meta-scriptLatin Music's Next Era: How New Festivals & Big Billings Have Helped Bring Reggaeton, New Corridos & More To The Masses | GRAMMY.com
Latin Music's Next Era: How New Festivals & Big Billings Have Helped Bring Reggaeton, New Corridos & More To The Masses
(L-R) Farruko, Kali Uchis, Daddy Yankee, Julieta Venegas, J Balvin

Source Photos (L-R): Rich Polk/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy; Medios y Media/Getty Images; Gladys Vega/Getty Images for Discover Puerto Rico; Mariano Regidor/Redferns; Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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

From Viva! LA to Baja Beach Fest and Vibra Urbana, Latin music festivals are experiencing an incredible boom. Dovetailing with the broad genre's increasing popularity, fests bridge "different subcultures and subgenres of music" in one place

GRAMMYs/May 27, 2022 - 01:01 pm

As Latin music continues to make extraordinary inroads in the American mainstream — from breaking historic records on the global pop charts to setting new ones in streaming — the festival circuit has also seen a tremendous increase of Latin artists.

More Latin acts than ever performed at top-tier events like Coachella in 2022, a year that also debuted half a dozen exclusively Latin music festivals in the U.S. New events include reggaeton-heavy fests like Chicago's Sueños and Más Flow, and the classic-line-up Bésame Mucho in Los Angeles — all revealing an unprecedented moment for Latin music. 

"It's a new era. There's never been this big of a crossover," says Aaron Ampudia, co-creator of Sueños and Mexico’s Baja Beach Fest (BBF). "There's never been a Latin artist like what Bad Bunny is right now, crushing all the records in [the] history of streaming, beating Drake and American artists. That's never happened for Latinos." 

Entrepreneurs Ampudia and Chris Den Uijl founded Baja Beach Fest in 2018 in Rosarito’s storied beach venue Papas and Beer, just 20 miles south of San Diego. During that time, there were no sole reggaeton and Latin trap festivals in the region — the closest being 2018’s Latinx indie-heavy Tropicalia in Long Beach. The pair tapped an open market, attracting prospective attendees from both sides of the border all the way up to Los Angeles. 

With now-icons Bad Bunny and "Pepas" singer Farruko as headliners, BBF was billed as the "West Coast’s largest Latin trap and reggaeton music festival." By betting on established and upcoming música urbana stars, BBF managed to become a competitive player on the global festival market, doubling in attendance from 15,000 to 30,000 in its first two years and expanding to two weekends, à la Coachella.

"We birthed Baja Beach Fest because we wanted to create an inclusive event for Latinos, specifically young Mexican Americans on the West Coast, and that turned into this movement. It was almost the perfect storm," Den Uijl says. "As the brand has grown, we are now bringing it to the United States. Since Chicago has a massive Latin culture population, we wanted Latinos to have something to celebrate." And their gambit has paid off. 

On Memorial weekend, Sueños kicks off in partnership with C3 Presents, the production empire behind Lollapalooza. The festival's expanded genre roster now includes new corridos from Natanael Cano and Fuerza Regida, as well as reggaeton staples Ozuna, J Balvin and Sech. "Having Banda MS come out with Becky G last year [at BBF] was really big," says Den Uijl. "Aaron really pushed it [with the regional stuff] like, ‘Hey, this is something that our culture celebrates.’ It was the moment of the whole entire festival [last year]."

Promoted as "Chicago’s Official Reggaeton Fest," Más Flow debuts in July, focusing its attention on legacy acts, with headliners Don Omar, Zion & Lennox, Tego Calderón and Ivy Queen, among others. 

Other música urbana fests in the U.S. that are making a huge splash include Vibra Urbana, which has positioned itself as "The Biggest Reggaeton Festival in the U.S." The festival grew from a backyard reverie in Orlando to an indoor Miami venue in 2020, and will be held in Orlando this June.

"[We started Vibra Urbana] out of love for the music and seeing an empty gap where we felt like we could provide for our city," says festival co-founder David Adan, a Miami-born Cuban American. "Miami is full of Latinos, full of the love for Latin music. Everywhere that you go out, you'll see clubs playing Spanish [language] music. Everyone's talking in Spanish. We needed to make something happen."

The Vibra Urbana team found their niche — and built a significant audience — by gathering some of the hottest new talent of el género. Jhay Cortez, J Quiles, Rauw Alejandro and Myke Towers, who were still in the early stages of their U.S. breakthrough, all performed at the festival’s inaugural year. Such support has contributed to artists' superstar trajectory: Rauw Alejandro graced the cover of Rolling Stone earlier this year, while Jhay Cortez's steady growth continues to uptick by a stream of viral hits.

"We try to put forth the best fan experience, and we put together the artists that we know and who connect with the fans," says Cuban-Lebanese music organizer Kirk Taboada, and partner at Vibra Urbana. The partners' most ambitious festival took place over two days this spring in Las Vegas, where two decades of reggaeton brilliance were on display — from emerging (Dalex, Cauty) to superstar (Anuel AA, Sech) and legendary acts (Don Omar). 

"Hopefully in the next five years, we’ll expand it across the globe, to make an impact globally," Taboada adds. "But right now we want to make a huge impact here locally and on the West Coast."

More Latin Talent, More Latin Music Consumption

The 2020 Super Bowl halftime show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira was a turning point for Latin music, opening more doors for the genre and Latin acts in the live music television space. Since, the presence of Spanish-language acts has increased tremendously on late night television alone, with Kali Uchis, Karol G, the Marías, Nicky Nicole, Natanael Cano, Carlos Vives, Rauw Alejandro, Thalia and Anitta, among others, appearing on the small screen.

The Latin music market has experienced double-digit growth over the past six years. According to the
RIAA’s 2021 year-end report, U.S. Latin music revenue generated an all-time high of $886 million, growing by 36 percent year-over-year. Music Business Worldwide predicts that the recorded music market for Latin artists in the U.S. will generate more than $1 billion in 2022. 

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

The exponential rise of Latin music consumption parallels Latin music festivals’ ascent, with música urbana taking the lead in both. This success opened up more pathways for diverse Latin genres to be (re)introduced to U.S. audiences, as well as the impressive growth of events like Viva! L.A. Music Festival, a compellingly varied fest rooted in Latin indie, inclusiveness and a DIY approach.

"I started with a little music festival in Pomona because I wanted to bring people to the city I grew up in," recalls 31-year-old founder René Contreras, who created the festival as Viva! Pomona a decade ago. 

For the first annual Viva! L.A. Music Festival, which will take place at the Dodger Stadium this June, the Chicano entrepreneur partnered with Goldenvoice, the creators of Coachella and Stagecoach. Viva!’s 2022 iteration boasts one of the most eclectic line-ups of the Latin music festival circuit, appealing to a multi-generational audience: J Balvin, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Carla Morrison, Omar Apollo, Kali Uchis, Willie Colón, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Devendra Banhart are among this year's performers. 

"[It’s about] bridging different subcultures and subgenres of music, and bringing it all together in one place," says Contreras of the line-up diversity. "You could go to see Eslabon Armado and then you can go and watch Chicano Batman. We have the indie Latinx bands that are really big in L.A., and legends like Daddy Yankee, Ivy Queen, and Paquita la del Barrio, as well as corridos and corridos tumbados. I feel like people listen to all styles of music now. Music is such a big part of our culture and it's really exciting." 

"I think it's important to research and try to understand a genre of music from its roots to the top," he adds holding a book called Remixing Reggaetón: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico (2015) by Petra R. Rivera-Rideau via Zoom. "You could just book someone and call it a day. But I want to understand the music and its background. Also, going to shows and hanging out after with the artist or manager has helped me understand what it's like to live the creativeness that they're making."

"What Was Once Alternative Is Now Mainstream"

No stranger to alternative Latin music and culture is Nacional Records CEO Tomas Cookman, who also runs the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) in New York City. Cookman has been championing Latin music in the U.S. since the ‘90s (including briefly through his own festival, Supersónico), and has made a business of betting on indie and niche Latin styles. 

In ‘90s, music festivals that held conferences were limited: South by Southwest, CMJ, and New Music Seminar. Hence the birth of LAMC, the first live music/conference space to spotlight a Latin underground that didn’t get shine via radioplay or TV airtime, but resonated loudly in the streets. It also coincided with the first internet boom which, decades later, enables marketing of non-mainstream music and events. 

"If a song was a big hit record in London or New York, it probably took six or nine months to hit Mexico City, Bogota, or Buenos Aires [back then]. Nowadays, something comes out, and it's immediate everywhere," says Cookman. "Nowadays, [artists] record in their backyard if they want to. There's still money being spent on recording. But it's so much easier to have a quality of music that resonates on a global level."

The LAMC’s 20th anniversary coincided with the Latin GRAMMYs own, and in 2019 both organizations joined forces at SummerStage to present ChocQuibTown, Guaynaa, Macaco and Vicente García. "Luis Dousdebes from the Latin GRAMMYs came up with that quote," Cookman notes, referring to LAMC's new slogan "What was once alternative is now mainstream." 

But the award for ultimate from-alternative-to-mainstream transition goes to Bad Bunny, Rosalía and C. Tangana, who were all featured in LAMC’s 2018 three-CD compilation — when those artists were still independent. "Now it’s a playlist," Cookman says, chuckling.

Although LAMC takes place in New York, Nacional Records’ headquarters is located in Southern California — the area with the U.S.' most concentrated Latin population — where Coachella also takes place and the Bésame Mucho festival.   

From the founders of Tropicalia fest, Bésame Mucho arrives in December, with a roster that capitalizes on grupera, banda and rock en español’s glory days, as well as Spanish-language vintage pop. The lineup features legendary performers like Caifanes, El Tri, Los Tigres del Norte, Los Angeles Azules, Sin Bandera and La Oreja de Van Gogh. 

"I feel like [nostalgic Latin acts] has been something that's been missing from the [current] festival space. Not just in Southern California, but throughout the U.S.," says Adrian Hernández, founder and creative director of Need Pastel, who designed art for Bésame — as well as the cover for Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti. "I feel like L.A. is the best place for that kind of representation [...] It's almost like a family event, somewhere I could go to with my abuelos."

Siguiendo La Luna: Latin Music’s Next Stop

With the global embrace of Spanish-language and Latin songs, it’s safe to say that American dwellers are truly experiencing a more accepting and diverse moment in history — a new cultural epoch. 

"There are lots of similarities to where Latin music is going, where urban music has been for the last 20 years, where it found its important and well-earned space in the market," Cookman says. "I think when people hear Rosalía, J Balvin, or Bad Bunny, they go, "Oh yeah, that could be Drake."

Just the fact that Coachella’s roster doubled in Latin acts since 2020 is a testament to the popularity of today’s Ibero American artists, where Brazil’s Anitta, Colombia’s Karol G, and Mexico’s Grupo Firme and Banda MS were among this year’s performers. "Hopefully, more and more Latino professionals within those companies will have a bigger say in what is important," Cookman adds. 

"The growth is unstoppable," Adam chimes in. "I think everyone is noticing now. For reference, Bunny creates songs in a different language [Spanish], and now you have [Hispanophone artists] singing this language, and they have no idea what he’s saying. It’s as simple as that. It's bringing acknowledgement that this genre is here to stay, and ready to keep growing."

11 Essential Bad Bunny Collaborations: Drake, Rosalía, Cardi B, Bomba Estéreo & Others

Mañana Y Siempre: How Karol G Has Made The World Mas Bonito
Karol G

Photo: Patricia J. Garcinuno / WireImage / Getty Images

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Mañana Y Siempre: How Karol G Has Made The World Mas Bonito

'Mañana Será Bonito' may have been the vehicle for Karol G's massive year, but the 2024 GRAMMY nominee for Best Música Urbana Album has been making strides in reggaeton, urbano and the music industry at large for a long time.

GRAMMYs/Feb 1, 2024 - 04:16 pm

For Karol G, 2023 was a watershed year. Her fourth album, Mañana Será Bonito, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 and took home the golden gramophone for Album Of The Year at the Latin GRAMMYs. Her many milestones also included a Rolling Stone cover, and signing with Interscope. At the 2024 GRAMMYs, Mañana Será Bonito is nominated for Best Música Urbana Album. 

The Colombian singer and songwriter was suddenly everywhere in 2023, but this moment is the culmination of a long, steady rise. Karol G has been on the scene for some time, and changing it for the better just by being who she is: an extremely talented woman making waves in a genre still dominated by men.  

Karol G has been a pivotal figure in the world of urbano since 2017, when she collaborated with Bad Bunny on the Latin trap single "Ahora Me Llama." It was a transformative moment for both artists, whose careers took off precipitously after its release. The track led Ms. G’s aptly titled debut album, Unstoppable, which went multi-platinum and peaked at No. 2 on both the U.S. Top Latin Albums and U.S. Latin Rhythm Albums charts. At the 2018 Latin GRAMMYs, Karol was awarded Best New Artist

2024 GRAMMYs: Explore More & Meet The Nominees

Although she came out of the gate in an unstoppable fashion, Karol G's chart-topping debut was the result of years of touring and recording. The artist born Carolina Giraldo Navarro was no overnight success.

She started singing as a teenager growing up in Medellín and, after signing to Colombia's Flamingo Records, chose the name Karol G and began releasing music. Early on, she flew to Miami for a meeting with Universal Records, but they chose not to sign her on the basis that a woman would not be successful making reggaeton — a severe miscalculation, that belies female pioneers and a blossoming roster of contemporary acts

Thankfully, she ignored them. A year after "Ahora Me Llama" and Unstoppable, Karol G won her first Latin GRAMMY. 

The star’s determination makes her a role model, but Karol G's career has also been defined by an inspiring integrity around her principles and artistic vision. By now, it is a well-known anecdote that she turned down the song "Sin Pijama" because it references marijuana use. Karol does not smoke, so the lyrics would not have been authentic to her as a person, or as an artist. 

This authenticity has doubtless been key to Karol G's success. Rather than try to fit an established mold, she brings a uniquely sunny swagger and sporty style to reggaeton. She projects a powerful and feminine energy, and her music often expresses a healthy sense of sexual independence and self-empowerment. This is an intentional part of her message, especially to her female fans.

"They teach us it’s wrong to celebrate ourselves for something we have," she told Rolling Stone of her musical messaging. "And it’s not. We have to be the first ones to give ourselves credit."

Like early collaborator Bad Bunny, Karol G is able to reach a global audience without having to change the language she sings in, her genre of choice, or her messages. Case in point: One of her 2023 accomplishments was becoming the first Latina to headline a global stadium tour, and the highest-grossing Latin touring artist of the year.

She also became the first Latina to headline Lollapalooza and, in between record-breaking tour dates, saw her song "WATATI" featured on Barbie The Album. (The soundtrack is nominated for Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media at the 66th GRAMMY Awards.)

In November, she closed out her big year with a sweep of the Latin GRAMMYs: Mañana Será Bonito received the award for Best Música Urbana Album and Album Of The Year; her Shakira collab "TQG" took home the golden gramophone for Best Urban Fusion/Performance. When she accepted her award for Best Música Urbana Album, Karol exclaimed, "How cool is it for a woman to win this?" 

Karol G’s wins made up a large part of an awards ceremony where women won big:  Shakira won Song Of The Year for her collaboration with Bizzarap, while Natalia Lafourcade won Record Of The Year and Joaquina took home Best New Artist. This was the first year that women won in all the general categories — something that suggests progress for the Latin music industry. The last time a woman won the Latin GRAMMY for Best Música Urbana Album was in 2013, when Spanish rapper Mala Rodríguez took home the award for Bruja. 

Watching the Latin GRAMMYs this year, it was easy to forget that women still have a long way to go to achieve parity with their male counterparts in the music industry. If you lost sight of that, the year-end Latin charts would bring you back to reality: Of the top 50 tracks on the Hot Latin Songs chart, 11 primarily featured women, but six of those tracks belonged to Karol G. Karol’s presence matters and she knows it. 

Karol G brings a powerful feminine energy to reggaeton and Latin trap, but also an unapologetic feminism. While this is explicit in her music, it's also clear in the creative partnerships she makes. She’s had many high profile collaborations with male artists, but just as many with a diverse roster of female artists from reggaeton OG Ivy Queen ("Leyendas") to Latin fusion pop singer Kali Uchis ("Me Tengo Que Ir," "Labios Mordidos"). In an arena so dominated by male artists, each collaboration with another woman is meaningful, but her collaborations with rising artists, such as Young Miko — who appears on the song "Dispo" from Karol’s Bichota Season — truly make a difference. 

Artists like Karol G increase the range of possibilities for artists in their wake, and for anyone in the music industry who flouts narrow expectations. Karol G knows that her victories have larger implications, and this eye toward the future has helped her reach unprecedented heights. "I understand how hard it is [for women to break through] because of how hard it was for me,"she recently told Billboard.

It wasn't easy for Karol G to get where she is today, but she has been opening doors for others — women, artists in reggaeton, artists in urbano and others —  every step of the way. From here on, the title of her album is ringing more and more prescient, and that’s mas bonito.  

2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Nominees List

Edgar Barrera, The Songwriter Behind 2023's Top Latin Hits, Shares How He Remains Grounded Amidst Success
Edgar Barrera

Photo: Courtesy Edgar Barrera

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Edgar Barrera, The Songwriter Behind 2023's Top Latin Hits, Shares How He Remains Grounded Amidst Success

Edgar Barrera is known for building musical bridges, blending unexpected genres and enabling fruitful collaborations. At the 2024 GRAMMYs, the prolific songwriter and producer is the only Latino nominated for Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical.

GRAMMYs/Jan 16, 2024 - 02:56 pm

The life of producer and songwriter Edgar Barrera was shaped by cultural dichotomy. Born in McAllen, Texas, and raised between the Lone Star state and the Mexican border town of Miguel Alemán, Barrera spent his days connecting cultures and languages, making a space for himself.

"I was born on the border. I'm always trying to adapt to Mexican or American culture, growing up in the middle of those two worlds," Barrera tells GRAMMY.com. "This is what I always end up doing in the songs and with the artists I work with, I adapt to them, I adapt to their world, I learn [from them]."

This duality and his innate code-switching ability defined his essence as a musician. In the music industry, Barrera is known among artists as a great bridge-builder between stars. He forges unexpected collaborations and blends genres in effortless ways.

For example, "Un x100to", the smasher collaboration between Grupo Frontera and Bad Bunny, became one of the biggest Latin songs of 2023. It won the Latin GRAMMY Award for Best Regional Mexican Song, climbed to the top of Spotify's global chart, and made its way to Billboard’s Hot 100’s Top 10.

The single is one of nine songs that has earned Barrera a nomination for Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical at the 2024 GRAMMYs. He is the only Latino in this group and has been nominated for all Spanish-language songs. "It means that Latinos are breaking those barriers and that Latin music is important to the industry," Barrera says of the nomination. "To be considered in that category is already a victory. I feel I am paving the way for a Latin songwriter to be in future nominations."

The nod came days before he received the inaugural Latin GRAMMY for Songwriter Of The Year. At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, Barrera received 13 nominations and won three awards, including Producer Of The Year, and was featured in a collaborative performance with Camilo, Manuel Carrasco, and IZA.

Ahead of the 66th GRAMMY Awards, Barrera discusses how his upbringing shaped his career and creative process, as well as the importance of recognition for Latinos in the music industry. 

 This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

2023 has been an excellent year for you. What are you the most grateful for?

It has been a great year in my career. I have to be thankful for life and to God. I’m grateful to say that I make a living from this.

 This is the only thing I know how to do; I am not good at anything other than making music. It is a blessing that people connect with the songs you create. What gives me the most satisfaction is knowing that people are enjoying, connecting, and experiencing the songs [I've worked on].

What did it mean to win the inaugural Songwriter Of The Year award at the Latin GRAMMYs?

I didn't think much about whether I was going to win or not. I was feeling happier and more excited because the Latin GRAMMYs were creating a category for those behind [the songs].

I said it that day they gave me the award; sometimes, the songwriter is the one who suffers the most in the entire music pyramid of how the industry is structured. The songwriter is the last one who gets paid and often doesn't get as much credit. For me, everything starts with a song. Without a good song, the artist is unknown; without a good song, the producer is unknown.

Music starts with a good song you can sing with just a guitar. That's what I like to do. I write the song, have it on guitar and vocals, and see what genre fits the best. That's why I always switch genres; I don't like to limit myself by saying that I only make urban, pop, or Mexican music. I'm not following trends but doing what feels right for the song.

What was your reaction upon discovering that you are the only nominee for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical one competing with Spanish songs at the 2024 GRAMMYs?

I was in Madrid, and even though I knew the GRAMMY nominations were coming up, I wasn’t on top of it because it is usually tough to be nominated for those categories. I didn't expect it.

We had a Zoom with all the composers nominated in that category to get to know each other, and I kept thinking, what am I doing in this Zoom with all these people who write songs in English, country songs, rap songs, or pop songs? Here I am with my songs in Spanish.

I am happy with [the nomination] because it means that Latinos are breaking those barriers and that Latin music is important to the industry. It has become the elephant in the room that you can no longer ignore.

To be considered in that category is already a victory. I feel I am paving the way for a Latin songwriter to be in future nominations. I feel I have some responsibility; I am representing Latinos at an important moment in the industry.

Coming from Miguel Alemán, Tamaulipas, a town with 20,000 residents with no songwriters or producers, the fact that I can make music and dedicate myself to it is already a victory. Everything is a blessing and feels surreal.

You have been nominated for your work in nine songs. Is there a specific song that has brought you the most satisfaction?

They have all fulfilled something specific. For example, Karol G is a Selena [Quintanilla] fan, and she wanted to make a song in cumbia ["Mi Ex Tenía Razón"], a genre I grew up with. [The song] is like that tribute to my roots. Having an artist as big as Karol G on that song is very special.

In songs like "Un x100to," [a collaboration between] Bad Bunny, and a band like Grupo Frontera from my hometown, [it feels special because] we have many friends and grew up with the same cultural background. Returning to McAllen, Tamaulipas, to support a local group and having one of the biggest songs of the year with one of the biggest artists of the moment is also very special to me. It shows the newcomers that it is possible to reach those places — even coming from the same place we did. I would never have thought that the song would be No. 1 worldwide.

When did you first realize that you had a talent for songwriting?

It has always been my plan. I didn't go to school; I've never had a plan B. I've always been very stubborn in what I do. 

I discovered I could write songs and liked writing songs when I was 15. I moved to Miami and started working from the bottom, lifting cables in a studio. I had to serve coffee. I went through the entire process to enjoy what is happening now. It didn't happen overnight. 

I've never let it get to my head. I have no recognition, paintings, or awards if you go to my studio. I mean nothing; there is none of that. I don't like to think about that. I'm in my house right now, and you don't see anything on the walls; they're blank. I want to work as I have since day 1.

You have won 21 Latin GRAMMYs. Where do you keep the awards?

Those awards are at my parents' house. I send everything there. I don't have any awards at my house. My wife also tells me that our home is a place to disconnect, not to continue thinking about work. That helps me to stay rooted.

To know that the day before, I could have been with the biggest artist in the world, I could be with Shakira, Karol G or Benito, whoever I am currently working with, but when I come home, I feel that I am an ordinary person who has the blessing of working with the greatest artists of the moment. Realizing that also resets you, it keeps me grounded.

Did maintaining a lower profile help you in your career as a songwriter?

I am very quiet and shy. I express myself better by writing than by speaking. I like that people gradually discover who is behind the songs. I like that some people find that I wrote a song, and they make the connection, like the movie's endings, when you start connecting all the dots. I don't like telling people I did this or that.

When working with an artist, I am very clear that I am an instrument; I work for them. I don't have any ego. When working with artists, I listen to them and help them translate what they want to say in the songs. That is my job, and I try to be a tool for them; I don't want to be the protagonist.

You are known for your ability to make unexpected connections between artists and topliners; where did this talent come from?

It comes very naturally to me; I do it unconsciously. For example, in the collaboration between Carin León and Maluma, ["Según Quién"], I ended up being the person who connected them. In their case, I sent the song to Carin's team and introduced them about a week later. We organized a meal, and I made them get to know each other before recording the song.

In ["De Vuelta Pa' La Vuelta"] by Daddy Yankee with Marc Anthony, I was with Yankee in the studio. Yankee told me he wanted to do something different, and I showed him this salsa song. He likes it and tells me he wants to record it and do it in salsa. I connected Yankee with Marc — two legends who know each other, but I will gladly make that [musical] connection if I can.

That is part of why I created my record label, Border Kid Records, which is like a border that connects [two places], like the bridge between the United States and Mexico; I am a bridge between the artists.

You are a big fan of the Swedish producer and songwriter Max Martin. What have you learned from his career?

I am Max Martin's No. 1 fan. To me, he is the greatest of all time, and what I like about him is that he is not bragging about his achievements.

It felt like such a great discovery when I found out how he was. I told my friends you like this song because this songwriter made it, so you are not a fan of the artist; you are a fan of the songwriter.

I dreamed that one day, my songs would have a similar effect in Latin music and the way people would discover me. He has always kept a shallow profile. I'm not comparing myself to him at all, but something that he has and that I also do unconsciously is constantly collaborating with people; we are always nourishing ourselves with new songwriters and producers.

I always check Max Martin's credits and see him working with new people. And that's all about not believing that you know everything but learning and always listening to new people that has something new to say.

What advice can you give to songwriters or singers starting their careers?

Always be authentic and do not follow trends. I differentiated myself from the songwriters and producers when I started because I didn't use many bad words [in my songs]. I always wanted to avoid jumping on that bandwagon, following a trend.

It is about doing things differently and creating your own trends. I am one of those who make a bachata or a merengue; when a merengue is not even trending, you make it a trend by [picking] the right artist and song.

What is Edgar Barrera's mark in music?

My lyrics are simple, honest, straightforward, and up-to-date; that's my trademark. Production-wise, if you hear a real instrument or a musician playing live, guitars, or things like that, that's always my mark.

 2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Nominees List

Artists Who Are Going On Tour In 2024: The Rolling Stones, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo & More
Olivia Rodrigo performing in 2023

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

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Artists Who Are Going On Tour In 2024: The Rolling Stones, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo & More

The year is just getting started, but 2024 is already stacked with exciting tours. Open up your calendar and start planning with this sprawling list of announced 2024 tours.

GRAMMYs/Jan 4, 2024 - 04:13 pm

Just a couple of years ago, live music still looked uncertain — would variant X, Y or Z derail the train for the umpteenth time? But in that regard, 2023 felt almost totally in the clear — and that's why it feels like the rubber band is stretched back for 2024, and it's ready to launch.

Sure, compiling every musical act who's touring in 2024 might be impossible. But GRAMMY.com's stylistic purview is far and wide: country, hardcore, soul, R&B, rap, indie rock, you name it. As such, we're giving it our best shot — and will continue to update the list as more tours are announced.

Without further ado, here's a major cross section of the 2024 touring landscape as currently announced — from Alvvays to Adam Ant, from Def Leppard to Danny Brown.

Laura Pausini: Laura Pausini World Tour
Jan. 6 - April 6
North & Latin America

Italian singer (and the Latin Recording Academy's Person Of The Year) Laura Pausini is venturing through North & Latin America in the spring.

Slowdive
Jan. 16 - May 18
U.S., Asia & Europe

The reunited shoegaze greats just released a well-loved new album, everything is alive — which is currently taking on new shades onstage. See them in 2024, on an extensive tour of Europe with Japan dates, and then a plethora of U.S. stops.

Madison Beer: The Spinnin Tour
Jan. 17 - June 13
UK, Europe, & U.S.

The pop, hip-hop, EDM, and R&B star released Silence Between Songs in 2023; she'll support it with The Spinnin Tour, which heads stateside from Europe across the spring of 2024.

Drake with J.Cole: It's All A Blur - Big As The What?
Jan. 18 - March 27
U.S.

Hip-hop kingpins Drake and J. Cole are headed on a co-headlining tour; some Drake gigs will be J.-Cole-less.

Ana Tijoux
Jan. 18 - April 13
North America, UK, & Europe

Chilean musician Ana Tijoux hasn't undergone a world tour since 2018, but she's about to change that with a run of European gigs following the release of VIDA, her first album in several years. .

Melanie Martinez
Jan. 19 - June 27
North America, Asia & Australia

Alt-popper Melanie Martinez will segue her PORTALS Tour into The Trilogy Tour, which will see her revive her alter ego "Cry Baby." See her, in this persona, in the U.S. and across the pond.

Mitski
Jan. 26 - June 6
UK, Europe, & U.S.

Fresh off the release of The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We, Mitski has announced a jaunt across North America with Tamino, Sunny War, Julia Jacklin, and Sarah Kinsley.

Gloria Trevi: Mi Soundtrack World Tour
Jan. 26 - Sept. 22
U.S.

Known as the "Supreme Diva of Mexican Pop," Gloria Trevi is embarking on a world tour to top off the year, as she has recently announced the first leg.

Tinashe: BB/ANG3L U.S. Tour
Jan. 31 - Feb. 15
U.S.

Actress, dancer and singer Tinashe will support her new album, BB/ANG3L, with a run of mostly East Coast dates.

Militarie Gun
Jan. 31 - June 1
North America

Fresh off a tour with Scowl, hardcore-adjacent, brilliantly melodic punks Militarie Gun continue their rise with a 2024 North American tour.

Mariah The Scientist: To Be Eaten Alive Tour
Feb. 1 - May 4
UK, Europe, & U.S.

R&B favorite Mariah the Scientist has been raring to return to the stage: "I miss hearing my fans scream my lyrics at the top of their lungs. I miss seeing all their faces," Mariah told Rolling Stone. "I miss all the different cities. To my fans, I miss us. I'm so ready to eat you alive." She'll be in Europe and the U.S.

Marc Anthony: Viviendo Tour
Feb. 9 - March 9
North America

Latin and Salsa star Marc Anthony can't hide his excitement for his upcoming tour: "See you in 2024 with many moments to write about," Mark shared in his Instagram tour announcement. "We are going to live nights like no other."

Juanes: Vida Cotidiana World Tour
Feb. 13 - March 30
North America

In support of his Vida Cotidiana album, Colombian rock legend Juanes is making stops around North America to celebrate the project.

Los Angeles Azules: El Amor de mi Vida Tour
Feb. 13 - April 20
U.S.

Marking their epic return to the United States, the Cumbia sibling group are kicking off their tour in support of their upcoming album —which is set to be released this year.

Jon Batiste: UNEASY Tour
Feb. 16 - April 27
U.S.

Five-time GRAMMY winner and 20-time nominee Jon Batiste isn't known as a traditional touring act — extemporaneous solo performances and orchestral works tend to be his jam. That's what makes his upcoming North American tour so enticing — how will this consummate shape-shifter approach the headline-touring model?

Chelsea Cutler: The Beauty Is Everywhere Tour
Feb. 16 - March 30
North America

Singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and engineer Chelsea Cutler has revealed a 2024 headline tour titled The Beauty Is Everywhere Tour, in support of her new album Stellaria.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Unlimited Love Tour
Feb. 17 - July 30
North America

The veteran rockers are still supporting 2022's Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen; in 2024, they'll go out with Kid Cudi, Ice Cube, Ken Carson, Otoboke Beaver, Seun Kuti, Wand, and Irontom.

PinkPantheress: Capable of Love Tour
Feb. 20 - April 30
North America, UK & Europe

The TikTok sensation turned pop phenomenon will head out on her Capable of Love Tour, following the release of her debut album Heaven Knows. Rising artists Bktherula and Kanii will join her.

Niall Horan
Feb. 21 - July 31
North America, Europe, & Australia

The Irish singer/songwriter has announced "THE SHOW" LIVE ON TOUR 2024 – his biggest tour yet and first headline run since 2018's Flicker world tour.

Bad Bunny - Most Wanted Tour
Feb. 21 - May 26
U.S.

Bad Bunny's Most Wanted Tour will take him across 47 dates across North America — including three shows in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

Olivia Rodrigo: 2024 Tour
Feb. 23 - Aug. 14
UK, Europe, & U.S.

Olivia Rodrigo will make a jaunt around the world with support from the Breeders, Chappell Roan and Pink Pantheress.

Sampha: North America 2024 Tour
Feb. 23 - April 14
North America & Australia

South London singer/songwriter Sampha recently released a music video for "Can't Go Back," from his new album, Lahai. With it come North American dates for 2024.

Mon Laferte: Autopoiética Tour
Feb. 29 - June 2
U.S. & Latin America

Chilean artist Mon Laferte's new album, Autopoiética, has been released to a clamorous response. In 2024, she'll bring the music across Latin America and the U.S.

Idles
Feb. 29 - Dec. 7
North America, UK, & Europe

The purveyors of wild-eyed rock have extended their previously announced 2024 international tour with new dates across North America, Mexico, the UK, and Ireland.

Styx & Foreigner: Renegades & Juke Box Heroes Tour
March 1 - Nov. 9
North America

Don't miss this classic rock heroes together, for the last time ever. Check out dates, along with heartfelt statements from both bands.

Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday 2 Tour
March 1 - June 7
UK, Europe, & U.S.

The Harajuku Barbie is back with a new album, Pink Friday 2, which landed Dec. 8. How will tunes like "Super Freaky Girl" and "Last Time I Saw You" translate to the stage? Don't miss her North American and European tour, which stretches from late March to early June.

Danny Brown: Quaranta '24 Tour
March 3 - April 14
North America

The idiosyncratic MC is riding high off the release of his introspective new album, Quaranta. He's heading across North America in support of it.

Don Omar
March 7 - April 21
North America

The reggaeton pioneer has announced he will be back in arenas in 2024 and bringing fans "Back to Reggaeton," a 20-date trek across North America that spans the artist's decades-long career.

Judas Priest: Invisible Shield Tour
March 11 - May 22
Europe, UK, & U.S.

Metal titans Judas Priest are still going strong; they just announced a Spring 2024 U.S. tour with supporting act abaton.

Busta Rhymes
March 13 - April 21
North America

Rap heavyweight Busta Rhymes has announced his Blockbusta Tour, which will bring him across the U.S. and Canada starting in March.

Tim McGraw: 2024 Standing Room Only Tour
March 14 - June 27
U.S.

The country great's upcoming jaunt kicks off on March 14 and will stop through more than 40 cities. Carly Pearce will be a special guest.

Bleachers: From The Studio To The Stage
March 19 - June 15
U.S. & UK

In late spring and early summer 2024, the Jack Antonoff-led rockers are hitting the road in support of their self-titled new album, which arrives March 8.

Tyla
March 21 - May 28
UK, Europe, & U.S.

The unstoppable, GRAMMY-nominated R&B, amapiano singer Tyla will venture across the UK and Europe in spring 2024.

Adam Ant: ANTMUSIC Tour
March 21 - May 11
U.S.

English post-punk and new wave legend Adam Ant is headed out on his ANTMUSIC tour, his first U.S. trek in five years. The day after it wraps up, he'll appear at the Cruel World 2024 festival.

The Slackers
April 4 - April 14
North America

The revered, long-time purveyors of ska, reggae, dub and more have announced a spring tour across the US and Canada.

Alvvays: US Spring Tour 2024
April 4 - Aug. 8
North America, UK, & Europe

The indie darlings will traverse the United States in April and May, then head to Europe in late June for festival dates.

Tate Mcrae: Think Later World Tour
April 17 - Nov 21
North America, UK, Europe, & Australia

Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Tate McRae will support her second album, THINK LATER, with a world tour in 2024.

The Rolling Stones: Hackney Diamonds Tour
April 18 - July 17
North America

If the Rolling Stones' secret NYC show with Lady Gaga was any indication, the Stones' stadium run around Hackney Diamonds — their first album of new material in 18 years — will be one for the books. For now, only stateside shows have been announced, but keep your eyes peeled for an expansion.

Hozier: Unreal Unearth Tour
April 20 - Sept. 17
U.S.

Singer/songwriter Hozier is undertaking a headline tour of the UK and Ireland next summer, supporting his third album Unreal Unearth.

Alanis Morissette with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Triple Moon Tour
June 9 - Aug. 10
North America

Two female pioneers are hitting the road, with special guest Morgan Wade. See where they're heading in the U.S. and Canada.

Pink: Summer Carnival Tour 2024
June 11 - Nov. 23
North America, UK, & Europe

Pink will continue to support her new album Trustfall with her Summer Carnival tour, which returns to North America in 2024. 

The Killers
June 12 - July 11
UK & Ireland

The Killers have reached that stage where they're looking back on the hits. Following the recent release of their best-of compilation album Rebels Diamonds, shout along at these UK and Ireland dates.

Def Leppard, Journey, Steve Miller: 2024 Summer Stadium Tour
July 6 - Sept. 8
U.S.

More oldies favorites, banding together for a U.S. stadium tour in 2024: Def Leppard and Journey will be near you soon. In select markets, Heart and Cheap Trick will also appear.

Earth Wind & Fire and Chicago: Heart & Soul Tour 2024
July 10 - Sept. 7
U.S.

These retro, AOR favorites are hitting the road together for the Heart & Soul Tour 2024, including an encore with both bands on stage. Check out the North American dates.

Sepultura: Farewell Tour
Oct. 30 - Nov. 23
UK & Europe

The Brazilian metal heroes are calling it quits — but not before a final trek, just in time for their 40th anniversary.

GRAMMY Rewind: Foo Fighters Win A GRAMMY For "Walk," The Song They Recorded In Dave Grohl's Garage

2023 In Review: 5 Trends That Defined Latin Music
(From left) Usted Señalemelo, Juanes, Peso Pluma, Karol G and Nicki Nicole

Photos: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy; Borja B. Hojas/Getty Images; Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy; Patricia J. Garcinuno/WireImage; Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

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2023 In Review: 5 Trends That Defined Latin Music

2023 was a transformative year for Latin music: Música mexicana expanded globally; urbano music continued its dominance and innovative sounds broke boundaries. Read on for five trends showcasing the breadth of Latin music's influence.

GRAMMYs/Dec 18, 2023 - 02:51 pm

2022 was the year of Rosalía’s Motomami and Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti — two groundbreaking albums that expanded both the artistic scope and mainstream appeal of Latin music. How do you top that?

As it turns out, 2023 had a number of surprises in store: the emergence of música mexicana on an international scale, but also the further globalization of Latin sounds and new developments in urbano music, which continues to gain in influence and sophistication. It was also a particularly prolific year — with hundreds of singles, EPs and albums expanding the scope of Latin across genres and formats.

Here are some of the notable trends that emerged during the past 12 months.

Finally, Música Mexicana Gets The Chance To Shine

Reggaetón and urbano were at the forefront of the Latin music tsunami that began to take hold of the entire planet a good three years ago. During that time, many insiders pondered if the huge field of so-called regional Mexican music would ever enjoy such levels of exposure. Turns out there was nothing regional about it.

Far from stagnating, the genre evolved with the rise of the sparse, melancholy sound known as sad sierreño, and the swagger of hip-hop informing the zeitgeist of young artists like Natanael Cano and Junior H.

2023 will be forever remembered as the year when música mexicana connected with the world at large, and it happened mostly through one song: "Ella Baila Sola," the collaboration between Jalisco singer Peso Pluma and Cali group Eslabón Armado — a tune whose spiraling groove is so buoyant and infectious, it transcends borders. The subversive duet of Bad Bunny and Grupo Frontera on mega-hit "un x100to" didn’t hurt either, and the movement gained strength with Peso Pluma’s excellent third LP, as well as the talents of young stars such as Fuerza Regida, Gabito Ballesteros and Yahritza y Su Esencia.

When It Comes To Latin Rock, Argentina Is Still At The Forefront

From Charly García and Luis Alberto Spinetta to Soda Stereo and Babasónicos, Argentina boasts a fierce tradition for generating legendary rock albums. Even though the South American nation has embraced the present with such urbano stars as Bizarrap, Duki and Nicki Nicole, there will always be a place of honor reserved for good old fashioned rock’n’roll in Argentina’s clubs and recording studios.

2023 was no exception. Hailing from the city of La Plata, Él Mató a un Policía Motorizado released Súper Terror. Their first full length album since 2017's La Síntesis O’Konor, the new LP includes atmospheric ballads like the gorgeous "Medalla de Oro." Another top contender is Tripolar, the third effort by Mendoza indie darlings Usted Señalemelo.

Also of note: Lo Más Cercano a Caer, the stunning debut by Nenagenix. Fronted by singer Martina Sampietro, the band has dreamed up a ferocious collection of songs with inspired touches of grunge and shoegaze.

Pop Stardom Is A Young Artist’s Game…

Popular music has always reflected the combustion and adrenaline of youth, but the immediacy of the digital era has heightened this fact. It seems that the transition from self-taught teens uploading their demos in TikTok to fully fledged stars performing at Coachella has become even more rapid.

Some of the most successful Latin artists climbing the 2023 charts have had only a couple of years to transition into pop icon status — and the vulnerability of their emotional state is often expressed in their music. From the reggaetón-fueled erotic narratives of 21 year-old Madrid rapper Quevedo ("PUNTO G") to the bachata-pop warmth of 19 year-old Mexican/American DannyLux ("MI HOGAR," with maye) and the confessional urbano narratives of 22-year-old Argentine vocalist Tiago PZK (the TINI duet "Me Enteré"), many young artists found the global platform where they could freely express their longings and dreams.

...But The Veterans Have Still Plenty To Say

Years of accolades have not dimmed the creative vision of veteran Latin artists. In the case of Juanes, a marital crisis during the pandemic inspired Vida Cotidiana — arguably the Colombian singer’s best album to date. Just listen to the gritty guitar textures of the majestic "Gris" and the spiraling Afro lines of "Cecilia," a sun-is-shining-again duet with Juan Luis Guerra. Vida Cotidiana is nominated for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album alongside Cabra's MARTÍNEZ, Leche De Tigre by Diamante Eléctrico, Natalia Lafourcade's De Todas Las Flores and EADDA9223 by Fito Paez.

At 46, Shakira finds herself at the top of her game, with major pop culture moments like her Bizarrap collaboration — the most epic revenge song of the year and a Latin GRAMMY winner— and the jagged edges of "TQG," her duet with KAROL G.

Having developed a tradition of recording solo excursions in Paris, Zoé frontman León Larregui explored his hazy psychedelic mystique on PRISMARAMA, the Mexican singer’s excellent — and first self-produced — third outing.

The Urbano Groove May Never Run Out Of Steam

You may think that global audiences would have tired of the ubiquitous reggaetón beat. But the music of Puerto Rico — just like traditional salsa in the ‘70s – has a gravitas that rewards longer attention spans. Fittingly for a genre known for its prolific work ethic, some of the biggest names in urbano released albums in 2023, and none of them disappoint.

One listen to the refined melody of "MÓNACO" — like a reggaetón take on a James Bond theme — is enough to realize that Bad Bunny’s creative streak hasn’t slowed down since he reimagined the Latin pop atlas with Un Verano Sin Ti. Known for his honeyed dance hits, Ozuna put out an EP (Afro) and an album (Cosmo), including the synth-pop magic of "Vocation," with producer David Guetta.

Last but not least, KAROL G’s MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO demonstrates on luminous tracks like "PROVENZA" and "CAIRO" that her work with fellow Colombian producer Ovy on the Drums is one of the defining artistic partnerships of the decade. MAÑANA is nominated for Best Música Urbana Album at the 2024 GRAMMYs alongside Rauw Alejandro's SATURNO and Tainy's DATA.

2023 In Review: 5 Trends That Defined Hip-Hop