There is no doubt English is the most prominent language in the music industry. It is likely no matter where you live that you will hear songs in English that are worldwide hits on the radio. However, if you are not from a Spanish speaking country, you probably haven’t listened to many Spanish songs on the radio except for Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito. It managed to smash when Justin Bieber joined to make a remix, although it was already huge in Latin America, and now everyone is listening to it. Hitting the #1 spot in more than 40 countries from different continents, Despacito is another example of how songs in Spanish can appeal to anyone and dominate the charts (just like Macarena in 1996 and La Bamba in 1987). Here is a list of some artists that you might enjoy if you want to get into more music in Spanish.
Note: I only considered musicians who are currently making music in Spanish and are not so well known outside for their work outside of Latin America and Spain.
Yo soy la nueva religión 🏌🏻 pic.twitter.com/mDO20eauJc
— BAD 🐰 BUNNY (@_BadBunnyPR) July 5, 2017
This 23-year-old from Puerto Rico, also known as Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, has only been in the industry since 2015 but can already say he has several hits under his name. His music is based on Hip-Hop and Reggaetón but he is better known for his work as one of the biggest exponents of Latin Trap. Nevertheless, he has mentioned that he wants to experiment with other types of music as his inspirations include Frankie Ruiz, the Bee Gees, Daddy Yankee and more.
Becky Gómez’s career took off in 2015 when she was signed to Kemosabe Records. She has gained popularity by acting in Empire and in the 2017 version of Power Rangers as Trini Kwan, the first queer member of the group in its history; and by singing, specifically in her hit song Shower which earned a multi-platinum certification. However, you might not be aware that she has been releasing music in Spanish since last year and is preparing to release her debut album this year. She has been honoring her Mexican roots since the very beginning of her career and is now ready to cater to an even bigger audience by releasing music in two languages.
“‘You don’t look Latina’ or ‘You don’t even speak Spanish.’ These are the remarks that us second- and third-generation-born American Latinos often hear. The truth is, the lack of language knowledge does not lessen the Latin blood running through our veins or the stories our last names carry,” she said in her article in POPSUGAR. “There is no ‘look’ to the passion us Latinos carry within us. Although my Spanish is flawed and I didn’t grow up in Mexico, I take pride in my roots. My family’s history and the fact that all the traditions and morals passed down have shaped me to be who I am today is what it means to be a second-generation-born Mexican-American for me.”
Probably the most well-rounded artist in the Latin Urban scene, Maluma is on his way to becoming a huge superstar. His career took off in 2012 and since then, he has managed to win several awards for his work, which generally mixes Reggaetón with other urban genres. He considers Justin Timberlake to be his greatest inspiration along with Jay-Z and Daddy Yankee. He has also shown a particular interest in social activism (which is unusual in the Latin industry) with his music video for El Perdedor showcasing the discrimination towards Latinxs by the U.S police. He also has shown great support for the LGBT community in the past, having played at gay clubs and speaking out against using “gay” as an insult.
— Lali Espósito (@laliespos) January 6, 2017
This 25-year-old started working in the business as a star in Argentinean telenovelas such as Floricienta and Casi Ángeles, which also gave her the opportunity to sing in the band Teen Angels that originated from the show. Her music is defined by a mix of pop and EDM sounds which is admired by her mainly teenage audience. She has two studio albums out: Soy and A Bailar. She has toured across South America, Europe, and even the Middle East and has also opened for Ricky Martin, Katy Perry, and Fifth Harmony.
If you want to listen to even more musicians with similar music styles, my honorable mentions include Arcángel, Bryant Myers, J Balvin, Nicky Jam, Tini, Karol G, Justin Quiles, Belinda, and Ozuna.