If in the last two years you’ve noticed an unusual surge in the crop of regional Mexican talent, particularly of the male and millennial variety, it’s not your imagination. This is an especially fruitful time for the genre, as these superstars-in-training infuse their parents’ music with a youthful energy and social-media savvy, while schooling the rest of the industry on how to build loyal fanbases on both sides of the border.
That’s why they’re the focus of “Mexican Millennials,” a panel that’s part of the 2015 Billboard Latin Music Conference and spotlighting how some of these stars are impacting the way this genre is seen and heard in the new millennium.
Taking place on April 29 from The Ritz-Carlton in South Beach, the panel will feature Luis Coronel?, Kevin Ortiz, Remmy Valenzuela?, Jorge Valenzuela (no relation), and Eden Muñoz? of Calibre 50 .
Digital engagement will (of course) be a major topic of discussion, as will musical styles and content, including narcocorridos, and the development of new fanbases in both the U.S. and Mexico.
Luis Coronel, Kevin Ortiz and More to Participate in ‘Mexican Millennials’ Panel at the 2015 Billboard Latin Music Conference
Get to know the panelists ahead of the conference and then vote for your favorite below.
Luis Coronel, 19
In October 2014, a then-18-year-old Luis Coronel became the youngest solo artist to hit No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart in 13 years, thanks to his sophomore album, Quiero Ser Tu Dueño. Born in Tucson, Ariz., to Mexican parents, Coronel got his start singing in church at age six. After uploading videos to YouTube and Facebook, Coronel was signed to Del Records at 16, and has been building an impressive social media following ever since. A charismatic singer with ranchera roots and pop appeal, Coronel won artist of the year, new? at the 2014 Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Kevin Ortiz, 19
Also up for artist of the year, new at the 2015 Billboard Latin Music Awards, Kevin Ortiz has a musical gift that runs in the family. The “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. 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.
Remmy Valenzuela, 23
A finalist in the artist of the year, new category at this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards, Valenzuela is known for his innovative blend of banda, norteño and cumbia. The Guasave, Sinaloa, native got his break in the band Los Estudents as a teen and plays the drums, guitar, and accordion. Last year he debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart with Alumno a Maestro.
Jorge Valenzuela, 19
The Culiacán, Sinaloa, native sings for the ladies in a playfully romantic style of norteño and banda. An avid guitar and accordion player, Valenzuela covers Espinoza Paz, Pedro Fernandez, Sergio Antonio, El Gordito de Sinaloa, and others on his debut album, “Nada Nos Detiene” (Nothing Can Stop Us), paying homage to his elders while introducing classic tunes to a new generation.
Eden Muñoz, 24
The lead singer of Calibre 50 hails from Mazatlán, Sinaloa. Best known for their corridos alterados style of music, the band is now among the most successful acts within regional Mexican, topping this week’s regional Mexican Digital Songs chart with “Contigo.” It’s no surprise Calibre 50 had the most dedicated fans on Spotify among Latin acts in 2014.
All photos courtesy.