6 Tricks to Navigate the Latin Alternativo Scene

Being a Latin Alterativo fanactico is like being a hipster in its own way. But lets be honest, if your are not in the scene, accessing Latin Alternativo content is hard to find or almost none existent in the US. Claro, you have music platforms like Spotify and Pandora that will recommend you new artists and songs from time to time, pero la neta these platforms still cater to Latin Top 40 and Reggeaton / Urbano.  Its always easier to revert to your go to artistsas como Cafe Tavba, Mana, Juanes, El Tri, Shakira, Carla Morrison, Mon Laferte, etc. Now there is nothing wrong con esos artista, after all, they didn’t become successful because there music sucked; they are all solid choices, but there is so much more out there worth discovering.

I used to do radio for some time and all i did was consume Latin music daily. So back then it was a lot easier. Local artists, record labels and promoters would send me music review and music updates. Theses is where a bulk of my music news would come from.

Since being in the music industry, I have picked up a few tricks of the trade in accessing and finding Latin Alternativo content especially in your area. Here are 6 tricks that I have learned that will hopefully help you find navigate the Latin Alternativo scene:

1. Bandcamp

Muchas veces, I would get asked about how I find all my Latin Alternativo content concerts becasue it seem like I was  going to a show almost every other weekend. La neta, social media. As a fellow concert junkie, the best way to find all the concerts coming to your area in one hub is Bandcamp. Bandcamp is 1 of 3 social media outlets that I use for Latin Alternativo content. I rely on this app to give me a general idea of who is coming to the area in one glance. Pro tip here, track as many Latin artists that you can think off, the more diverse the list the better. What Bandcamp does, is that it alerts you to any upcoming shows from those artists and of similar artists. Which is great because I know I miss a few names here and there. One thing you will notice, Bandcamp is totally underrated; not enough underground artist use it and that needs to change.

2. Facebook

Facebook is my 2nd go source for concert content. It helps to have friends that are into the same type of music that you are because then you can see the shows and events that they have clicked as “going”. And you can be like “Hey. I’m going too!” Peor la cosa es, having those friends can be hard to find. The best part about  Facebook is that large untapped network of friends available through the app. I recommended joining Facebook groups that promote Latin Alternativo or similar music content. There are plenty of groups that already exists, all you gotta do is do some digging. Pro tip here, if you are looking for a local Facebook group around your area and you can’t find it,  I recommend you to start one. Be that catalyst and invite your friends and have your friends invite their friends.  You’ll be surprised to see that you’re are not alone in the quest to find a shared community.

3. Instagram

Social media has created this inter-connectivity among artistas, music, y los fans. Through social media outlets like Instagram, artists are not able to connect with fans at a personal level but also able to link up with other artists and show their support towards on another. Pro tip here, although its great to follow your favorite artist on Instagram, you also wan to broaden your feed by following there promoter or record label. I follow small record labels  and promoters because they are a big of a fan of their artists as any other fanatico. For instance two Latin labels based in the US, Cosmica and Nacional Records, gush about there artists so much that its kinda cute. With music being so accessible, tbh, it’s kinda hard to keep up with all the artists that you follow  on the IG. These guys make it easier since they are constantly re-posting or sharing music news of their artists. Granted that its their job, but seeing a post from these guys is a nice reminder that I may need to listen to Gaby Moreno’s new album or Little Jesus is going on his 1st US tour!!!

4. Local Music Curators

For people that are trying to get more of the scene within their area, I always recommend everyone to get to know their local music scene. For instance find out where the small  venues are, what’s the indie scene like, is there a venue dedicated to Latin music, are there community events in the area that champion Latin music, etc.  Many times there are is already a scene and local residents that are influencing the scene. Pro tip here, get to know these local music curators and if you can become one. As these are the individuals that are championing Latin music within in your community. They are not only just bringing in artists for shows but they are creating visibility and a space for the scene. Its up to us to show support so more de lo bueno keeps on coming. For my Bay Area peeps, these local music curators are Sondio Clash, High Fidelity, Jaffe Events, and Rock de la Bahia.

5. Small venues

Unless its Top 40 or a big international artist,  chances are that your favorite Latin Alternativo artist will be playing at a small venue near you. With the current 2nd Latin wave, many more small venues are picking up Latin shows on their programs. This is merely  an extension of Tip #4. Again it reinforces the idea that you need to know your local community and support the scene so that they can continue bringing in more artists.

6. YouTube

YouTube is GOAT, asi de sencillo. I still use it to find new music and artists. I’ve honestly changed my mine about certain artists because I’ve seen a live or acoustic rendition of their songs on YouTube. And if you’re like me, once you find new song on YouTube you just cant watch it once. Pro tip here, find that one that one video that will get you in the rabbit hole where you need to watch the next music video, you need to watch he collaboration they did with an artist that you know, where you need to find more music by that artist. And then the magic happens, YouTube recommendations, that is where the rabbit hole lies. From there you can discover new music and new artists.

Now that y’ll are 6 tips more pro like, I hope this helps to navigate the Latin Alternativo scene or any scene in general. And if you have a pro tip of yourself, please do share.

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