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Latin Music Leaking Into American Culture

America has always been known for its loud pop music with a techno style beat. Any international musician who wants to make it big knows Hollywood is the place to be. More recently Latin music has made its way into America’s radio waves and is sparking a new trend. Latin music is very different from American music.

Aside from the fact that it’s all in Spanish, it carries a different tune with passion and culture hidden the singer’s voice. Their vibrant music sets for a different style of dance that is opening America’s eyes to other cultures.

Curious though. Why has Spanish music become so popular in America if that is not their native tongue? Of course, most people in America have either learned to speak the language or are originally from a Spanish speaking country. Chief creative officer at advertising agency Energy BBDO says

“I call this ‘the new America.’ It’s not about ‘This is for Hispanics this for non-Hispanics.’ We’re everywhere.”

This music is meant more so for those that understand the language but a song with good beat and a song worth dancing to become popular nationwide—sometimes internationally—pretty quickly. Latin musicians can now reach bilingual/bicultural fans. Now that this style music is making its debut to all Americans (Spanish speaking or not) more A-List celebrities are connecting with Latin artists to collaborate on new songs.

These songs are banking the charts and providing two cultures in one song. It’s becoming an educational experiment. People can take interest the tune, voices, beat and venture out to other songs by these artists with no understanding of its meaning.

Our curious minds want to know, have a desire to figure out what the message is behind their songs. After research on the lyrics, there may be research on the artist and next thing you know we are are educating ourselves on the culture as a whole.

Some example artists that have made their way from Spanish music to incorporating their Latin/Spanish roots into English hits are Enrique Iglesias and Luis Fonsi.

Enrique Iglesias, Spanish, English, music, america
Last.fm

Iglesias was born in Madrid, Spain and moved to Florida, USA at a young. He became fluent in English leaving him bilingual. His singing career took off in the 90s when he worked with an American-Spanish record label, Fonovisa Records.

He soon became known as the King of Latin Pop. All of his albums were recorded in Spanish until 2000 when he released his first all English album titled, Enrique. Soon after in 2001 he released a second English album. One of his most popular English pop songs is shared with American/Cuban rapper artist, Pitbull, titled “I Like It.”

His most recent release, “Subeme La Radio,” is an all-Spanish song but, with America’s newfound fetish for this music, it could easily become a radio hit. The lyrics are catchy, the tune is fun and upbeat—the perfect dance party song.

Fonsi was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and moved to Orlando, Florida,USA at a young age just as Iglesias. His albums were set in Spanish as well for quite some time. Though he did have amazing opportunities to perform with other famous artists as he gained followers.

Luis Fonsi, music, latin, spanish, english
Rolling Stone

He sang a duet with Christina Aguilera in 2000 on her Spanish album. Not long after, he was Britney Spear’s opening act on her 2002 tour, Dream Within A Dream. In 2009, he had the chance to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway honoring President Barack Obama.

The music Fonsi has recently produced has been on the top of America’s charts. His song “Despacito” was performed with Daddy Yankee and one of America’s most famous pop starts, Justin Beiber. The original song without Beiber became the most watched music video on YouTube in history.

Fonsi has, since then, recorded a song with pop singer Demi Lovato called “Échame La Culpa” that, like “Despacito,” contains aspects of both the English and Spanish language. The progress the Spanish community has made as they make their way into America’s music industry is very powerful. It’s definitely one for the books.

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1 comment

  1. The many links to other resources were great to see as a reader. Knowing that the author did some research and also shares those tools gives them more credibility and keeps me learning about the subject. I liked how the author compared American and Latin music in general and then went on to introduce two artists who represent both sides of the spectrum. Breaking up the sentence structure and adding some diverse language would have made it a better read.

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