Billboard Latin Music Week 2023 Coverage
This past week, The Garnette Report had the pleasure of covering the sold-out Billboard Latin Music Week in Miami. Just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month, BLMW is celebrating all genres of music, with artists in their respective categories at the Faena Miami Beach. The event served as a guide to those who are trying to make it in the music industry; from artists to producers and even managers. The main takeaway for all future artists is to be true to yourself because if you don’t, you’ll regret it later on. Whether it’s reggaeton, bachata, or pop Latino, they have come to the Sunshine State to share their industry secrets and advice with us.
Monday, October 2nd: Day 1
- How to Manage Your First Big Paycheck
Leila Cobo, Chief Content Officer for Billboard Latin/Español, spoke on the best ways to manage and protect your music revenue, the complexities of dealing with money abroad, and the value of having a dependable team of advisors for your business. Getting an advance as an artist is a big deal, but that doesn’t mean you should spend it on an exotic car. Your best options as an artist are to save your money or to use it to invest in your craft. This includes studio time, going on tour, or hiring your own team. It’s vital to understand that there’s a balance between financial psychology and financial education. An example of the influence of financial psychology is that if everyone around me has something, I’ll want it to. Financial education demonstrates that money can help you reach many goals. No matter how much you receive, always prioritize investments. Save 10-20% of your earnings, with a big portion going towards taxes. About 30% becomes disposable income, and it’s up to the artist to know when to invest, and when to spend.
- Exactly Who is Listening to Latin Music? Everyone!
Rob Jonas, CEO of Luminate, unveiled their most recent report, “Latin Music and Its Impact on Culture and Commerce in the U.S. Marketplace.” Never before disclosed metrics and insights included the importance of culture, the growing influence of super fans of Latin music, and the reasons why the genre is becoming more popular with listeners who do not speak Spanish. Additionally, Luminate provided data on the expansion of regional Mexican music, including its projected 56% increase in 2023. This Latin Music Report presents the most recent data that illuminates the Latin genre’s expanding position in the American music market from both a cultural and commercial standpoint.
- The Rise of Mexican Touring
Frontman Jesus Ortiz Paz, or JOP, of Fuerza Regida joined Live Nation’s Hans Schafer and Jorge Garcia for an interview with Billboard Latin Senior Writer Griselda Flores about the origins of Mexican music touring, the genre’s current popularity, and the future of the genre. The interview was sponsored by Live Nation. The panel discussed the touring process from planning to execution and highlighted clever marketing strategies that have worked in the past, such as JOP and Fuerza Regida performing a song in front of an audience before a show to promote it, which helped the band’s ‘Otra Peda Tour’ sell out in major cities. Gen Z Latinos are a huge part of the streams that are listening to Mexican Music. Thanks to TikTok, English speakers are also listening. Their touring has a huge economic impact in the United States, attracting people of all ages instead of just the older generation.
- The Art of The Festival
Bruno Del Granado, Head of Global Latin Music Touring Group for CAA, invited Chris Den Uhil, Co-founder of La Familia Presenta, John Frias, CEO of Frias Entertainment Group, Inc. and Besame Mucho Music Festival, Daniel Merino, Producer for Festival Viña del Mar, and Alfonso Garcia, Primavera Sound LatAm, to discuss what goes on behind the scenes to create and maintain a successful Latin music festival. The one-of-a-kind panel presented a reel for the 73rd Festival Viña del Mar and explored the festival’s evolution over the years, including adjustments made to its business and operational approach. Latinos are a huge market. Latinos are very celebratory and embrace their community. Because of this, people of all cultures want to experience Latin culture and community through these Latin festivals. One pivotal moment for this was when Bad Bunny headlined Coachella.
The first Billboard En Vivo intimate concert featured the amazing Colombian vocalists Greeicy and Mike Bahía, who performed at the Faena Theater, concluding the first night of Billboard Latin Music Week. The Official Billboard Latin Music Week Kickoff Party was held at the M2 nightclub, hosted by DJ Alex Sensation, and featured live performances by Venesti, Maffio, Nacho, Bernier, Gonza, and Alejo.
Tuesday, October 3rd: Day 2
- The New Mexican Revolution
The New Mexican Revolution was the topic of an electrifying panel discussion featuring Peso Pluma, Adelaido Solis (of Grupo Frontera), Juan Javier Cantu (of Grupo Frontera), and Yng Lucas. The panel was sponsored by Broadcast Music Inc. and moderated by Jesus Gonzalez, vice president of creative for Latin at Broadcast Music. The Mexican music icons talked about the evolution of the genre, the current wave of regional Mexican music, and their own artistic development. In his song “Somos Mexicanos y la unión hace la fuerza,” Peso Pluma emphasized the value of teamwork and how members of the genre came together to promote Mexican music abroad. Furthermore, Adelaido Solis and Juan Javier Cantu guided audience members through the creation of Grupo Frontera’s successful collaboration with Bad Bunny, “Un x100to.”
In an insightful discussion about breaking the glass ceiling, rapping in a male-dominated environment, creating your image, owning your vulnerability, the value of never giving up, and other topics, dynamic artists Gale, Kany Garcia, Maria Becerra, Nathy Peluso, Nicki Nicole, and Young Miko were featured on the Billboard’s Iconic Women On The Rise panel, Boys Club No More! “The only limit there is, is the one we set for ourselves,” said Young Miko. “El merito de la mujer es propio, y vale por si sola,” said Nicki Nicole. Most of the women on this panel started in the music industry at a very young age, yet still faced major sexism. They were told that female rappers wouldn’t get far, and many of those who were already established in the music industry. By embracing their feminine qualities in their music, they urge artists to be themselves in their music through and through.
- The Marketing of Ferxxo: Featuring Feid
The Marketing Of FERXXO panel, which featured Colombian artist Feid and his team, including manager Luis Villamizar, creative director Manuela Villada, producer and engineer Esteban Higuita, lead guitarist Pedro Mejia, and Salomón Palacios, SVP Marketing and artist strategy at Universal Music Latin, was a motivating discussion about authenticity, what it means to be successful, personal branding, understanding the impact your team has on your career, as well as giving them recognition. Feid, also known as FERXXO, is known for always wearing the color green, and wearing little white sunglasses to his shows. As his fanbase grew and his tour began, fans copied his look by also wearing green and wearing similar-looking sunglasses. The most important marketing tactic for an artist is to make your image your brand. If fans like it enough, they’ll follow and grow your image for you.
- The Nicky Jam Rockstar Show Live
Nicky Jam, a musician from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, made a triumphant return to the Faena Forum with The Rockstar Show Live, which featured close-up conversations with JOP of Fuerza Regida and La Reina del Reggeaton. Ivy talked about her path as an artist, the songwriting process, the value of family, overcoming gender conventions in the Latin music industry, and more before Nicky and Ivy stunned the crowd by breaking out in an unprecedented freestyle session onstage. JOP, the lead singer of Fuerza Regida, then joined Nicky Jam on stage and related a story of how he went from being a barber to starting his own record business. JOP wrapped off by discussing Fuerza Regida’s upcoming tour and revealing a brand-new reggaeton song he is writing in conjunction with the release of Fuerza Regida’s newest album, coming out on October 20th.
Thalia, the “Queen of Latin Pop” explained her creative process, presented topics from her upcoming album, and had fans leave their phones behind to tease songs from it at her premiere party. Later, Peso Pluma gave a close-up Billboard En Vivo performance in which he sang all of the well-known songs from his album Genesis along with a few traditional Mexican songs. Billboard En Vivo, starring La Base and Wisin, carries the celebration going. Special guests Luny Tunes, DJ Nelson, and El Alfa, who was a surprise guest, kept the party going late.
Wednesday, October 4th. Day 3
- The Rising Star Q&A with Manuel Turizo
Manuel Turizo, a four-time finalist for a Billboard Latin Music Award, arrived at the Faena Forum in Miami for Billboard Latin Music Week’s The Rising Star Q&A presented by Delta Air Lines. He spoke with Jessica Roiz assistant editor of Billboard Latin, about his breakthrough year, which included his breakout hit with Marshmello, “El Merengue,” and about what motivated him to stay in the city of Miami after moving from Colombia. Manuel Turizo and Roiz talked about the creation of “Una Lady Como Tu,” his first song that became a worldwide hit and launched him onto the mainstream Latin music scene. They also touched on Turizo’s biggest Billboard hits, including “Déjala Que Vuelva” and “La Bachata,” as well as his most recent collaboration with Grupo Frontera, “De Lunes a Lunes.”
- The Latin Swing: From Music to Sports
Francisco Alvarez of the New York Mets and Ezequiel Jesus Tovar of the Colorado Rockies traveled to Miami to take part in the panel discussion The Latin Swing: From Music to Sports with musicians Eladio Carrión and Arcángel to talk about the relationship between sports and music with Rapetón founder Angel “El Guru” Vera. Alvarez and Tovar discussed how they individually choose their walk-ups before to each game at the panel discussion hosted by Rimas Sports. They also talk about how fashion is integrated with sports, as artists are always seen wearing either their favorite team’s jersey or the signature fitted New York Yankee’s hat. Athletes collaborate with fashion brands as well, such as Shai Giligous Alexander with Converse. The two groups coexist well, with support coming from both sides. Latino pride is not only found in music, but also in sports.
- The Superstar Q&A with Shakira
Shakira, a Colombian singer, songwriter, businesswoman, and recipient of a Grammy Award®, was on stage during Billboard Latin Music Week for a rare interview with Leila Cobo, Chief Content Officer of Billboard Latin/Español. During the Hits Don’t Lie: The Superstar Q&A interview The worldwide phenomenon chatted with Shakira for the first time in front of the public about her creative process, her history of No. 1 Billboard Chart hits, and her most recent success with Fuerza Regida, “El Jefe.” The multi-generational artist expressed her strength and drive as she thought back on the previous year, telling Cobo that music has been her primary tool since realizing she was stronger than she had initially believed. Shakira informed the audience that her boys Milan and Sasha urged her to work with Argentine DJ and record producer Bizarrap and were also responsible for some of the concepts seen in the music video for “El Jefe.” Leila Cobo stunned Shakira by awarding her an RIAA four-time Platinum® Award for her song “Acróstico” and an RIAA two-time Platinum® Award for her most recent collaboration with Manuel Turizo, “Copa Vacia,” following a flurry of questions. “Music has been my main tool, I was less fragile than I had previously thought,” stated Shakira.
- Advanced Screening Party: NEON Presented by Netflix
An advanced screening party for NEON, sponsored by Netflix, marked the end of the conference. The new show, which featured original music made by Tainy and One Six, was shown to guests by its creators Shea Serrano and Max Searle and Executive Producer, Daddy Yankee. Three friends’ search for stardom in the reggaeton industry is the subject of the new series NEON. Prior to the series’ October 19 Netflix launch, the early screening offered Billboard Latin Music Week guests a unique look behind the scenes.
The Mexican Music Revolution was a private performance by DannyLux for participants of Billboard Latin Music Week in Miami. After that, Young Miko will be a special guest on Billboard En Vivo with Nathy Peluso at Oasis Wynwood. La Maquinaria Nortena, Carlos Sarabia, Los Cuates de Sinaloa, and Sebastián Esquivel later gave live performances at WhiskyLucan in Miami as part of A Night of Mexican Music during Billboard Latin Music Week. Sonidos Mexicanos Promotores Unidos, Zamora Group, and Rancho Humilde provided the music for the evening.
Thursday, October 5th, Day 4
- The 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards Day
The awards show took place in the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Bad Bunny, Karol G, and Peso Pluma are among the most nominated and awarded artists of the night. However, Bad Bunny and Peso Pluma tied for the winner of the night, both taking home seven awards each. Bad Bunny, Peso Pluma, Nicki Nicole, Marc Anthony, and Grupo Frontera are among the few artists who performed on Thursday. Reggaeton Legend Ivy Queen won Billboard’s Icon Award and told the audience about how glad she is for paving the way for female artists in the genre for years to come. Celebrity DJ and activist Paris Hilton presented Karol G with Billboard’s Spirit of Hope Award for her dedication and philanthropic work that went into supporting the women in her ‘Con Cora Foundation’, translating to the “With Heart Foundation.”
Friday, October 6th, Day 5
The week concluded with two performances on Friday. First was The Cheetos Block Party Featuring Myke Towers and special guest Polima West Coast. The Miami Heat Dancers opened the show with a performance at the Wynwood Marketplace before the artists lit up the stage. Later on, Fonseca performed his iconic songs at Oasis Wynwood, drawing a crowd of all ages.