With the global success of “Despacito” this past summer, by Lusi Fonis feat. Daddy Yankee, it officially cemented the 2nd Latin music wave in the USA. Since, many artists have sought to repeat the same global hit that “Despacito” amounted too. However, this new Latin music wave is not abiding to past rules but rather trail blazing a new path to success.
The Absence of a Language Barrier
Times have changed since the first Latin explosion within music in the US from The Miami Sound Machine’s international success with “Conga” to Shakira’s global hit with “Hips don’t lie” to now. In today’s music scene, there is no need for translation. With the help of the internet, YouTube, and streaming platforms, it has becoming increasingly easier to share music and find a network audience despite language differences. K-pop, another cultural phenomenon, easily demonstrates how vital social media has facilitated artist to reach a wider audience and gain a huge international fanbase with non-speaking Korean fans. The reason being, that it boils down to the power of rhythm. If a song is good, it will sound good regardless of the language its sung in. Not only does “Despacito” stands as testament to this but you also have songs like J Balvin’s “Mi Gente”, CNCO’s “Reggaetón Lento”, and Becky G’s “Mayores” (whose track recently topped YT views with Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do”) being successful as well.
In fact, as of Nov 30, 2017, Vevo shared a post showing that 7 of the top 10 most watched videos of 2017 were by Latinos and all were in Spanish. In today’s Latin music wave, Latino artists no longer feel the need to translate their songs nor do they feel the need to make an English track to crossover. Because all Latin pop songs that became crossover hits shared a danceability that transcends language and breaks language barriers.
Boundless Collaborations that Capture Culture and Different Genres
As a result of this recent Latin music wave, there has been a prolific amount of artist collaboration between Latino artists and American / English artists like never before. Which perhaps accounts to the most fascinating new trend this Latin music wave has given us. Just to name a few:
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Carla Morrison (“The Train”),
Sofia Reyes and Cash Cash (“How to Love”),
Ceci Bastida and Aloe Blacc (“Un Sueño”),
Nick Jones and Karol G (“Find You”),
CNCO and Little Mix (Reggaeton Lento),
Flo Rida and Maluma (“Hola”),
Abraham Mateo, 50 Cent and Austin Mahone (“Háblame Bajito),
Logic and Juanes feat Alessia Cara & Khalid (“1-800-273-8255”),
J Balvin, Willy William, and Beyoncé (“Mi Gente”)
Miguel and Natalia Lafourcade (“Remember Me”)
… That point is very clear, everyone and their abuleita’s are making collaborations. This has never quite happened before like it did this year because even alternative and rock artist were collaborating. For instance:
The Script and Nicky Jam (“Rain”)
OneRepublic and Sebastián Yatra (“No Vacancy”)
AJ Davila and Crocodiles (“El Futuro”)
and most recently Arcade Fire and Bomba Estereo (“Everything Now (Todo Ya) – Remix”)
Like deveras, it just doesn’t stop. But the best part of all this, is the fact that these songs are all in Spanglish. Artists are not comprising nor afraid to take a different approach when creating music. Spanglish is breaking pop conventions and creating a new mold that’s a cultural hybrid: Spanglsih lyrics with a universal rhythm.
Still don’t believe there is a 2nd Latin Music Wave
If you’re still not a believer, pues, here is more proof. Not only did Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” topped the Billboards charts making her the 1st female rapper to do so since Lauren Hill in 1998 and the 1st Afro Latina from Dominican descent to top the charts; but, Pixar’s bilingual movie “Coco” was a HUGE success among Latinos and non-Latinos alike. Additionally, many new music festivals integrated Latin acts in their line ups. Plus, this year brought about the rise of the 1st cross genre music festival showcasing the rich diversity of Latin music held in the midwest, Los Dells Music Fest. Showcasing artists like Daddy Yankee to Becky G to Deorro. We might be seeing the peak of these Latin music wave but Spanglish might be a lasting imprint in the music scene.