Alfredo Olivas on Representing the New Generation of Regional Mexican Artists, Finding Balance in Music & More

Alfredo Olivas
Courtesy of Alfredo Olivas

Alfredo Olivas

After surviving a shooting at one of his concerts in Mexico where he was hit twice by the attacker while performing back in 2015, there's nothing stopping Alfredo Olivas from getting onstage to serenade his fans. 

"Our team is more solid than ever," the 23-year-old singer from Sonora, Mexico tells Billboard. "Great things are happening to the band right now."

"El paciente," one of his latest singles, is currently No. 8 on Regional Mexican Airplay and No. 27 on Hot Latin Songs. His last album Privilegio (2015) debuted (and peaked) at No. 2 on Top Latin Albums

Leaving the incident that happened two years ago in the past, Olivas is one of the genre's rising star and representing the new generation of regional Mexican music, which seem to get younger and younger each year, just like their fanbase, composed mostly of millennials. 

"I think we attract the younger generation because our songs are real. We're singing about stuff that kids our age are going through. Falling in love, out of love. We may not be the best musicians out there, but we sing from the heart and to the heart. We're authentic."

While most of his songs talk about love and heartbreak, Olivas does include some infamous corridos (or narcocorridos) in the mix. "When it comes to narcocorridos, people know they are true stories and talk about everyday life. Corridos aren't anything new, and I grew up listening to that music, about the streets of Mexico and the violence." 

In fact, the first song he wrote at nine years old was about a tragic event that happened to a friend of his. "I wrote and sang about what I would see day-to-day," he says comparing regional Mexican music and corrido singers to to hip-hop and rappers.

Now working on his forthcoming album and touring in the U.S. and Mexico, Olivas says that while onstage, he makes sure his set list is a balance of corridos and romantic songs. 

"I thank God for giving me the ability to write corridos and love songs. In my shows, I have men and women in the audience so I please them both. Corridos for the men and swooning lyrics for the women."

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