Power Players Panelist Juan Diego Medina on Managing Nicky Jam: 'It Changed My Life'

Courtesy of La Industria
Juan Diego Medina

With only a few artists signed under La Industria Inc., including Latin superstar Nicky Jam and rising Colombian group ChocQuibTown, founder Juan Diego Medina is a strong believer of quality over quantity.

"The facade of our team doesn't matter; what matters is that we have strong, solid bases. I look at life as a game or a business deal, and I always try to make the best investments possible," the 29-year-old Medellín native tells Billboard.

Medina, who was included in Billboard's 2016 40 under 40 list and will be part of the "Power Players Panel" at the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Conference, placed all his bets on Nicky Jam when he began his management career in the music industry. After joining forces, the "El perdón" singer/songwriter made one of the most noteworthy comebacks in Latin music after battling drug addiction. 

"Working with Nicky Jam changed my life," Medina says. "The biggest challenge was reintroducing him in the United States and telling the press, 'This is the new Nicky Jam!' It wasn't easy to get people to respect us, actually, no one respected us back then."

Medina will be joining other top Latin music execs at the panel, including Jorge Juárez, founder of Westwood Entertainment LLC; Walter Kolm, president/CEO of W.K. Entertainment and manager of superstars like Maluma and Carlos Vives; and Henry Cárdenas, founder and CEO of Cárdenas Marketing Network.

"To be part of that group of people I admire is truly a blessing," Medina says. "Since I started working in this field, I've learned to really pay attention and learn as much as possible from others. I like to think of myself as an observer in the bleachers admiring what others are doing. I've been able to remain with my feet on the ground because I stay away from egos and stay close to my friends who are always willing to help others." 

Medina's La Industria just signed ChocQuibTown in February, assuring Billboard he has big plans for them in 2017, which includes more exposure in the U.S., since they're already a household name in their native Colombia.

"I may not have many artists signed, but the ones that I do, I'll make them count. I like to take on projects where 30 percent of the people believe in them and 70 percent don't. That way, I have more time to create and build this artist, and the day they have reinvented themselves, we'll prove the non-believers wrong."

What's next on Medina's bucket list? "One of my biggest accomplishments with Nicky Jam was getting him on the screen in xXx: Return of Xander Cage. It was huge. And actually, aside from wanting to manage up-and-coming athletes, I want to get into the film industry. That's next on my list. I want to become a producer. Stay tuned for great things to come."

During the "Power Players Panel," Latin music’s top movers and shakers will powwow in a rapid-fire question session.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards are the culmination of the Billboard Latin Music Conference, taking place April 24-27 at the Ritz Carlton Miami Beach. To register, visit www.billboardlatinconference.com.

Billboard Latin Music Awards and Conference 2017