She Is The Music: Lali, Mon Laferte, Francisca Valenzuela & Paty Cantú on the Nuances of Female Empowerment

Lali Esposito

Lali Esposito arrives at the 20th Annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on Nov. 14, 2019.

As part of She Is The Music's Hispanic Heritage Month panel, Lali, Mon Laferte, Francisca Valenzuela and Paty Cantú talked about the nuances of female empowerment, collaborating with other women in the industry and the raunchy lyrics on reggaeton songs.

Moderated Billboard's Leila Cobo, the four artists spoke candidly about the importance staying true to themselves even as the industry tries to mold them into something they're not.

The one-hour panel that was held Sept. 15 via Zoom and if you didn't catch it then, below you'll find standout quotes from each of the panelists who discussed an array of topics.

On raunchy reggaeton lyrics: 

Lali: "We underestimate our audience and because one thing worked now every artist wants to replicate it thinking that's what the audience wants. We all dance reggaeton but for me there has to be some sort of responsibility about a conscious decision to make these songs that become number one all over the world. The decision makers need to be aware that they've created a system where these types of songs are now being played in people's houses. I say it with all due respect but sometimes I'm horrified by the lyrics of some songs."

On the meaning of female empowerment:

Mon Laferte: "I don't like when people say, 'let's empower women' because you don't have to empower anyone, we were born empowered. That's how we are and we don't need anyone to empower us."

On working with other women in the industry: 

Paty Cantú: "I am working with more female producers and engineers, and I am also a producer. I'm also letting myself fearlessly say, 'I'm also a producer' and to look for those opportunities to open that door. Mon [Laferte] I know also produces so I would love to produce something with her. What I want most is to surround myself with these women and to go beyond the hashtag."

To what do you owe your success?

Francisca Valenzuela: "It was difficult for me to commit to art because I didn't know a musician and what that experience was like. But slowly, I started to believe in myself and understand that I could be a musician. Along the way, I've also learned to grow from every experience and have allowed people around me to become mentors because it motivates my curiosity. I'm still open to learning and that is what has helped me grow."

Billboard Latin Music Week 2020: Virtual Event Dates and Participants Announced | Billboard News