In 2018, we witnessed the growth of some massive Latin stars, including Bad Bunny, Rosalia, Karol G and Joss Favela.
At a time when interest in developing new Latin talent is at an all-time high, our editors have gathered a group of 10 talented new Latin artists to keep an eye on this year. From Paulo Londra to Greeicy, meet 2019’s Billboard Latin artists to watch.
So far, 20-year-old rapper Londra has scored two No. 1s on Argentina’s Hot 100 with “Cuando Te Bese” featuring Becky G and “Adan y Eva,” his current single. Londra is signed to Warner Music Latina and with a unique voice his songs avoid topics such as violence and drugs, filling them instead with good, positive energy. “Almost nobody sings that he is happy. They say ‘I’m bad now’ and things like that. I do not know if it’s because it sells more; what do I know? It makes me want to do what nobody does,” he previously told Billboard. — SUZETTE FERNÁNDEZ
2018 was a crucial year for the female singers who finally got into the game in the urban genre. Thanks to that, the doors are finally open for talents like Farina, who has dominated the urban genre in Colombia for several years with her unique, deep voice and rapid rapping style, but hadn’t made major inroads abroad. Last year, Farina signed with Sony Music and she’s already collaborated with Leslie Grace and De La Ghetto, among others. — SF
PJ Sin Suela
PJ Sin Suela is an emerging Puerto Rican rapper whose songs often carry social messages in the style of Residente. “I like to write about things that happen in Puerto Rico, and a lot of people feel identified,” he previously told Billboard. The music didn’t stop him from graduating from college as a doctor. — SF
Mariah Angeliq, known as only Mariah, is a 19-year-old singer born in Miami to Cuban and Puerto Rican parents. Newly signed to Universal Music Latin, her pop/urban/R&B mix and fresh lyrics –best highlighted in single “Blah”– are fierce, and full of girl power. Mariah was discovered at 16 by multi-platinum music producer Nely “El Arma Secreta,” who has been working with her since day one. — JESSICA ROIZ
At only 15 years-old, Aguilar — the youngest daughter of famed Mexican singer Pepe Aguilar — was nominated for two Latin Grammys and with her powerhouse vocals blew away everyone at the 2018 awards show with her rendition of traditional Mexican music. Even though she was born in the U.S., Angela’s first solo album, Primera Soy Mexicana, makes it really clear that she’s proud of her Mexican roots and not swayed by fads. — JR
Cimafunk’s Afro-Cuban soul has brought a new groove to a Havana music scene whose needle has lately been stuck on unremarkable reggaeton. Bringing the funk to Cuban rhythms (and vice versa), Cimafunk embraces the piquant playfulness of timeless Cuban music with 21st-century style, referencing timba as well as trova, and continuing where ’90s cult band Yerba Buena left off. Erik Iglesias Rodríguez — the former med student and self-taught musician from Pinar del Rio behind Cimafunk — has just signed with Cuban label Egrem for the follow-up to his viral 2017 debut album,Terapia. Cimafunk, who was by all accounts Cuba’s 2018 revelation of the year, is poised for international discovery. — JUDY CANTOR-NAVAS
Ecuadorian electronic artist Nicola Cruz cunningly melds conventionalism with modernity as he plays with a variety of sounds that gently flow through a series of harmonic flurries. Though his music traverses through intricate instrumentation where experimental beats clash with ancestral sounds like the Indian sitar and the Andean sikú (pan flute) and the bombo, Cruz turns this morass of sounds and vibrations into a placid dwelling. “Siete” and “Arka” are the first two released singles of his forthcoming album, Siku. The former was written fixated on the abilities of the number 7 in music and features Ecuadorian folk musical family Vicencio on bansuri and percussion. The latter is a collaboration with Argentinian flutist and composer Esteban Valdivia. — PAMELA BUSTIOS
In a world dominated by reggaeton beats and Latin trap melodies, comes Rombai with the mission of keeping cumbia alive! Formed by Fernando “Fer” Vazquez (Uruguay), Valeria Emiliani (Colombia), and Megumi Bowles (Bolivia), this musical trio plays a fresh fusion of urban beats and South American cumbia. Their 2018 single “Me Voy” lives up to that lofty goal, giving us major cumbia villera vibes with catchy hints of reggaeton. — JR
After a 10-year acting career in Colombia, Greeicy decided to follow her real passion and resumed her musical career in 2016. Her music, which includes catchy singles such as “Amante,” “Mas Fuerte” and “Jacuzzi” featuring Anitta, gives us an idea of who she is as an artist: romantic, edgy, unapologetic and empowering. Recently signed to Universal Music, Greeicy is quickly gaining traction with a teen fan base. — JR
T3r Elemento is a Mexican Regional group whose members hail from Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and who are known for their youthful take on alternative, “green” corridos. With their sophomore album, The Green Trip, the corrido band debuted at No. 5 on the Top Latin Albums chart (dated Dec. 1). With their youth-leaning lyrics, Elemento definitely brings a new twist to the Regional Mexican genre inspired by Gerardo Ortiz and Regulo Caro, among others. — SF