Photo (L-R): Imagine It Media, Sony Music Latin, DEL Studios/DEL Records
6 Regional Mexican Music Acts Redefining The Genre: Christian Nodal, Grupo Firme, Ángela Aguilar & More
From Mexico's Christian Nodal to the Bay Area's Eslabón Armado, get to know six acts who are putting a new spin on an age-old genre.
The sound of regional Mexican music has endured for centuries, thanks to Mexican crooners and balladeers like the late greats Vicente Fernández and Jenni Rivera. Now, a new generation of artists — from both sides of the Mexico–United States border — are helping the genre continue to evolve, while also reaching bigger global success than ever before.
Regional Mexican music is a catch-all term that encompasses several music styles that are native to Mexico, including norteño, banda, mariachi, and ranchera music. Along with Fernández and Rivera, artists that have defined the genre over the past few decades include Pedro Infante, Juan Gabriel, Selena, and Ariel Camacho. Though all of them are sadly no longer with us, a new crop of artists are reviving and redefining the sound of regional Mexican music — and helping the age-old genre connect with a younger audience.
Mexican singers Christian Nodal and Natanael Cano spearheaded the movement, pushing regional Mexican music up the charts in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Nodal fused mariachi and norteño music, while Cano ushered in corridos tumbados, which put a hip-hop and trap twist on traditional corridos.
In the few years since, many more Gen-Z acts from both the U.S. and Mexico have put their own stamp on the traditional genre, even breaking records in the process. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, GRAMMY.com is spotlighting six acts who are refreshing regional Mexican music.
Hailing from the city of Caborca in Sonora, Mexico, Christian Nodal has become one of the biggest artists of today's regional Mexican music since he broke out in 2018. His fusion of mariachi and norteño music (mariacheño, as he coined), along with his vocal range and vaquero charm, has helped him connect with regional Mexican music fans young and old. Those have also gained him wide critical acclaim, including four Latin GRAMMYs and two GRAMMY nominations.
While Nodal is putting a youthful touch on the genre, he's also ushering in new fusions. Alongside Mexican rapper Gera MX, Nodal made history in 2021 with their global hit "Botella Tras Botella," which was the first regional Mexican song to ever reach the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2022, Nodal has brought his unique flair to songs with the King of Bachata, Romeo Santos ("Me Extraño"), and Christina Aguilera ("Cuando Me Dé la Gana").
Ángela Aguilar is proudly carrying on the legacy of her last name. The Aguilar family legacy runs deep in regional Mexican music: Her grandparents are Mexican legends Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre, and her father is icon Pepe Aguilar.
The Mexican-American artist embraces a more traditional sound of the genre, captivating audiences of all ages with her soulful voice that's beyond her years. Along with continuing her family's legacy, she's proving to be a star in her own right — and one that's making waves in a male-dominated genre. She scored her second No. 1 on Billboard's Regional Mexican Airplay chart in May with "Ahí Donde Me Ven," making her just the seventh female act who has had at least one No. 1 in the chart's 28-year history.
Natanael Cano spun regional Mexican music on its head by ushering in the corridos tumbados movement. The emerging genre blends the corridos of his Hermosillo, Sonora roots with the hip-hop flow of L.A, where Cano is currently based.
Cano had a breakout year in 2019 thanks to the swaggering hit "El Drip," which first gained popularity on YouTube. His fiery follow-up single "Soy El Diablo" captured the attention of Bad Bunny, who jumped on a remix.
Cano continues to take corridos even farther with cross-genre collabs with the likes of Snoop Dogg ("Feeling Good") and Steve Aoki ("NataAoki"). He took the genre to its biggest stage yet in April, when he performed at Coachella.
Fans of the late Mexican singer Ariel Camacho will love Bay Area-based band Eslabón Armado, who are reviving sierreño music for a new generation of fans. Eslabón Armado's version of the guitar-driven genre reflects their Mexican-American background, also giving the traditional Mexican sound an emo touch.
Since releasing their breakthrough hit, the haunting love song "Con Tus Besos," in 2020, the band have landed six songs in the top 20 of Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart — two of which reached the top 5. And just two years in, Eslabón Armado is making history: The trio's 2022 album, Nostalgia, peaked at No. 9 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart in May, becoming the first regional Mexican album to place within the top 10.
Grupo Firme have become mavericks to watch out for in regional Mexican music. Through their brassy banda music anthems, the seven-piece group have amassed millions of fans in and outside of the genre.
That's been further proven by their impressive streaming numbers: At press time, the music video for their kiss-off track "Ya Superame" has more than 305 million views on YouTube alone, and the raucous "El Toxico" (featuring fellow Mexican singer Carin Leon) has more than 413 million. Their infectious melodies and free-spirited performances also helped them earn a Latin GRAMMY for Best Banda Album in 2021 and a slot on the Coachella bill this year. Perhaps their 2020 album title said it best: Nos Divertimos Logrando Lo Imposible, which translates to "We Have Fun Achieving the Impossible."
The band has also become a bright spot of LGBTQ+ representation in the genre, as member Jhonny Caz is openly gay. His brother, lead singer Eduin Caz, sings about the band's message of inclusiveness and tells off naysayers in "Cada Quien," which features Colombian superstar Maluma.
Yahritza y Su Esencia
Yahritza y Su Esencia is the latest success story in regional Mexican music. The trio is comprised of Yahritza Martínez and her brothers, Jairo and Mando, who hail from Washington's Yakima Valley.
Yahritza, who is the lead singer, started teasing the band's debut single "Soy El Unico" on TikTok before the group officially released it in March. The heartfelt corrido that showcased Yahritza's soulful voice debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart and No. 20 on the Hot 100. With the latter entry, Yahritza made history as the youngest Latin performer to appear on the all-genre chart at just 15 years old.
The family band continued their chart success with their first EP, Obsessed, which opened at No. 1 on the Regional Mexican Albums chart in May, showing that the genre's next generation isn't just resonating — they're dominating.
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.
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."
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.
Photo: Aldara Zarraoa/Getty Images
Watch: Eslabon Armado & Peso Pluma Bring "Ella Baila Sola" To Life At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
Eslabon Armado and Peso Pluma put Música Mexicana into the mainstream with "Ella Baila Sola." Both acts made their debut on the Latin GRAMMY stage, performing their hit collaboration.
Eslabon Armado and Peso Pluma put Música Mexicana into the mainstream with the global hit "Ella Baila Sola." The collaboration garnered Eslabon Armado two Latin GRAMMY nominations, including Song Of The Year and Best Regional Mexican Song. Backed by a full live Mexican band, the duo offered a fiery performance of the Música Mexicana smash together for the first time at the awards.
Eslabon Armado and Peso Pluma brought the posh atmosphere of the "Ella Baila Sola" music video to life with an elaborate performance. Women in bright red dresses and masks appeared behind the suited-up members of Eslabon Armado's band. Eslabon Armado’s lead singer, Pedro Tovar, and Peso Pluma were captivated as they sang the corrido love song together.
In those categories, only the songwriter is nominated, which means Eslabon Armado's Pedro Tovar is up for both awards. When the song peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Eslabon Armado and Peso Pluma made history with the first Música Mexicana track to crack the Top 10. At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, both acts made their debut on the Sevilla stage.
"Ella Baila Sola" was included on Eslabon Armado's sixth album Desvelado, which was released last April. Peso Pluma capitalized on the success of their collaboration and released his breakthrough LP Génesis that following June. With Génesis currently nominated for Best Música Mexicana Album (including Tejano) at the 2024 GRAMMY Awards, Peso Pluma became a first-time GRAMMY nominee.
Photos Courtesy of Artists
2023 Latin GRAMMYs Performers: Peso Pluma and Eslabón Armado, Juanes, Ozuna, Camilo, Iza And More Artists Added
Additional newly announced performers for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs include Pablo Alborán, Edgar Barrera, Manuel Carrasco, BORJA, Natascha Falcão, GALE, Paola Guanche, Joaquina, and León Leiden.
The Latin Recording Academy has announced additional performers for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs. Current nominees Pablo Alborán, Edgar Barrera, Camilo, Manuel Carrasco, Iza, Juanes, and Ozuna along with Best New Artist nominees BORJA, Natascha Falcão, GALE, Paola Guanche, Joaquina, and León Leiden are confirmed to take the Latin GRAMMY stage. Additionally, Eslabón Armado and Peso Pluma will join forces to perform "Ella Baila Sola" for the first time together on television.
These artists join previously announced 2023 Latin GRAMMYs performers Maria Becerra, Bizarrap, Feid, Kany García, Carin León, Christian Nodal, Rauw Alejandro, and Alejandro Sanz, who are all current nominees, as well as the 2023 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, Laura Pausini
Latin GRAMMY winner and GRAMMY nominee Sebastián Yatra; Latin GRAMMY nominees and actresses Roselyn Sánchez and Danna Paola; and internationally acclaimed actress Paz Vega will host the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, officially known as the 24th Latin GRAMMY Awards.
Pablo Alborán has five nominations including Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. Edgar Barrera is nominated in 13 categories including Producer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. Camilo is nominated in seven categories this year, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Manuel Carrasco is nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, while Iza is nominated for Best Portuguese Language Urban Performance. Juanes is nominated in four categories including Album of the Year and Best Rock Song.
Taking place internationally for the first time ever, the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs will be broadcast from the Conference and Exhibition Centre (FIBES) in Sevilla (Seville) in Andalucía (Andalusia), Spain, on Thursday, Nov. 16. The show will air 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.
The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs will see the debut of several new Latin GRAMMY categories and a new Field, including Best Songwriter Of The Year, as part of the newly created Songwriting Field, Best Singer-Songwriter Song and Best Portuguese-Language Urban Performance. These new additions and amendments will make the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs an exciting, history-making night in Latin music.
More details about the Latin GRAMMY Premiere, where the majority of the Latin GRAMMY categories will be awarded, will be announced soon.
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.
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.
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.