Mike Bahia on Winning Best New Artist at 2020 Latin Grammys & Why He Didn't Vote for Himself

Mike Bahía
(Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy)

Mike Bahía, winner of the Best New Artist award, attends The 21st Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at American Airlines Arena on November 19, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Mike Bahia nabbed one of the most coveted awards at the 2020 Latin Grammys on Thursday night: best new artist. He was up against a wave of talented newcomers, including Nicki Nicole, Rauw Alejandro, Anuel AA and Cazzu.

“I don't even know what I'm going to say. I am so excited. Let me organize my thoughts because I have something very important to say,” a very surprised Bahia said during his acceptance speech. “I have to thank music for reaching my ears one day in college and making me fall in love and go crazy for it.”

The Colombian singer, who’s had a prolific career for more than five years, also thanked his label, manager, and longtime girlfriend and artist Greeicy.

In addition to Bahia, Natalia Lafourcade, Carlos Vives and Rosalia tied as the night's biggest winners with three wins each. Bad Bunny, Alejandro Sanz, Camilo, Kany Garcia and Residente also nabbed a golden gramophone award.

In an exclusive interview with Billboard, Bahia talked all about his Latin Grammy win and more. Check out the Q&A below.

Congrats on winning the first Latin Grammy award of your career! How did you celebrate?

I celebrated with my friends, my manager and my girlfriend. We went back to the hotel and had a few drinks on the rooftop. We looked back at the beginning of my career and realized what were those important factors and connections that made all of this possible. An award of this magnitude is only earned with hard work and the process. My cellphone overflowed with messages. Winning a Grammy is like Christmas, a birthday, a wedding all together.

What was your initial reaction when you found out you were nominated?

The simple fact of being nominated was incredible. I’ve never won any type of award. Every time I’m at an awards show, I walk away empty-handed. I wasn’t expecting to win last night. To be honest, me, Michael Egred -- not Mike Bahia the project -- is a voting member, and I voted for Rauw Alejandro. I’m a huge fan of his.

You seemed shocked when your name was called last night. Were you actually surprised?

I was breathless, I was nervous, I didn’t know what to say, but I knew that it had to be important. I just said what came from my heart. Sometimes they come out disorganized, but they are sincere. I feel that God gave it to me because of the people that I have crossed paths with. I felt happy and confident with the award despite not even wanting to be a solo singer. I was part of a group and I became a solo artist because everyone left and I was alone, but I never stopped singing.

Which other of your colleagues nominated for best new artist would you like to collaborate with?

Rauw Alejandro. He has an incredible flow and is a well-rounded artist. I observed his work many times, and I think that’s why I ended up being a fan of his music and the type of person he is. He’s very disciplined, very humble and very humane, and I think that’s an incredible combination.

How do you think this title will change your career?

I take advantage of all the opportunities that life gives me because life is like a river, things happen very quickly. I’m going to enjoy this moment. As a Latin Grammy winner, I have another motive to do more and more interviews and get my name out there.

You’ve released some great tunes this year. Can we expect an album for 2021?

That’s the plan! Now we have all eyes of the Latin Recording Academy on us and it’s official that they are observing our work. We’re going to work on a new album with more care and detail and hopefully finish it next year.