Kevin Ortiz has a musical gift that runs in the family. The 18-year-old “La Indicada” singer is the brother of norteño star Gerardo Ortiz. It was Gerardo who wrote Kevin’s first hit single, “Un Minuto,” in 2013, launching him into the spotlight. Gerardo has a lead role in the video for “Un Minuto” and Kevin is signed to his older brother’s indie label, Bad Sin Records.
Born in Pasadena, Calif., as the youngest of five children with Sinaloense roots, Kevin has been playing polkas, rancheras and conjuntos on the accordion since the age of five. But he’s given them his own, Americanized twist. The bouncy “Un Minuto,” for example, is all about teen love and the video is set at a high school, complete with pop-looking choreography that we don’t recall ever seeing in a regional Mexican video. The video to “La Niña Más Linda” (The Prettiest Girl), is also teen-oriented. Instead of featuring the seductresses that are so common in norteño videos, Ortiz opts for a puppy-love look where innocent Instagram photos drive the story.
It’s all helped Ortiz appeal to a growing crowd of fans even though he has a single album to his name. Non-stop touring, particularly in the West Coast and Mexico, is quickly expanding his fan base. Ortiz will be part of this year’s Millennial Mexicans Panel at the Billboard Latin Music Conference.