Mexican Music Is Taking Over the World

You might have heard that Latin music was growing, but did you know it's even bigger now?

Peso Pluma in concert

Bruno Del Granado, head of global Latin music at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), thought the Latin music explosion would arrive in 1999. In May of that year, Ricky Martin released his self-titled album featuring Livin’ La Vida Loca, and around the same time, other artists, including Enrique Iglesias and Shakira, dominated the charts. But as summer turned to fall, Latin music faded with it, at least in the mainstream US.

Not until 2017, with Luis Fonsi’s Despacito and, later, Bad Bunny’s record-breaking global success over multiple albums and singles, did Del Granado experience the moment he thought he would at the start of the new millennium.

“Look how the first three months of 2023 are shaping up to be bigger than last year,” he said.

Latin music, he added, “just keeps growing and growing.”

Reggaeton, Spanish-language rap and pop remain at the top of the charts year after year, while increasingly, another genre has also been on the rise: Mexican music, or música Mexicana. This broad genre encompasses a variety of subcategories, including norteño, corridos, mariachi and banda.

The genre’s biggest artists surface throughout the new Bloomberg Pop Star Power Ranking, as they have in months past. Natanael Cano and Grupo Frontera both appear in the top 25 with another star, Peso Pluma, a 23-year-old from Guadalajara whose stage name translates to “featherweight,” reigning supreme at number one.

People streamed Peso Pluma’s songs more than 600 million times on Spotify in April and more than 800 million times on YouTube, eclipsing artists of all genres. The singer, whose real name is Hassan Emilio Kabande Laija, also appeared on stage at Coachella and performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon .

At the end of the month, he collaborated with Eslabon Armado to release Ella Baila Sola, which became the first song in the Mexican music genre to reach number one on Billboard’s Global 200. His music has reached listeners in various places online, including TikTok, where he appeared on four of the top trending Latin songs in the US on the short-form video platform in April.

This piece was originally published by Bloomberg and was written by Ashley Carman.

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