I was born in the 80’s. 1985 to be exact. When I was coming into my own, the music scene was dominated by pop stars; Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, and more.
Then in 1999 all of a sudden there was a “Latin Explosion,” with Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin leading the pack. For me, as a young Latina, it was pretty impressive to see pop stars who looked like me and spoke English. And yes, I know Christina Aguilera is part Ecuadorian (father’s side), but to the world, she was not apart of this Latin Explosion.
The Latin Explosion started off as a novelty, as an MTV invention to gain a broader Latin audience but soon these Latin stars became stars that happen to be Latin.
Now flash forward to 2018 where there are more Latin pop stars, but people are not focusing on their Latin roots but their music. Spotify, YouTube, Tidal, and shoot even the radio station is dominated by Latinos.
From Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Bruno Mars, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Prince Royce, etc., audiences are being introduced to a slew of Latin artists. Bonus, most of these artists are biracial, which is an excellent example of what the world is becoming. Young fans can see themselves in these artists.
In addition to these Latin artists, non-Latin artists are learning Spanish and becoming apart of the Latin music world. With Justin Bieber on the Luis Fonsi remix of Despacito to Beyonce on the remix of J Balvin Mi Gente, people are seeing the value of expanding their audience to Latin America. That value can be money, audience, brand awareness, or the sheer act of increasing their artistry.
I believe that we are seeing the beginning phases of Latin music and artists becoming the norm. With the Latino population as the most significant and fastest-growing minority group in the U.S. As well as the youngest people with the median age of 28 as of 2018. Needless to say, as the Latino population grows, artists will have no choice but to add some Latin influence to their music.
Latin Explosion may have been an MTV invention. But Latin artists are here to stay.