5 Takeaways From C. Tangana's Fireside Chat With Billboard at LAMC 2021

C. Tangana
Imagine It Media/Javier Ruiz

C. Tangana

Day one of the virtual 2021 Latin Alternative Music Conference hosted the first "LAMC Talks With Billboard Latin" featuring Spanish artist C. Tangana, who spoke to Leila Cobo, Billboard's VP/Latin industry lead, about all things El Madrileño, his creative vision and going from an indie artist to signing with Sony Music.

The Spanish rapper, who most recently released his album El Madrileño featuring collabs with José Feliciano, Jorge Drexler and Carin León, among others, was last part of the LAMC back in 2017 when he performed in New York. Since then, many things have changed, he said. "Back then, the focus was to grow our urban music in Spain ... now it's a priority."

The 2021 LAMC event is taking place this week from May 4-7 with back-to-back panels on mental health, the future of touring in a pandemic era and streaming strategies. For the second year in a row, the 23rd annual LAMC is offering free registration for all panels, workshops and showcases. Check here for the full panel and concert schedule.

Below, five takeaways from C. Tangana's conversation with Cobo.

What’s changed from 2017, when you last appeared at LAMC, and now?

"Many things have changed. The focus then was to grow our urban music in Spain because it was already relevant in places such as Latin America and the U.S. but we needed recognition for what we were doing here. And for radio stations to play our music and to give us more respect. Now, the [urban scene] a priority in Spain."

Describe your music in one sentence.

"It's hard because it's always been evolving. But right now, it's the new Spanish song."

How did you pick your collaborations for El Madrileño?

"It was an exercise because I wanted to open the spectrum to all the music I can make and not be a niche but represent an openness for many trends and styles. I had these traps that I put on myself thinking I could never do that style or that style, but in the end decided to do things I never thought I could do. I tried to be more honest."

You went from being an indie artist to signing with Sony -- why?

"To have a major support me was to like break that barrier and prove that we were part of mainstream. The idea was to change that mentality that we aren’t part of the mainstream. It worked because you’re seeing these major labels’ rosters change."

What's one piece of advice you wish you were given when you were younger?

"How important your team will be in this process. I wish I would have had that clearer early on in my career. It would have been very valuable. But now I know and my team members include friends and family members. I've surrounded myself with creative people who have a passion for this. And they are people I've known all my life."