An unlikely suitor is reaching out to the young regional Mexican consumer. Machete Music, the two-year-old Latin urban music label owned by Universal, is now debuting Machete Regional. Like its urban counterpart, which focuses on youth-driven music, Machete Regional seeks to target a young demographic, but one that consumes regional Mexican music, the largest selling subgenre of Latin music in the country.

The label's very specific target is in synch with Universal's overall approach, says Jesus Lopez, chairman of Universal Music Latin America/Iberian Peninsula.

"We continue to think that the solution to the music industry crisis lies in finding and developing new talent," says Lopez. "In the United States, the power of Mexican music is very big and we feel Machete has a growth opportunity in this sector."

The launch of Machete Regional would not affect the regional Mexican operations of other Universal Latin labels, notably Universal Music Latino, whose roster includes Diana Reyes and the late Valentín Elizalde.

"What makes Machete a different label is we believe in music for the youth and we take every tact to get to the youth," says Machete Music president Gustavo López, who will also run Machete Regional.

Although Lopez is based out of Miami, Machete Regional's offices will be out of Burbank, with Nelson Mendoza acting as director.

López, who launched Machete, has focused mainly on reggaetón, hip hop and urban regional fare like Wisin & Yandel, Don Omar, Rigo Luna and Kuky. While Machete Regional would appear to be diametrically opposite to that, "at the end of the day, I see them as the same consumer," says Lopez. "The ones who buy edgy corrido music are the same consumers who in the West Coast are buying reggaetón."

Indeed, in cities like Los Angeles, youth-driven Mexican stations like La Buena share a high percentage of listenership with stations like Power 106. Machete Regional will initially focus on regional Mexican subgenres like corridos. Last month, Machete released two albums by El Potro de Sinaloa who will now revert into Machete Regional. Among other groups, the label is also in conversations with Los Nuevos Rebeldes, whose corrido "Masacre en el Cajoncito" is a finalist for a Billboard Latin Music Award.

Although Machete is looking to sign acts directly, it is also open to licensing or joint venture deals.

"We want to put out the word that we are out there, actively looking for talent," says Mendoza.