Latin Artists on the Rise: Gregorio Uribe Big Band, Kevin Roldan, CD9, Alessandra Amoroso, Pablo López

Courtesy Photo
Gregorio Uribe

Billboard's "On the Rise" is a roundup of Latin music's most promising new acts, poised to break through in a big way.

Villa 5, Fantine, Antonio José & Jesús Mendoza: Latin Stars On The Rise

Gregorio Uribe Big Band

Blending Colombian rhythms like cumbia and chandé with jazz and funk, these guys bring the party anywhere they go. Rooted in the tradition of Colombian big bands of the ‘60s, the 16-piece outfit is led by Gregorio Uribe (who in 2012 was named by the government of Colombia as one of the “100 Most Outstanding Colombians Living Abroad”). Their live performances consist of a remarkable combination of trumpets, trombones and clarinets soaring over an amazing percussion section. You can also expect to see Uribe dancing to the beat while rocking out on his accordion. The band’s debut album Cumbia Universal, out now, is a worldly affair, with guests like salsa god Rubén Blades (Panama), reggae artist Meta Dia (Senegal), Sagit Shir (Israel) and the jazz vocals of Sofia Ribeiro (Portugal). What’s equally cool is that the album was financed by the band’s followers on Kickstarter! Enjoy the festive new video for “Yo Vengo”:

Kevin Roldan

If you’re still not convinced that Colombia is the new hotbed for reggaeton, look no further than Kevin Roldan. The Cali native, 22, is part of the wave of Colombians refreshing the Latin urban sound and tailoring lyrics for the ladies while keeping it street. Earlier this year, he ignited the wrath of Gerard Piqué when he performed at a birthday party for Cristiano Ronaldo -- but that’s hardly a problem since he has plenty of other fans. He’s become a go-to guy for hot remixes. Just last week, he brought the heat to the Latin AMAs stage with Natalie La Rose for a new take on her hit “Somebody.” And on Oct. 17, fans will be able to hear his latest  banger, “Me Matas." In the mean time, enjoy his party-starter “Una Noche Mas" with Nicky Jam here:


We’ve got one word for you – OK, two: amazing hair! But this Mexican pop quintet (made up of Jos Canela, Alonso Villalpando, Freddy Leyva, Alan Navarro and Bryan Mouque) is about more than just looks. They’ve also got the moves and onstage charisma to put on a great live show, as evidenced by their sold-out The Party world tour, currently underway. The boy band recently performed their hit single “Angel Cruel” at the Latin American Music Awards and had everyone in the audience swooning. Cool fact: CD9 was their secret code when the group of friends were discussing the then-unknown musical project on WhatsApp. Now they're a social media phenomenon!

Alessandra Amoroso

This Italian songstress is known at home for winning the 2009 edition of the reality talent competition show Amici di Maria de Filippi and last year made history as the first female Italian act to win the MTV European Music Award for best European act. Now, following in the footsteps of mega-star Laura Pausini, Alessandra Amoroso has a new Spanish single out now, “Me Siento Sola,” with Mario Domm. But she shouldn’t feel lonely for too long because she’s about to have fans all over the Spanish-speaking world.

Pablo López

Already a big deal in Spain, pop singer/songwriter Pablo López has had his share of primetime love at home, first as an assistant coach on Antonio Orozco’s team on La Voz España and more recently, with his song “Tu Mundo” placed in the hit series El Príncipe.  Thanks to his soulful debut album Once Historias y un Piano (released in Spain in 2013), López also received a Latin Grammy nomination for best new artist in 2014. And these days, the Malaga native is busier than ever—he just dropped his sophomore album at home, which includes a duet with Juanes called “Tu Enemigo,” and is promoting the release of his debut album in the U.S.


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