Billboard Latin Music Awards 2015: Carlos Vives on Colombia's New Golden Era for Music

Tropical pop icon Carlos Vives delivered one the most energetic performances of the 2015 Billboard Latin Music Awards in a Colombia-meets-Puerto Rico moment where Daddy Yankee and Wisin joined him onstage for “Nota de Amor.” The song is a perfect marriage of vallenato and reggaeton, and perfectly embodies the golden musical era that Vives' home country is experiencing.

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As discussed during “The New Latin Urban Movement” panel at the Billboard Latin Music Conference, members of reggaeton’s new class are breathing new life into the genre by blending the harder, streets-certified brand of Latin urban music, which was born out of Puerto Rico's underground scene in the '90s, with the rich storytelling, romantic, and melodic tradition of the music from Colombia. The result is an irresistible new sound that's just as much about love as it is danceable.

“Daddy was dying to be able to sing a lyric along the lines of, ‘Nothing is better than being able to dance this vallenato with you,” Vives told Billboard after his performance of "Nota de Amor" on Thursday night. “He and Wisin wanted to do this song as a sort of thank you to me, and to send a message of appreciation to my country. The beautiful thing about this new Colombian sound is that it’s fresh but it’s also steeped in the tradition of our ancestors.”

Listening to younger, homegrown artists like J Balvin and Maluma, who are disrupting the musical landscape, or, to go back even further, Shakira, Juanes, and Joe Arroyo -- it’s clear Colombia has never had a shortage of musical talent.

Vives himself had great success in the early '90s and early 2000s, but was impacted by the drastic changes in the music industry, lost a record deal along the way, and then pulled off one of the most remarkable comebacks in Latin music in 2013. He is now living to tell the tale of resilience and reinvention.

Best of all: his voice, charisma, and signature curls are still intact. 

*If watching on mobile, click here to watch the video interview.