsletter Cabbages predicted the potential rise of the Latin drill wave in the U.S. charts, noting how English-language drill tracks like CJ's "Whoopty" had already broken through. "It stands to reason that Spanish-language drill will inevitably have its inaugural entry [on the Billboard Hot 100 chart] too this year," Gary Suarez wrote. "More and more Latin acts will continue to try their hand at it or otherwise make it their own."

With all this global momentum happening at once, can Latin drill become the next wave? The movement is already picking up speed worldwide.

Listen to’s official An Introduction To Latin Drill playlist on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Pandora. Playlist powered by GRAMMY U.

From The Bronx To Bogotá: The Beginning Of A Global Movement

For decades, Spanish-language rap and reggaetón reigned over música urbana, streaming- and sales-wise, until Latin trap made its way in the mid-2010s. "There came a time when [reggaetón] started to decline, and artists picked up interest in the next thing. Latin trap became huge in the hands of Puerto Rican artists like Bad Bunny and Anuel AA," explains Catore, co-creator of the eponymous Latin Drill, a content-aggregating site à la WorldstarHipHop boasting a rapidly growing international social media fan base.

In 2016, Anuel AA's "Nunca Sapo," Bad Bunny's jaded opus "Soy Peor," and the raunchy "La Ocasión," the latter a star-studded track by De La Ghetto, Arcangel, Ozuna, Anuel AA, DJ Luian, and Mambo Kingz, solidified Latin trap as the top contender in the Latin pop canon. Yet just prior, N.Y. Dominican artists like Messiah and Lito Kirino were setting the framework for Latin trap, helping the genre launch to global acclaim.

That's where New York-dwelling Dominican trap and Latin drill come in, led by key players like Moreno ITF, Pachino Escobar, Kapuchino, and the rest of the rappers of Jalapeño Music Group; Chucky73 and his Sie7etr3 crew, including the likes of Fetti031 and Dglo73; and the UFF Records gang repping Nexiio, Davinci and Hotllywood — all laying the groundwork in neighborhoods like the Bronx and Harlem.

From Puerto Rico to Spanish Harlem and across the Atlantic, ascending Spanish-language rappers are now embodying the drill style, which originated in Chicago. "Aside from Chicago, when it comes to Latin music, I feel that the most authentic drill music is in New York City," Fabian Santos, founder of New York label UFF Records, or Until Forever Free, asserts.

"The movement is growing more and more," Catore says. "I believe that today we are in the era where reggaetón and Latin trap are in transition, and we are going to really start to see what real Latin drill is."

Read More: 5 Latinx Rappers To Know Now: Santa Fe Klan, Chucky73, J.I., Yoss Bones & BIA

More Than Just Spanish Rhymes

In the spirit of Latin culture, Latin drill's rising stars retain a tinge of revelry in some of their music and videos. Just take Chucky73 and Sie7etr3, a group that occasionally flaunts Nerf guns instead of calibers, acts jaunty while wearing ski masks, and features some jubilant perreo for good measure. Combine this with verses loaded with Dominican street slang referencing themes like hitmen culture, life in the streets, and their hood hustle, Chucky73's music testifies proudly that Latin drill has arrived, as evidenced in his hit song, "Mi Ciudad." (His new Reencarnación EP, which dropped last month, features the drill-heavy “4 por 4,” featuring Skinny Flex.)

"I started to make rap music when I was 12, but then I moved on to Latin drill. My influence was Chief Keef," explains Chucky73, who moved to NYC from the Dominican Republic when he was 8. "I come from a small block in the Bronx, and that's where everything started."

Just a few blocks away, another troupe of drilleros is wreaking havoc. Charged with menacing basslines and maniacal organ riffs, "Demons" by Dominican upstarts Nexiio and Davinci, or "Brujería" by Hotllywood, are recent examples of the Latin drill style pervading New York City.

"The way [some of my artists] connected was through prison," says UFF Records founder Santos, who manages Nexiio, Davinci and Hotllywood. "I don't want to talk about their criminal history, but they've taken their music as an outlet to be able to elevate themselves into a better space. They pour their heart into all their songs, whether it's about betrayals or just being out in the Bronx communities where a lot of things happen. New York is where the melting pot is, and where artists get influenced and start off. That's why Anuel AA used to come to Uptown, and a lot of other major artists picked up on it. It's not like they mean to take over drill music they were influenced here, and they have a bigger platform."

It's arguable who made the first Latin drill track, and whether New York Dominicans were the first to invent it. Often regarded as Latin trap pioneers, Anuel AA and Ozuna jumped on the Latin drill sound via the 2021 Spanish-language remix of CJ's viral hit "Whoopty," giving the genre significantly wider exposure throughout the Latin music circuit. Earlier Latin drill is also accredited to Puerto Rican trap stars Jon Z and El Dominio for their 808Melo collaboration, "Los Chavos Cayendo."

Some, however, speculate whether the essence is preserved. "Lots of [Spanish-speaking] rappers are doing drill today, whether they pertain to the scene or not," points out Catore, who has Venezuelan roots and was reared in London and is now based in A Coruña, Spain. "They don't go around shooting people, or selling drugs, like Natti Natasha, who sings drill on a Jon Z remix." 

Read More: 5 Women Essential To reggaetón: Ivy Queen, Natti Natasha, Karol G, Ms Nina & Mariah Angeliq

Still, even some of the most visible heads of the New York drill scene share Latin roots: CJ is Boricua and the late Pop Smoke, who took Brooklyn drill global, was half Panamanian. In fact, it's arguable that they helped catapult the genre fully toward Hispanophone territory.

"I dare to say that Pop Smoke helped create Latin drill," Catore claims. There is some truth to this statement, as Pop was the source of inspiration for many rising Latin acts today. All in all, it's clear New York artists are the first to solidify and mobilize the nascent genre.

Making Drill Their Own Latin Sound

The connective tissue bonding drill and Latin music may not be as culturally distant as one might think. Drill's origins and evolution — from the streets of Chicago to the U.K. to New York and beyond — reflect a shared lived experience between the subgenre's creators and the Latin artists adding their own spin to the sound today.

First coined by the late Chicago rapper Pacman, drill music emerged in the early 2010s in the South Side of Chi-Town and quickly propelled into the national mainstream in 2012 via genre pioneer Chief Keef's definitive debut single, "I Don't Like."

From the jump, the subgenre's bleak lyrics reflected the lives and experiences of those running the streets at their most dangerous hours, telling stories about retaliating against their enemies. In fact, the same year when drill music exploded, in 2012, Chicago became the murder capital of America, according to the FBI. "Everybody knows about the cases of people in Chicago dying from gunshots. It's usually people involved in that life, that culture, the culture of drill," Latin Drill site co-creator Catore says. "To drill someone is to take a knife and shank somebody, or take a gun and shoot somebody. It's slang for killing. It's drilling."

Along the lines of the original English-language version, Latin drill is steeped in nihilism, reflecting a grim outlook that mirrors the dark realities of those living them firsthand. "Latin drill is the shooter's version of their come-up — the hunger," Santos explains. "Historically, Latin trap has always been about hustling, making good money, and being the top dawg. A lot of people get that confused with Latin drill, [which] is talking about the violence around them — the mission."

New York Dominican rapper Davinci concurs. "Drill is about the person who does the dirty work; it's dirtier and more personal. We live by it," he says. "It's basically a warning, like, 'What would I do or be capable of?' That's why drill sounds darker."

"The drill is always gonna have a deeper sound. Trap is more hype," Chucky73 echoes. "Drill has a more thug vibe. It's more underground, and the lyrics are more violent."

While storytelling is essential to the genre, Catore says that it's not meant to glorify violence. "We want people to stop killing each other. We want to help save them," he asserts. "We also understand that music is art. And like a good Hollywood movie or a good action book, it might be about murder. So why can't we listen to someone sing or rap about murder? That's where we're open-minded."

Editor's Note: Following the killings of numerous drill rappers, police and government authorities in the U.S. and the U.K. have linked crime and gun violence to drill music in recent months. Artists leading Brooklyn's exploding drill scene are today fighting to show there's more to drill than violence and guns.

Read More: Rhyme & Punishment: How NPR's "Louder Than A Riot" Podcast Traces The Interconnected Rise Of Hip-Hop And Mass Incarceration

In the same vein, some U.S.-based Dominicans are chronicling a portion of their own brutal reality in rhymes: their struggle with their undocumented status. Some Latin drill artists rap about growing up Dominican, coming to New York, and battling with immigration, as heard on "Tírale" from Hotllywood, who's based in Corona, Queens.

"The way [my label] started was me wanting to help one artist who was incarcerated due to immigration laws. He was in the custody of ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] during that time," Santos recalls. "When he was released, I helped him get in the studio, letting him know the potential and opportunities if he took this music career seriously because this kid has a lot of talent."

Sonically, Latin drill expands on the roots of its American counterpart, often branching out into new fusions. In fact, artists and producers shaping the New York Latin drill scene are looking toward their roots to infuse the sound with their native rhythms. Davinci has lately been concocting a new iteration of the style he's calling "drillbow," which, as the portmanteau implies, combines drill with Dominican dembow. "Hotllywood and Davinci thought of the concept as a way to connect to their island, sharing the stories of their battles living in the U.S.," Santos says of the rising fusion sound.

The Next Chapter In A Growing Global Movement

With artists keeping it real to their own experiences — recounting their crimes, doing time, or slanging through tracks — and telling their true-life stories via this new beat, Latin drill is fast becoming a global movement, further boosted by streaming services, including a rapidly growing scene on SoundCloud, and social media outlets. "To be honest, I was going crazy to see my first million [streams]. I celebrated 73 in the hood, we came out and threw a little block party," Chucky73 remembers. "I was hype because I was able to make music. It just happened out of nowhere, I wasn't expecting it. I'm not even going to lie to you, I cried."

Davinci, who's gaining momentum on YouTube, still can't believe the Latin drill movement has reached these heights. "I didn't trust it until I saw this is literally what my life is about," he says. "For now, I'll leave it with God."

Santos is thrilled by the response his UFF Records artists are receiving in their communities. "I see people taking pictures with them, showing them love within their area, and listening to their music," he says. "One of my artists said he felt great when he went to the store and his music was playing without the owner knowing he was going to come by. That motivates them so much to go harder."

Then there are channels like Catore's Latin Drill site, co-founded by DJ Chirrix. The online hub is helping to generate the next international breakthrough in the movement. It has already spotlighted Colombian drill with Drizie Drizie, and even New Zealand drill as evinced in "Vida Loca" by newcomers Tanboymiguel and Lord Seez. To further expand the movement, they're forming a collective of producers to build their own beats for upcoming artists via Latin Drill Beats.

"I see two differences in drill: one in the culture and essence, and the other in the music. What I am most interested in is the music, but let's never forget its essence," Catore asserts. "If the music sounds good, and it has a drill beat, then let's say it's drill. It doesn't matter where the artist is from, and if what he raps about is fiction or true. In the end, the music is what you'll hear." 

Santos sees a new direction for Latin drill in New York already forming. "It is being converted into more of a flow and the beat itself. People who listen closely will see what's going on, that it is a struggle," he says. "There's too much shit going on, too much violence. The New York Police Department hasn't been the friendliest, either. [Our artists] were living in chaos in New York. That's why we work together. We realize that this is bigger than just [the artists] and their platforms — we can take it to a whole 'nother level."

Latin Music's Next Era: How New Festivals & Big Billings Have Helped Bring reggaetón, New Corridos & More To The Masses

On New Album 'Sentimiento, Elegancia y Más Maldad,' Arcángel Proves He's One Of Reggaetón’s Wittiest Innovators

Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images


On New Album 'Sentimiento, Elegancia y Más Maldad,' Arcángel Proves He's One Of Reggaetón’s Wittiest Innovators

"You become dexterous at building a reality with words," the reggaetón star says of his inventive flow. Those skills are on full display on Arcángel's brand new album, 'Sentimiento, Elegancia y Más Maldad.'

GRAMMYs/Nov 17, 2023 - 08:19 pm

Earlier this year, rapper and reggaetón star Arcángel collaborated with Bizarrap on one of the Argentine producer’s infamous sessions. A huge global hit, the track  — "Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 54" — reminded us all of Arcángel’s devilish sense of humor and the brilliant specificity of his flow: languid, sweetly melodic, loaded with inventive wordplay.

At 37, Austin Agustín Santos is a revered veteran of the urbano genre. Born in New York City, he eventually moved to Puerto Rico and experienced his first brush with fame as part of the reggaetón duo Arcángel & De la Ghetto. His first solo effort, 2008’s El Fenómeno, included the smash "Pa’Que La Pases Bien," heralding his affinity for cutting-edge EDM soundscapes. 

Arcángel never lost his Midas touch for generating memorable songs. Last year’s Sr. Santos included "La Jumpa," a kinetic duet with Bad Bunny, and the slick majesty of "PortoBello." Released Nov. 17, his new album, Sentimiento, Elegancia y Más Maldad, boasts high-profile collaborations with Peso Pluma (lead single "La Chamba"), Rauw Alejandro (the EDM-heavy “FP”), Grupo Frontera, Spanish rapper Quevedo, and Feid, among others.

At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, Arcángel's "La Jumpa" received nods in the Best Urban Fusion/Performance and Best Urban Song categories; his Bizarrap session and their collaboration, "Bottas" were submitted were submitted as part of BZRP's Producer Of The Year nomination package.

Ahead of the release of his new album, Arcángel spoke with about his sophisticated rhymes, the trappings of fame, and the occasional bouts of self-doubt.

The rhymes on your Bizarrap session reference the Tower of Pisa, the shields of the gladiators in the Roman empire, Argentine soccer and luxury cars. How do you come up with this stuff?

It’s something that I’ve been developing since I was a kid. Here in Puerto Rico, we’re big fans of what we call palabreo (non-stop talk.) It’s also my Dominican blood, because people in the Dominican Republic are always making up things. 

When I was growing up, my mother fostered a love for reading in me, so I have a lot of information in my head that I can draw from. For instance, no one had referenced the Tower of Pisa in reggaetón before. I’d say a good 80 percent of reggaetoneros may not even know what the Tower of Pisa is. My mother worked hard so that I could get a good education.

Would you say the uniqueness of your style stems from those early years?

I grew up in a highly competitive environment. In the barrio, it was normal for us to improvise and mock each other in a friendly way. If you showed up with dirty sneakers, someone would rap about it. With so many years of practicing, it became a skill. There was a time when I wouldn’t come up to the barrio if I wasn’t well dressed, because I knew what I had to face. 

You become dexterous at building a reality with words — like an architect. I like everything to make sense in my rhymes. I become obsessive about it. The words don’t necessarily have to rhyme — as long as they have flow, style, and they make sense.

On the video of the Bizarrap session, we also get to witness your hilarious sense of humor. How did that part of your artistic identity develop?

I was raised in an environment marked by poverty, but there was also a lot of joy. We had nothing except for each other. Incredibly, I was happier then. I grew up feeling comfortable in uncomfortable situations, and that’s where my sense of humor comes from. I saw my Mom working two or three jobs so that she could put some food on the table. The only recourse I had to escape that reality was to make jokes and try to have a good time. 

When fortune and fame arrived, they provided a better lifestyle. But they also took away many things that I now miss — things that will never come back.

The last two albums contain some of your best material yet. Would it be fair to say that you’re enjoying a creative high?

The process of making music has become extremely hard for me during the past couple of years. I’m experiencing great success, but it also works as a kind of emotional torture, because my mental health is not the best. My own mind is the most formidable rival. I’m overwhelmed by the fear of not fulfilling the expectations that my fans may have. I’ve felt self-doubt, something that is entirely new to me. 

With all the experience I’ve amassed, I’m now at my most vulnerable. The act of creating felt so easy to me. Now, when the muse departs, it’s difficult to bring her back. Also, I’ve always preferred quality over quantity. Some of my peers are releasing three albums per year. I need to do some living in order to write new songs.

On the new album, the track with Rauw Alejandro (“FP”) is incredibly lush, seeped in atmosphere and EDM texture.

I sing about love because I’m a romantic. And I sing about partying because I definitely did a lot of that — too much, perhaps. [Laughs.] I used to be the kind of person who couldn’t stay home more than three hours. I harbor fond memories of that time — spending days away from home, the ambiance of it all, having a great time. 

When I write songs, I can definitely convince people that I’ve enjoyed all of that. In reality, these days I’m even a bit boring when it comes to partying.

2023 Latin GRAMMYs: See The Complete Nominations List

10 Incredible Moments From The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs: Rosalía, Shakira, Peso Pluma & More
Leon Leiden, Natascha Falcão and Paola Guanche perform onstage during The 24th Annual Latin Grammy Awards on November 16, 2023 in Seville, Spain.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy


10 Incredible Moments From The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs: Rosalía, Shakira, Peso Pluma & More

The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs were truly international, embracing sounds of flamenco, norteño, reggaetón, and everything in between. Read on for 10 of the most exciting moments from the Biggest Night In Latin Music.

GRAMMYs/Nov 17, 2023 - 03:27 pm

It is not a coincidence that the 24th annual edition of the Latin GRAMMYs took place in Sevilla, Spain — far away from the traditional epicenters of Latin music production. More than ever before, the sound of the Latin GRAMMYs are truly international, embraced by fans all over the world.

At a time of unprecedented global turmoil and collective anxiety, the songs of Bad Bunny, Shakira, Peso Pluma and Rosalía — to name a few of many reigning stars — have enough zest, honesty and passion in them to provide comfort. Both Spain and Latin America boast a long standing tradition of healing through rhythm and melody. Not surprisingly, this year's ceremony felt like a casual gathering of friends for an evening of dancing and celebrating.

From the strains of flamenco to the boom of Mexican music and the ongoing permutations of reggaetón, these are the takeaway points from the unforgettable 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.

The Genius Of Rosalía Transcends Her Own Songbook

It was only fitting that Rosalía — one of the most visionary singer/songwriters in global pop — should open up the first Latin GRAMMY ceremony in Spanish territory.

She could have certainly taken advantage of the opportunity to drop a new single or perform one of her many hits. Instead, Rosalía sang an achingly beautiful version of the 1985 classic "Se Nos Rompió El Amor" by the late singer Rocío Jurado. It was a lovely way to deflect the spotlight and focus on celebrating her Spanish roots.

Spain And Latin America Make Beautiful Music Together

From beginning to end, the telecast underscored the organic kinship that unites the music of Spain and Latin America. It took place during the International Day of Flamenco, and the transcendent genre was present in Alejandro Sanz's moving performance of "Corazón Partío." The award for Best Flamenco Album, won by Niña Pastori for Camino, was presented during the main ceremony — a GRAMMY first.

Later in the telecast, Spanish pop singer Manuel Carrasco and Colombian artist Camilo performed an acoustic duet of "Salitre." They were soon joined by Brazilian singer IZA Texas-born producer/songwriter Edgar Barrera, transforming the Sevilla stage with Carnivalesque energy.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Pop Star Scorned

Since its release in January, “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” the collaboration between Shakira and Argentine producer Bizarrap, has become a global cultural phenomenon. Not only is it a grand pop song with slick EDM accents, but the Colombian diva's lyrics struck a chord with its message of empowerment and fortitude in the face of adversity.

The duo's brisk performance — preceded by a brief intro with Shaki showcasing her tango dancing skills — was an iconic pop culture moment. The track itself won awards in the Best Pop Song and Song Of The Year categories.

Emerging Talent Is The Lifeline That Keeps Latin Music Alive

Watching young artists performing together with the legends that inspired them is a Latin GRAMMY staple. This year was particularly poignant, as Colombian singer/songwriter Juanes performed a moving rendition of the atmospheric rocker "Gris" — about overcoming a relationship crisis — with majestic background vocals provided by six of the 10 Best New Artist nominees: Borja, Natascha Falcão, GALE, Paola Guanche, León Leiden and Joaquina — who ended up winning the award.

For Mexico, The Time Is Now

The moment was ripe for the richness and depth of música Mexicana to shine on an international scale. 2023 was the year when the entire world fell in love with the strains of banda, norteño and corridos tumbados.

The infectious collaboration between Peso Pluma and Eslabón Armado, "Ella Baila Sola" became the emblem of this revolución mexicana. A buoyant rendition of the track was a telecast highlight, as well as the performance by Carín León, who won the award for Best Norteño Album.

Laura Pausini's Artistry Evokes The Elegance Of Decades Past

Introducing herself as "the most [expletive] Latina Italian woman in the world," Laura Pausini seemed overjoyed with her Person Of The Year award. Her medley of career highlights — full of drama and gorgeous melodies — included nods to her first mega-hit, the nostalgic "La Solitudine," and the cinematic "Víveme."

"I thank my father because he chose not to go to the movies with my mom, and instead stayed at home, made love to her and had me, the Person Of The Year," Pausini quipped. Her songbook evokes the golden era of Latin pop, a time of elegance and style.

Radical Genre Bending Never Fails To Intrigue

Latin music is currently experiencing a moment of grace, and this creative apex is frequently expressed through intriguing fusions of seemingly disparate styles. The adrenaline-fueled performance by Puerto Rican neo-reggaetón star Rauw Alejandro gained in electricity when he was joined by Juanes on a rocked-up rendition of "BABY HELLO." 

Elsewhere, Carín León's duet with Maluma and Bizarrap's foray into electro-tango were fueled by a similar spirit of playful experimentation.

Exquisite Singing & Songwriting Will Never Go Out Of Style

There's something to be said about an album that was recorded live on tape with analog equipment — the singer surrounded by her band, as they perform together in the same space, with no outside guests allowed.

Natalia Lafourcade's "De Todas Las Flores" is all about feeling and warmth, her vulnerable vocals framed by delicate piano notes and supple percussion. A worthy Record Of The Year winner, this exquisitely layered track proposes that some traditional methods of music making are definitely worth preserving. At the Premiere Ceremony, Lafourcade also took home golden gramophones for Best Singer-Songwriter Song and Best Singer-Songwriter Album.

Hip-Hop Is A Natural Component Of The Latin Music DNA

At the tail end of the ceremony, the performance by Colombian vocalist Feid — aided by the stellar skills of producer DJ Premier — included a moody reading of "Le Pido a DIOS" with nods to '90s rap and jazzy keyboard flourishes. Just like EDM, hip-hop has been fully incorporated into the Latin music lexicon, assuming an identity of its own.

KAROL G Is Much, Much More Than Just A Global Pop Star

Just like Rosalía's Motomami, KAROL G's fourth studio LP – winner of the coveted Album Of The Year award — will be remembered for the dazzling quality of its songs and the kind of indelible magic that can only be experienced, not described. The Colombian singer's artistic partnership with producer Ovy On The Drums has resulted in a futuristic sound that leaves ample space for the warmth of her vocals — and it grooves like crazy.

Most importantly, MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO celebrates the small pleasures, the brief glimpses of inner peace, and the decision to embrace self-acceptance even in the wake of emotional storms. In KAROL G's world, optimism is the only pathway out to a better tomorrow.

2023 Latin GRAMMYs: See The Complete Winners & Nominations List

Watch: Rauw Alejandro Delivers A Fiery Medley Performance With Juanes At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
(L-R) Juanes and Rauw Alejandro perform at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, in Seville, Spain

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy


Watch: Rauw Alejandro Delivers A Fiery Medley Performance With Juanes At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs

After the Puerto Rican reggaetonero performed show-stopping renditions of Laura Pausini's "Se Fue" and his own "Dime Quien," Rauw Alejandro took the flames higher — literally — with special guest Juanes for "Baby Hello."

GRAMMYs/Nov 16, 2023 - 11:35 pm

Puerto Rican star Rauw Alejandro explored new frontiers for urbano with his 2022 album Saturno, blending dembow with futuristic electropop, R&B and underground dance beats. The boundary-pushing album earned Alejandro a nomination for Best Urban Music Album at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs — and it also brought him together with Colombian superstar Juanes for an awe-inspiring performance.

Alejandro regaled the audience with a medley of songs: "Se Fue," by Italian superstar and 2023 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Laura Pausini, as well as two tracks from Saturno, "Dime Quien" and "Baby Hello." After taking the first two on his own — initially wearing a white suit surrounded by flames, then with a troupe of dancers — the reggaetonero met with the Colombian superstar for the final tune.

As Juanes offered scorching guitar for "Baby Hello," the two stars were backed by more fire to take the performance home. The pair turned Rauw's electronic collaboration with Bizarrap into stadium rock, bringing the energy to a headbanging crescendo — and even interpolating a bit of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for a thrilling finale.

Juanes walked into the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs a winner, as his 2023 album, Vida Cotidiana, was awarded Best Pop/Rock Album in the Premiere Ceremony. The LP also received a nomination for Album Of The Year, with the track "Gris" receiving a nod for Best Rock Song as well; additionally, Juanes production work on Fonseca's and Juan Luis Guerra's "Si Tú Me Quieres" earned him a Record Of The Year nomination.

Both Alejandro and Juanes received nominations for the 2024 GRAMMYs as well. Saturno is nominated for Best Música Urbana Album, while Vida Cotidiana is nominated for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.

2023 Latin GRAMMYs: See The Complete Nominations List

2023 Latin GRAMMYs Performers Announced: Rauw Alejandro, Alejandro Sanz, Christian Nodal, Feid, Maria Becerra & More
2023 Latin GRAMMYs performers (Clockwise, top-left to right) Maria Becerra, Bizarrap, Feid, Carin León, Alejandro Sanz, Rauw Alejandro, Christian Nodal, and Kany García

Photos Courtesy of the Artists


2023 Latin GRAMMYs Performers Announced: Rauw Alejandro, Alejandro Sanz, Christian Nodal, Feid, Maria Becerra & More

The first wave of performers for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs also includes current nominees Bizarrap, Kany García and Carin León.

GRAMMYs/Oct 17, 2023 - 11:58 am

The Latin Recording Academy has announced the first wave of performers for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, officially known as the 24th Latin GRAMMY Awards. The lineup includes current nominees Maria Becerra, Bizarrap, Feid, Kany García, Carin León, Christian Nodal, Rauw Alejandro, and Alejandro Sanz. More performers at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Maria Becerra has four nominations, including Song of the Year, Best Reggaeton Performance and Best Urban Song, while Bizarrap is nominated in six categories, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Producer of the Year. Feid has five nominations, including Best Reggaeton Performance, Best Urban Music Album and Best Rap/Hip Hop Song. Kany García is nominated for Best Regional Song, and Carin León is in the running for Best Norteño Album. Christian Nodal also has two nominations, for Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album and Best Regional Song. Rauw Alejandro is a Best Urban Music Album nominee, and Alejandro Sanz is nominated in two categories, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Read More: 2023 Latin GRAMMYs: See The Complete Nominations List

The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs will broadcast live from the Conference and Exhibition Centre (FIBES) in Sevilla (Seville) in Andalucía (Andalusia), Spain, on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT) on Univision, UniMás and Galavisión in the U.S., and at 10:30 p.m. CET on Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE) in Spain. Additional international broadcasting partners and local airings will be available soon. This year’s awards show will be the first-ever international telecast in the history of the Latin GRAMMYs and the Latin Recording Academy

The Latin GRAMMY Premiere, where the majority of the categories are awarded, will precede the telecast; additional details about this annual event full of special Latin GRAMMY moments will be announced at a later date.

2023 Latin GRAMMYs Nominations: Carlos Vives, Iza, Kenia Os, Gaby Amarantos & More React To The Big Announcement