Latin Artist on the Rise: From a Viral Video to Billboard Charts, Meet Carin Leon

Carin Leon
Courtesy of Tamarindo Recordsz

Carin Leon

Music has been a part of Carin Leon's life for as long as he can remember. Now, at 31 years old, the Mexican singer-songwriter has positioned himself on the Billboard charts with his heartfelt norteño and banda music, becoming this week’s Latin Artist on the Rise.

“I grew up in a family where music was around 24 hours,” Leon tells Billboard. “I don’t recall the exact moment that I began doing this as a profession but I liked it and I started to develop it as a job and make a living from it,” he admits.

Leon, born in Hermosillo, Sonora in Mexico, gained success as the lead vocalist of Grupo Arranke, which he played in for four years. In 2018, he kicked off his solo career and ultimately signed to record label Tamarindo Rekords.

Leon’s big break, however, came from a viral music video posted on social media.

“The group recorded a version of ‘A traves del vaso’ around November of 2017 but nothing big happened with the song until about May 2018,” he says, explaining that he performed the song at a local festival in Hermosillo and the video went viral, amassing over 10 million views in its first week. “Grupo Arranke was definitely a big school for me and I learned a lot,” he notes.

On the Billboard charts, Leon’s “Me La Avente” and “Tú” have both secured spots on the Hot Latin Songs, Latin Airplay, and Regional Mexican Airplay charts.

“Me La Avente,” which was meant to be released when he was in the group, was composed by Leon and is about heartbreak and infidelity. “Tú” is his Regional Mexican version of Noelia’s 1999 pop hit. “This song has accompanied me my entire life,” he says. “We didn’t think that the cover would have such a big acceptance from the public. I think it has been one of the biggest steps I have taken in my career. It lets you know that you are doing things right.”

León, like many artists, has found innovative ways to continue growing his career amid the global health crisis, releasing a two-part live album coined Encerrados pero Enfiestados via Tamarindo Rekords.

Loosely translated to “locked up but partying,” Leon recorded both albums in his home. "We wanted to give people a reason to smile, enjoy a few beers, and see the bright side during this pandemic.”

Learn more of this week’s Latin Artist on the Rise below.

Name: Oscar Armando Diaz de Leon a.k.a. Carin (deriving from his nickname Oscarin)

Age: 31

Country: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico

Major accomplishment: “Honestly, I don't think I have gotten to that step yet, but so far, I would say it’s making music that I like and being able to live from it. It’s a big accomplishment for me.”

Recommended song: “Me La Avente”

What’s next: “A completely live album in banda Sinaloense. We are working on a duet with Los Invasores de Nuevo León. I just announced a duet with Conjunto Primavera and something is coming with Grupo Firme. A lot of new singles of my authorship, like “Cobarde,” which my fans have been waiting for and a lot of non-stop work.”