Hip-Hop, Artists' Rights and More Discussed on Day 1 of Colombia's BOmm

Aterciopelados at BOmm in Bogota. 

Aterciopelados at BOmm in Bogota. 

The eighth edition of The Bogotá Music Market (BOmm), which kicked off in Bogota’s Chamber of Commerce Sept. 10, drew 257 artists from all regions of Colombia, an unprecedented number.

The main takeaway of the renowned series of showcases, conferences and networking meetings was the importance of the digital world in all aspects of an artist’s career and the power of collaboration as an essential part of both creative and entrepreneurial processes in Latin America. 

Over 90 agents and 60 international and 113 national talent buyers from key festivals and agencies in Colombia and around the world came to the market to choose the best live acts the country has to offer. 

The diversity of the Colombian musical landscape contrasts with its current impact in the worldwide market, an issue that came into focus at the summit. BOmm 2019 also highlighted artistic diversity in an otherwise polarized political and cultural landscape. Keynote speakers like Andrea Echeverri, leader of Grammy-winning alternative national icon band Aterciopelados, defended artists’ right to stay in their musical lanes. “In the end, you’re either a musician or a businessperson”, she said during her  “Inspirational panel” alongside Monsieur Periné and Chocquibtown. Echeverri was also critical of a local music industry that heavily favors mainstream urban music: “it’s crushing us all.”

Dissent was not the overarching sentiment. As the Colombian government continues to strengthen the creative sector and the Orange Economy (which takes its name from the book penned by president Ivan Duque, which highlights the economic contributions of creative enterprise), key players in the growth of musical careers such as Fabio Acosta emphasized the importance of teamwork in what has been for decades an iron-clad, radical and individualistic independent DIY scene.

“You need a family”, said Acosta, talking about his experience managing J Balvin, and how the artist's breakthrough was a puzzle where “every piece has to fit tightly.”