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'Music Money Machine' Latin Music Week Panel Explores Balancing Art and Finance: Watch

Mau & Ricky, Louis Barajas and Alex Hernandez discuss making and growing your financial base.

A recurring topic during this Billboard Latin Music Week was finding the balance between artistry and business. In “Music Money Machine,” presented by Iberia Bank/First Horizon, the participants put together the artistic and business sides of the equation in a candid conversation.

“When you start making money, you have to be smart,” said Ricky Montaner, one half of sibling duo Mau & Ricky. “When we first started making money, we barely made enough to live. And in very little time, it’s become a multimillion-dollar company.”

The agent of change, said the Montaner brothers, is business manager Louis Barajas of Business Management Lab, who focuses on fiscally “educating” his clients. “I have huge artists come to me with very shallow [business foundations],” said Barajas. “My job is to bring the best strategic partners to the team.”

An essential member is Alex Hernandez, managing director sports/entertainment banking at First Horizon/IberiaBank, who specializes in sports and entertainment.

“The key questions I ask are, ‘Who’s on your team?’” said Hernandez, who lent money to a very young Armando Perez (aka Pitbull) when he was a 19-year-old unknown. “Who is your attorney? Your manager? And the most important of all: Who are you signed to? Who is your PRO?” Not everything boils down to saving or paying taxes.

“As Louis says, ‘Tienes que poderte gastar el dinerito [you need to be able to spend the money],'” said Ricky.

Watch the full, lively panel above.

For all Billboard Latin Music Week panels, head to BillboardLatinMusicWeek.com

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