meta-scriptMeet The First Time Latin GRAMMY Nominee: Borja On Latin Pop & The Shared Experience Of Falling In Love |
Meet The First Time Latin GRAMMY Nominee: Borja On Latin Pop & The Shared Experience Of Falling In Love

Photo: Fer Piña


Meet The First Time Latin GRAMMY Nominee: Borja On Latin Pop & The Shared Experience Of Falling In Love

On his debut LP, 'Rimas Del Verbo Amar,' Best New Artist nominee Borja captures all the emotions that love can spark. At 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, Borja is the sole artist from Spain in his category.

GRAMMYs/Nov 13, 2023 - 02:12 pm

Spanish singer/songwriter Borja is on a mission to bring romance back to Latin pop music. 

Borja's sentimental outlook colors his debut album, Rimas Del Verbo Amar, which helped him garner his very first Latin GRAMMY nomination. At the 24th Latin GRAMMYs, Borja is the sole artist from Spain in the Best New Artist category.

Borja is nominated alongside Conexión Divina, Ana Del Castillo, Natascha Falcão, Gale, Paola Guanche, Joaquina, Leon Leiden, Maréh and Timø.

"To be nominated feels like a dream come true," Borja tells "It's something I've thought about all my life. It's something I've been working on for years and for it to suddenly happen is like, Wow, we can truly make things happen if we work hard and we dream hard enough."

Before releasing his debut LP in May, Borja spent the past few years getting his bearings in the industry. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 2018 with a degree in music business, and also worked with GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning producer Julio Reyes Copello at Art House Studios in Miami. Borja later cowrote songs for acts like Reik, Lasso, Marco Mares, and Nicole Zignago — all of whom have previously been nominated for Best New Artist.

Borja was also releasing music under his own name, including the breathtaking ballad "Aire," the flamenco-infused "Tu Cuarto," and the trap-lite track "TBB" featuring Peruvian artist Sergi. Not only is he wearing his heart on his sleeve, but he is also pushing that Latine pop that he grew up on into the future. Borja injects a bit of rock angst with his guitar in-hand in his breakup anthems "Amigos" and "Ódiame Si Quieres." 

The 12-track album captures all the emotions that love can spark. "I think romantic pop is great. At the end of the day, we all feel the same things," he reflects. "It's not only focused on the beautiful side of things. It talks about being vulnerable, knowing that it doesn't always happen like you expected and that's fine."

Borja will also be performing at the Latin GRAMMYs on Nov. 16 in Seville, Spain. He and a few other Best New Artist contenders this year will be joined by Colombian icon Juanes, who won the award in 2001. Ahead of the ceremony, Borja talked with about his first Latin GRAMMY nomination, his breakthrough year, and how he is redefining Latin pop. 

Did starting out as a songwriter help you in your journey to becoming an artist?

I've learned a lot. I started in the studio watching Julio Reyes Copello, who is one of the most important producers, recording with artists like Marc Anthony and Will Smith. I remember one time Bad Bunny came to the studio and I was like, “Wow!” I was listening in and trying to learn. And then I moved onto songwriting with Reik, Lasso, Marco Mares, and Nicole Zignago, who are a bunch of artists that I really like. I got to learn from being able to see other artists do their craft before I was doing mine. 

Is there any advice that you got from your songwriting sessions that stuck with you?

You can always learn from anyone. If you allow yourself to be vulnerable in the studio and honest, you learn so much by just doing that exercise. There's many lessons, but one of them I remember is from Gian Marco, who is Nicole's father and an amazing artist. He told me, “Every song you put out has to be a whole universe. Take care of the music." I think that's very important to respect the music you're making and make it into a whole universe.

How would you describe the experience of transitioning from songwriter into becoming an artist?

It was really easy in the sense that my dream and my final goal has always been this. It was really natural. It's definitely different because you're putting yourself at the forefront. 

Even if no one was listening to me, I would still do music and I would still write with people because it's what I love doing. It's been a bit more work having to do both things. But at the time, it's what I always wanted.

On top of that, you're also navigating the music industry as an independent artist. 

That makes me really proud because I've had to learn about how everything works. I have a great team, but obviously a smaller team. We don't have 25 to 30 people helping us with the music video shoots, licensing, clearance, and all of that music business side. It's definitely a lot more work, but at the same time, I feel like I grow a lot more.

What was the inspiration for your debut album Rimas Del Verbo Amar?

Rimas Del Verbo Amar is like my baby. It's really important in that sense that I was writing for it for almost the past six years. The first song is from 2017 and the last one is from 2023. It's been amazing to see how I've been able to grow as a person and as a musician. And my songs have stayed relevant for me; a good song is a song that is always going to be relevant. 

The album really talks about the experience of love — giving love and receiving love — but in every angle. It's not only focused on the beautiful side of things. It talks about being vulnerable, knowing that it doesn't always happen like you expected and that's fine. Not everything is meant to be forever and that's okay. It touches on all the areas that I've been learning about. 

How are you reviving romantic pop on this album?

What I'm trying to do is keep the essence of the old pop, from like the 2000s, but at the same time, I'm trying to mix it with the new sounds. Maybe make it a bit fresher with new production. Maybe the songs are a little bit shorter now. That's a challenge now because you have fewer words to say the same thing. That's my interpretation of what pop should be nowadays. 

I think romantic pop is great. At the end of the day, we all feel the same things during life, like, no one can really escape that. [Laughs.]  Sooner or later, we are all going to go through similar situations. Love is universal. Love is everywhere. Love is in music and in relationships with your family, your friends, your loved ones. That's really important to me and I try to put that a lot in my music. 

How did you feel to see your song "Rimas Del Verbo Amar" cross one million streams on Spotify?

It's the first song on my project that has done that. It's funny because it's a really simple song in a sense that it's just piano and vocals. But that comes to show you that many times, if it's done well and if it's saying the right words, it connects with people. That was really important for me to see that people connected to the song even though it was a really intimate little song.

You worked with previous Best New Artist nominees Vale on the song "Terco." What is the story behind that collaboration? 

I love the girls. They are so talented. I met them two years ago in Miami because we were doing a songwriting session with them and with Marco Mares. It was a great vibe from the start. We wrote that song, we went out to dinner, and we just had a great time. Then nothing happened with the song for a while. 

That happens sometimes with songs, they just fall behind a little bit, and you don't know what to make of it. I just grabbed the song and I started producing it myself. Once I got it to a point where I really liked it, I called Andrés Saavedra. I was like, "When I bring the girls onto it, I think it will be a cute pop romantic ballad." That song was really special to make.

What's the response been like to this album where you are opening your heart in your songs?

It's been great. I always say when someone who follows my music or a fan writes to me to explain their whole story based on my song, that's like my GRAMMY. The other day a guy from Colombia wrote to me, "I found your music and it just so happens that I'm in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend. I haven't seen her in like a year. We're going to reunite in Barcelona and for our anniversary, I want to dedicate your song to her." To know that you can have that kind of impact, it means everything. 

How do you feel to represent Spain in the Best New Artist category?

It feels amazing! Obviously, it's the first year the Latin GRAMMYs are happening in Spain. I'm the only Spanish nominee in the Best New Artist category, so it's like a double prize for me. There's a lot of talent in Spain who maybe sometimes don't have the opportunity to come abroad to the U.S. or Latin America. For this to be in Spain, makes me super proud and for me to be representing Spain in this category makes me even prouder. 

You attended the Latin GRAMMYs before in 2021 to support Marco Mares and last year to support Nicole Zignago. What do those previous Best New Artist nominees think of your nomination?

We were super excited. When my nomination came out, we called each other because we studied together at Berklee in Boston, so we used to talk about being nominated for Best New Artist. We used to dream of it and joke about it. It happened that all three of us have been nominated. It was amazing to talk with them and be like, "Wow, look what we've done."

What can you tell us about performance at the ceremony this year?

I'm going to be doing two performances. The first one will be at the Best New Artist showcase. This is a little secret, but we're going to be doing a little medley of my songs. It's going to be super cute. We're rehearsing for it. On the day of the gala, we're singing with Juanes. I think that's going to be super special. 

Who do you want to collaborate with in the future?

Alejandro Sanz would be amazing, and also Pablo Alborán. I think Pablo is one of the best voices in Spain. He has such massive control over his voice. His songwriting is amazing. Working with Pablo would be a dream.

What do you want to achieve with your music?

Just for people to be able to connect with their feelings. I think it's very important to be honest about what we feel. I feel that maybe if someone listens to my music, they might be able to connect with that and do that.

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: Feid Delivers A Colorful Performance Of “Le Pido a Dios” With DJ Premier At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
Feid performs at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs on Thursday, Nov. 16

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy


Watch: Feid Delivers A Colorful Performance Of “Le Pido a Dios” With DJ Premier At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs

After a huge breakthrough year, Colombian star Feid celebrated his six 2023 Latin GRAMMYs nominations by bringing his hit "Le Pido a Dios" to the stage.

GRAMMYs/Nov 17, 2023 - 01:26 am

Colombian singer Feid capped off a remarkable breakout year with a performance of “Le Pido a Dios” at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs. He closed out the show with hip-hop producer DJ Premier.

The stage glowed dark in Feid’s favorite color green when he kicked off his performance. Backed by a few sparse piano notes, he first showed off his voice by singing a soaring version of “Prohibidox.” DJ Premier then appeared with his DJ console and began playing their song “Le Pido a Dios.” From there, Feid flexed his rapping skills as he spit the slick lyrics. Feid and DJ Premier’s swaggering performance beautifully bridged together the world of Latin and hip-hop. Considering that hip-hop celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, it was an incredible union to see take place at the Latin Grammy Awards this year.

Feid turned a difficult moment in his career into his breakthrough when his LP Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo Te Pirateamos el Álbum was leaked in September 2022. The Colombian singer/songwriter quickly released the album commercially shortly after and he has become one of the most-streamed Latin acts in the world.

The success of the album led to six 2023 Latin GRAMMY nominations, including Best Urban Music Album and Best Reggaeton Performance for "Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo." Feid has become a go-to collaborator with Ozuna, and their hit "Hey Mor" earned a 2023 Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best Reggaeton Performance.

Feid received nominations with Yandel and DJ Premier; "Yandel 150" was up for Best Urban Fusion/Performance, and "Le Pido a Dios" was nominated for Best Rap/Hip Hop Song.

2023 Latin GRAMMYs: See The Complete Nominations List

2023 Latin GRAMMYs Red Carpet Fashion: See Pics Of Rosalía, Karol G, Peso Pluma, Shakira, Bizarrap, & More
Shakira on the red carpet at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs in Seville, Spain.

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy


2023 Latin GRAMMYs Red Carpet Fashion: See Pics Of Rosalía, Karol G, Peso Pluma, Shakira, Bizarrap, & More

For the 24th Latin GRAMMYs Awards, Latin music's biggest artists graced Sevilla, Spain’s royal red carpet in their most dazzling outfits.

GRAMMYs/Nov 17, 2023 - 01:25 am

The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs are not just The Biggest Night In Latin Music — it was also an occasion for the leading lights in Latin music to don a plethora of eye-catching outfits. Just as many of the nominated artists blend genres and break barriers, so too did their sartorial choices. 

Latin GRAMMY performers and nominees demonstrated their individuality and creativity with  extravagant, playful styles. Artists including Rosalía, Karol G, Bizarrap, Peso Pluma, Juanes, and Sebastián Yatra donned jaw-dropping award show looks. Daniela Santiago, Liz Trujillo and Sandra Calixto of Música Mexicana group Conexión Divina coordinated their all black and leather ensembles, while singer/songwriter Natalia Lafourcade — who took home multiple Latin GRAMMYs for, including Record Of The Year, for "De Todas Las Flores" — added a satin green touch to the red carpet. 

The most-nominated artists at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs are Camilo, Karol G and Shakira, each of whom have seven nominations. Songwriter and composer Keityn also received seven nominations. Edgar Barrera, who took home the Latin GRAMMY Award for Producer Of The Year, led the night with 13 nominations. 

Hosted by Latin GRAMMY winner and performer Sebsatián Yatra, GRAMMY nominee and actress Danna Paola, along with critically-acclaimed actresses Roselyn Sánchez and Paz Vega — who each also made fashion statements — the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs were an aural and visual night to remember. 

Here are some of our favorite looks from the red carpet at the FIBES Conference and Exhibition Centre in Sevilla, Spain. 

Karol G John Parra/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy

Rosalia 2023 Latin GRAMMYs Red Carpet

Rosalía | Patricia J. Garcinuno/WireImage

Bizarrap 2023 Latin GRAMMYs red carpet

Bizarrap | Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

Natalia Lafourcade Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

2023 Latin GRAMMYs Red Carpet Round-Up Peso Pluma Nicki Nicole

Peso Pluma and Nicki NicoleRodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy

Sebastian Yatra┃Patricia J. Garcinuno/WireImage

Conexión Divina┃Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

Karen Martinez and JuanesNeilson Barnard/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy

Mon Laferte 2023 Latin GRAMMYs red carpet

Mon Laferte┃Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy

EDGAR BARRERA 2023 Latin GRAMMYs red carpet

Edgar Barrera┃Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy

Maria Becerra 2023 latin grammys red carpet

Maria Becerra┃Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy

India Martinez 2023 Latin GRAMMYs Red Carpet

 India MartínezRodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy

Joaquina 2023 latin grammys red carpet

Joaquina┃Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy

Kenia os 2023 latin grammys red carpet

Kenia OS┃Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy

Sita Abellán 2023 Latin GRAMMYs red carpet

Sita AbellánPatricia J. Garcinuno/WireImage

2023 Latin GRAMMYs: See The Complete Winners & Nominations List

Christian Nodal And Kany García Perform A Stirring “La Siguiente” At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
Christian Nodal and Kany García perform at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs on Thursday, Nov. 16

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy


Christian Nodal And Kany García Perform A Stirring “La Siguiente” At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs

At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, Kany García and Christian Nodal are up for Best Regional Mexican Song. The "La Siguiente" singers joined forces once again on the Sevilla stage for an electric performance.

GRAMMYs/Nov 17, 2023 - 01:01 am

Música Mexicana superstar Christian Nodal received two Latin GRAMMY nominations this year: Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album for Forajido EP2 and Best Regional Mexican Song for "La Siguiente," his collaboration with Kany García. The Puerto Rican singer/songwriter masterfully melded the tropical pop she's known for with Nodal's mariachi.

At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, the two singers joined forces once again, bringing their unique collaboration to the stage in Sevilla. García donned her best vaquera, or cowgirl, outfit as she first sang “La Siguiente” solo. Nodal joined her halfway through in black sparkling vaquero suit of his own as their voices soared together. García and Nodal shared a sweet chemistry as they looked each other in the eyes and sang the song's loving lyrics. They masterfully translated the emotion behind their tropical and regional fusion into a captivating performance.

Nodal has previously won five Latin GRAMMY awards, including Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album last year for EP 1# Forajido. In September, he released the EP México en Mi Voz, in which he covered mariachi classics by late Mexican icons Vicente Fernández and Juan Gabriel. Since winning Best New Artist at the 2008 Latin GRAMMY Awards, García has taken home an additional five awards throughout her career. She has also previously received three GRAMMY Award nominations.

Nodal and García share their Best Regional Mexican Song nomination with co-writers
Edgar Barrera (who is the most-nominated person of the year with 13 nominations), and Richi López.

2023 Latin GRAMMYs: See The Complete Nominations List