Billboard and Pepsi reveal the En Vivo Latin concert series is returning this summer with stops in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. In its fourth year, En Vivo celebrates Latinx music by giving passionate fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see chart-topping artists at exclusive private concerts. With urban-pop boy band CNCO headlining each of the three tour stops, additional supporting acts have been announced as performers in each city. Matt Hunter will open Bowery Ballroom in New York on Aug. 22nd, Guaynaa at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles on Sept. 5th, and Yashua at Temple House in Miami on Sept. 12th.
Colombian-Italian-American singer/songwriter Matt Hunter has collaborated with a diverse roster of artists including Lele Pons, Lenny Tavarez, Gashi.
Get to know the “Dicen” singer before his hometown performance in August.
Name: Matt Hunter
Hometown: New Jersey/New York
Career Highlight/Biggest Accomplishment of 2019: Hitting 1 million YouTube subscribers
Goal for the Future: Release of my debut album
How do you connect with your fans? I connect with my fans most through social media and through personal communication. Believe it or not, I have a lot of numbers. I stay in touch with a lot of my fans, such as the presidents of fan clubs, via WhatsApp, and a whole lot of engagement on social media.
Who do you look up to/Who inspires you? Enrique Iglesias. Justin Bieber. Billie Eilish. Romeo Santos and Aventura made me want to make music in Spanish. One of my major inspirations is Jhay Cortez. I lived with him for two months in Los Angeles and he taught me everything I know about recording. Learned a lot of little tricks from him. I consider him a brother and I’m very proud of everything he’s accomplished.
Can you tell us about a decision you made that changed your career? Deciding to sign with DVLP instead of Magnus. He is Marc Anthony’s nephew, and we still have a great relationship, but I made that decision based on the bond I made with DVLP, who first discovered me. He gave me the opportunity to make my dream a reality. He was the first person that believed in me as an artist, and I put that over business.
What’s a passion of yours fans may not know about/What do you like doing in your spare time? Cooking. My father isn’t a chef, but he always cooked a lot when I was younger. I always ate a lot when I was younger, and I feel like anyone who loves to eat should know how to cook. This new generation doesn’t bother to learn how to cook, but anything you want to eat, you can buy the ingredients and make it yourself. One of my favorite things to do is to cook for my family. I’m actually pitching a cooking show with Universal that we shoot the pilot for this week. My dream is to one day open up a restaurant.
In what ways do you embrace creativity/What's your creative process? My creative process is centered around having fun. I don’t see what I do as a job. I see it as what makes me happy. I show up to the studio, I pick a beat, and I start to freestyle. I love collaborating. I love working with writers. My first single was written by Jhay and I really enjoy A&Ring and finding friends who are creative and working with them.
How do you celebrate Latin culture? I have family that lives in Barranquilla [Colombia]. I absolutely love el Carnaval de Barranquilla, and that is 100% how I celebrate my Latin/Colombian culture.
Can you share the story of a major success/accomplishment you are proud of? Selling out an arena when I was 13. I had a song that blew up and I always envisioned myself performing in stadiums. When I was younger, I always believed that if you put something out into the world, it will come to fruition. The mind is very powerful. I sold out the Movistar Arena in Chile. 10,000 people. Best feeling in the world. That’s why I make music. Not for fame and not for money, but to be onstage and make people happy.
In the age of social media, what does it mean to you? I think everything in life has pros and cons. The pros to me are that social media has made the world much smaller. We can connect in ways we’ve never been able to before. I can send a message to my fans in a second. You can send Snapchats in a second. It creates a lot more opportunity, but the cons are that the new generation is very obsessive and they take it very seriously and with bullying and hatred and everyone living on their phone, I feel like the new generation has lost touch with what’s real and what’s fake. What I hate the most is when I see entire families at restaurants on their phones and there’s no communication. That’s what I like least about it.
Define community. What does it mean to you? I was homeschooled all my life. I started working when I was 10 years old. Community for me is my family. I would do anything for them. I’m working towards telling my mom that she will never have to work another day in her life.
Have you ever worked with CNCO before? What does opening for Billboard's fourth annual En Vivo show mean to you? I’ve never worked with CNCO, but I’ve met them before with ICON in Miami, and they’re super cool. I’m very grateful that they’ve given me the opportunity in my hometown. It’s a blessing to be able to play this show. Any time I’m able to be onstage and do what I do, it’s a blessing.
What’s your song of the summer? I have “Nights” by Frank Ocean on repeat, but of course, “Problemas” by myself, Gashi and Big Soto.
In conjunction with the concert series, Pepsi is hosting a sweepstakes where one lucky winner and a guest could win an all-expense-paid trip to the exclusive tour's final show in Miami. For a chance to win tickets, take a selfie with a Pepsi product in your local grocery story and text the pic + “PEPSI” to 99888 or register online at https://billboard.com/envivo for more information.