The Return of Latin Music To The Mainstream
The recent surge of Latin music being produced is noteworthy. The trip is that the music, whether understood or not, is one of the most requested genres to date. Latin artists combine their language as well as English in their music to appeal to a broader audience. Songs on the top charts clearly show that one does not need to be a native Spanish speaker to participate in the genre. Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, and Beyoncé, for example, have all contributed to Latin hit songs. Regardless of the fact that they aren’t native speakers, they were all able to sing Spanish lyrics and aid to the success of Latin music.
We have the presently known major hit, “Despacito,” with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, featuring Justin Bieber. The floodgates opened after the remix was released (April 17, 2017); the giant song opened the door for other Latin artists with a similar sound. Suddenly, more Latin music, vocals, and instrumentals continued to flourish in the US and all over the world. The song ties the record for being number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the longest amount of time at 16 weeks. “Despacito” was the spark that once again ignited the fire of Latin music.
This is not the first time we’ve experienced a rise in Latin music, and probably won’t be the last.
The mid to late ’90s is when Latin music was in the spotlight. This was the decade that is recognized most for mixing Spanish with English; many Latin artists came forward with hits to be played all over the world. We’re talking about Selena, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, Shakira, Ricky Martin, and the list goes on. These artists, with the tragic exception of Selena, continued to produce music well into the early 2000s, where it seemed the music was at its peak. Hit after hit came from Latin artists, and the genre was taking the top charts, but it didn’t last long. Latin music started to phase out and not become as popular as it had been previously with anglo audiences. One or two songs would emerge and gain popularity, but as a whole, Latin music was not hitting the charts. As a result, the genre gradually sank into the shadows of the music industry. However, here we are again with the rise of Latin music in the mainstream. Will the trend graduate to a mainstay this time around? We’ll see because the timing is interesting with the many protests against immigration, deportation, and racism.
The success of Latin music has not been hindered, but rather facilitated. The music is being welcomed with open arms by the public, who embrace the Latin culture and music even if they may not understand what it means. In some ways, it acts as an indirect “fuck you” to politicians. This reversal reaction is exactly what deems this surge in the popularity of Latin music as a phase. Although Latin music will always be around because of it’s vitality to the culture of Latin people, its stay in the US could only be accepted as a temporary influence; well, maybe up until this point.
As we have witnessed in the past, Latin music acts a result of a movement, or one song acts as the spark to ignite a movement of Latin influence.