Power players in the Latin music industry got a preview of both pop singer/songwriter Natalia Jimenez’s upcoming album and Barefoot Wine’s new Refresh brand on Tuesday at the second annual Billboard Most Influential Women in Latin Music luncheon. The lunch was held at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami, where the Billboard Latin Music Conference presented by State Farm in association with Pepsi starts Tuesday. The Billboard Latin Music Awards will be broadcast live on Telemundo from the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami Thursday.
“We are so proud of our women’s lunch,” Leila Cobo, executive director for Latin Content and Programming for Billboard, said before introducing Jimenez, the former lead vocalist of the Grammy and Latin Grammy-winning band Spanish pop band La Quinta Estación, who Cobo said “exemplifies the powerful, beautiful and incredibly talented Latina.”
Before a select audience of invitees that included executives from BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, Sony and Universal, entertainment attorneys, managers, publicists and press, Jimenez talked with Cobo about the importance for Latina artists to “know their business.”
“They need to know where their money is going,” said Jimenez, whose 2011 solo debut went to #1 on iTunes Latin albums chart and was nominated for a 2012 Billboard Latin Music Award. Responding to an observation by Cobo about the lack of female artists on the Latin charts of late, she stressed the importance for artists to know how to negotiate, to read every contract, and sit down with their managers and attorneys to ask questions. “Latinas, in general, aren’t interested in that. They tend to be afraid to ask, and we should be past that by now. At the end of the day we’re the boss, not our managers.”
Discussing her upcoming bilingual album to be released by Sony Music Latin Entertainment at the end of the year, Jimenez said she is working with songwriter Claudia Brant on songs that depart from typical “girls songs." She promised to deliver “Something in the Latin market that isn’t happening. It’s happening in the whole world and they’re missing it.”
Jimenez will be honored with the La Musa award for young composers at the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame inaugural induction gala Tuesday at the New World Center in Miami Beach, held in association with Billboard.
Guests at the Women in Latin Music Luncheon watched a fashion show of red-carpet worthy dresses by designer Rosita Hurtado, and tasted Barefoot Refresh wines, a light vintage with a little fizz that will be available in stores in May. In a nod to the lunch’s sponsor, the models went barefoot under their gowns.