All the Billboard Latin Artists on the Rise of 2020: Nicki Nicole, Jay Wheeler, Eslabon Armado & More

Nicki Nicole
Courtesy of Sony Music

Nicki Nicole

This year, the Billboard Latin editors highlighted some of the most promising up-and-coming acts of 2020 as part of our Latin Artist on the Rise feature.

This year, a group of 20 solo artists and groups made the cut, including rising urbano acts such as Jay Wheeler, Nicki Nicole from the growing Argentine trap movement, Llane who kicked off his solo career after forming part of Piso 21, and, most recently, Grupo Firme, who rose to success from the underground Regional Mexican scene.

Below, we highlight all the artists who formed part of the coveted Billboard Latin Artist on the Rise series throughout the year. Check them out!


Featured on: Jan. 30

Memorable Quote: “In the beginning, we performed at many flyer parties and people would stop what they were doing to pay attention to our set. After nearly two years, we started noticing that we had fans outside of our city and that our music began sounding in Los Angeles. We got really happy.”

Read the full feature here 


Featured on: Feb. 13

Memorable Quote: "When I started writing and recording, it was just because I wanted to express what I was feeling. I didn't have a plan or anything like that. It sort of just happened.”

Read the full feature here 


Featured on: Feb. 27

Memorable Quote: “I’m way more focused now than when I was 16. I was lost as an artist and I was influenced by a lot of people. I always knew the path I wanted to take, and now I have a clear vision of it. I have more discipline and I keep making great music.”

Read the full feature here 


Featured on: March 27

Memorable Quote: “They were surprised that I wanted to create a visual narrative of their hardships as immigrants with ‘Gallo Pinto.’ It’s helping us as a family, specifically my relationship with them through my music, and to realize that I’m so fortunate to live this life in Canada they built for me with such sacrifice.”

Read the full feature here 


Featured on: April 9

Memorable Quote: “Being on the Billboard charts. I don’t know what I was doing when I got the news but I was already in quarantine when my team told me. I feel very happy to know that all my hard work is paying off. I would also say my two albums, Mi Vida en un Cigarro and Atrapado en un Sueño. I never thought my songs would become a hit.”

Read the full feature here


Featured on: April 23

Memorable Quote: "To date, my biggest accomplishment was to perform a sold-out concert at Ciudad Juárez in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, in June 2018. There was a record attendance of almost 55,000 people, and it was special on a personal and professional level because Ciudad Juárez was one of the first cities in Mexico to support my music since the beginning of the career."

Read the full feature here


Featured on: May 7

Memorable Quote: “We didn’t really plan to reference flamenco in our music. But it came out naturally.”

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Featured on: May 21

Memorable Quote: "But that song ['Con Tus Besos'] specifically, is the last song on the album because I didn't love it. I made a lot of mistakes on that one when we were recording the album and wasn't going to add it. But then my mom convinced me to include it, and I never expected this song would do so well."

Read the full feature here 


Featured on: June 18

Memorable Quote: “I wrote a breakup song for the first time and my best friend encouraged me to upload a video singing the song. At that moment I was just hurt. I did it because I needed to send the message across one way or another. The video went viral overnight, generating over 500 thousand views. That’s when I decided to dedicate myself to music, singing, and self-educating myself in the industry.”

Read the full feature here


Featured on: July 2

Memorable Quote: “My passion for music derives from my father’s passing when I was a child. I didn’t know how to express my feelings and my way of doing so was writing lyrics and singing for him.”

Read the full feature here 


Featured on: July 16

Memorable Quote: "It was such a special moment in our careers. When we heard AfinArte wanted to sign us, I started looking through their social media and realized we belong there. We are similar -- because like us, they want to keep traditional regional Mexican sounds alive. We won't let AfinArte down. We're working hard."

Read the full feature here


Featured on: July 30

Memorable Quote: "Writing for others taught me to write for myself. I saw these artists opening their hearts to me, a complete stranger, and that’s when I knew I had to learn more about me."

Read the full feature here 


Featured on: Aug. 13

Memorable Quote: “I grew up in a family where music was around 24 hours. 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.”

Read the full feature here


Featured on: Aug. 27

Memorable Quote: “I never thought ‘Como Llora’ would be a hit. The fans are the ones who make the song viral but you also need a great team to succeed. I honestly thought this song was going to reach 20 million views on YouTube and that was it.”

Read the full feature here


Featured on: Sept. 17

Memorable Quote: "My major accomplishment has been to receive so much support from the fans. But if I had to choose one specific moment, it would have to be performing at the Latin Grammys with the two people that are not only my teachers but are my family."

Read the full feature here 


Featured on: Oct. 8

Memorable Quote: “My music has an honest identity. If I create music from the heart, it will always be different. Summarizing it to one genre or a specific style would be lying to you.”

Read the full feature here


Featured on: Oct. 29

Memorable Quote: “Yandel’s humility is impressive and he’s an example to follow. I still can’t believe that I have a song with him. This is the biggest achievement of my career until now. Listening to Yandel say my name at the end of the song was epic. I even hugged him!”

Read the full feature here


Featured on: Nov. 12

Memorable Quote: "'Mala Vida' is my most complete song yet. The music video, lyrics, my voice, and the beat are at 100%."

Read the full feature here


Featured on: Nov. 26

Memorable Quote: “I need to have a lot of patience in my career because even though people know who I am from Piso 21, I’m aware that I’m new. I count on the support of many people, but at the same time, I have to go through the whole process. What I really want is for the audience to identify with me as a person.”

Read the full feature here 


Featured on: Dec. 10

Memorable Quote: “We had to record music that way ... throwing a party, with no planning, spontaneous, and it worked for us. ‘Juro Por Dios,’ ‘Ni El Dinero, Ni Nada,’ and ‘Pideme’ were our first couple of songs that went viral. It was like magic. People sing our songs and recognize us in the streets, and that’s worth gold.”

Read the full feature here