Five of the most exciting Latin artists in music right now
For National Hispanic Heritage Month, performance rights organization BMI shares its selection of emerging talent
By Jesus Gonzalez - BMI VP, Creative - Latin
Never before has the music industry been so rife with exciting Latin talent. Listeners have been open to Spanish languages music at the same time that artists are free to explore and blend different genres to create distinct sounds. In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked Jesus Gonzales, VP at BMI (and Soho House West Hollywood member since 2019) to select some of the performance rights organization's most promising talent who embody this new era of Latin music.
"They’re all making major moves," Gonzalez says. "Le Coco joined our 2022 SXSW Official BMI Latin showcase as an indie artist and is now building up to the release of her major label debut on Warner Music Latina. Chicocurlyhead is prepping to perform on our ACL stage next month in Austin, and Jota Rosa has gone from producing some of Bad Bunny’s biggest hits to now launching his own project as an artist/ producer. These artists are making a splash in music, so now we’re bringing their unique voices to the forefront."
Le Coco is a Venezuelan-born, Miami-based, singer-songwriter whose artistic style and musical influences span across genres such as Latin R&B, soul, pop, trap, and rock. In 2021, she signed a major record deal with Warner Music Latina, after the success of her independent debut EP Esotérico. Le Coco’s creative melodies and hooks are supplemented by urban lyrics, based on her true stories of love, drugs, rebellion and her signature esoteric twist or sac-religious spin. She is currently promoting her new single ‘Ducati’.
Chicocurlyhead, also known as John Farrish, is reinventing the world of Latin music. Born and raised in Panama, he moved from central America to Atlanta when he was nine years old. His music is emblematic of his mixed background as he combines the Latin soul of his childhood in Panama with the trap beats that Atlanta is famous for. Weaving between English and Spanish, Chicocurlyhead brings a fresh approach to music with singles such as ‘Modelo’ and ‘Si Tu Quieres’ and ‘DIADREAMER’ off his highly anticipated EP of the same name.
Before they were churning out glossy 1980s-inspired electro-pop as Reyna, Milwaukee sisters Vic and Gabby Banuelos (formerly known as the duo Vic and Gab) were on the indie-pop fast track as one of the city’s fastest rising independent bands. In 2015, they decided that it was finally time to graduate from their signature Vic and Gab sound, and the following year, Reyna – the Spanish word for ‘queen’ – was born, ushering in a new and poppier era for the siblings under a regal name that ‘represented their culture, where they come from and, of course, powerful women’, according to Billboard’s Erica Russell.
Since taking on their new moniker, the sisters have collaborated with producers Drew Pearson (Kesha), Simon Oscroft (The Aces), John Feldmann and Derek Fuhrmann, and have independently released a series of singles including ‘Coachella’, ‘Lonely Girl’, and ‘7’11’. Their songs have garnered more than 7.5 million plays on Spotify alone, and the streamer has shown them significant support through prominent playlisting and a feature on the cover of the Latinx Indie Rising playlist. The duo has opened for Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie and The Naked and Famous, and have played festivals including Summerfest, Lincoln Calling, Middle of the Map Fest, and The Underground Music Showcase. Earlier this year, they played SXSW as official artists and released their debut EP, ‘You Could At Least Say Goodbye’.
Puerto Rican producer, songwriter and artist Jota Rosa has set out to accomplish one goal: forge music that continues to evolve the Latin music genre and keep pushing Urbano music to the forefront. In his tenure, Rosa has worked with some of Latin music’s top acts, such as iconic duo Wisin & Yandel, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Rauw Alejandro, Selena Gomez, and more. The Bayamon-born creative, named Abner Cordero, launched his career within the industry at the age of 18 when he realised his passion for not only creating music with an edge, but also his passion for songwriting. Since then, he has worked to produce music that honours the spirit and flavour of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean by merging reggaeton with other iconic and emblematic Latin and American market sound.
Ana Mancebo is a Madrid-born indie artist currently based in Miami. Known for her exciting and versatile sound that combines R&B, dancehall and pop with both Spanish and English lyrics, she has released fan favourites like ‘Poco @ Poco’, ‘Me Quiere No Me Quiere’, and ‘NACÍ PARA BRILLAR’. In addition to her own work as a headlining artist, Mancebo is an accomplished songwriter who has written for Lola Indigo, Kat Dahlia, Lucy Vives, Chicocurlyhead, and more.