“Mexillenials” took center stage at the 2018 Billboard Latin Music Conference on Tuesday for the highly anticipated Rise of the Mexillenials Panel.
Mexican and millennial artists Ulices Chaidez, Virlán García, Adriel Favela, Christian Nodal, Cornelio Vega Jr. and Jesús Mendoza discussed the evolution of regional Mexican music with moderator Pepe Garza. No topics were off limits for the discussion: The panelists spoke about the hardships of being in the industry and why it’s important that regional Mexican artists join forces and follow in the footsteps of reggaetoneros and Latin trap artists.
Here are the most memorable moments from the chat (panel was translated from Spanish for this article):
What surprised them most about the industry…
Cornelio Vega: “Not getting enough sleep. I didn’t think I would be constantly on a plane. We get out of a concert at like 3 a.m. and jump on a plane. It’s tough.”
Adriel Favela: “The business side. It can be very cruel if we don’t pay attention. We like to be onstage and enjoy being with our fans, but the contracts and the money stuff, that’s hard to keep up with.”
Jesús Mendoza: “The diet. That’s the most difficult to maintain for me. We’re done at 2 a.m. or 4 a.m and it’s part of the show and the process.”
Christian Nodal: “The responsibility. Because of social media, you can instantly reflect what you have in your mind. We have to be responsible about what we transmit. We have to be careful because everyone is watching you, including kids.”
Virlan García: “All the sacrifices we have to make. Not being able to be with our family. It’s the most difficult for me.”
How to deal with the haters…
Nodal: “Everything is through the internet or social media. That’s where the ‘brave’ ones are at. Why do they do that? It’s people who have a lot of hate in their hearts and are dealing with insecurities. They have a lot of time on their hands. I always just leave as is and don’t pay attention to the comment. I don’t take it to heart.”
Vega Jr.: “If it’s not something that will help us at all, just don’t pay attention. At first when I began my career, I would answer and say negative things back. But I’ve learned to deal with them and just not pay attention.”
Mendoza: “When we’re doing something positive and people start to talk, it’s just a sign that we’re advancing. Never look to the left, to the right or back, only forward.”
Favela: “We’re humans, but people expect us to be perfect. We’re like everyone else too, so these comments can hurt us. But if we’re focused on our goals, those comments shouldn’t affect us.
Chaidez: “It was difficult at the beginning. I wanted to show what I had and my talent and people criticized and judged me. I always knew it would be difficult, but I never lost focus. It’s better that people talk instead of there being silence.”
Thoughts on corridos “verdes” (corridos about weed or other drugs)…
García: “It’s nothing new. I used to listen to Larry Hernandez, and his music seemed very different. If you have a solid foundation at home, then that’s all that matters.”
Nodal: “Everyone is different and has different tastes in music. I don’t use drugs but other people do and might like these songs, and so I respect that … It’s not cool for them to blame the artists or the music if people who use drugs are listening to corridos. In previous times, they have perhaps listened to rap music, but now they have chosen corridos.”
Vega Jr.: “Let’s make music for everyone. Romantic music for those that are in love. Fun corridos for those that want to party and those who enjoy the ‘green’ corridos.”
Adriel: “Corridos have evolved. They’ve existed before our time, and that’s their way of storytelling. There are different types of corridos and we have to evolve along with the music, too.”
What other genres they listen to…
Ulices: “I listen to a lot of other genres, like reggaetón. It has helped me write lyrics and make music. Listening to other genres helps me create new ideas. In reggaetón, they are very united and there are a lot of duets. Let’s do the same and collaborate. You don’t see that in regional Mexican.”
García: “I listen to reggaetón and I dance to it. I listen to reggaetón when I’m with my friends, but I can also listen to mariachi and pop. It helps me as a songwriter and create more authentic music.”
Nodal: “I do listen to other music like reggaetón and other stuff. I was talking to my colleagues here before the panel and we have a mentality of uniting because it makes the genre stronger. We’re in an era where people listen to whatever they want, there are no stereotypes, but to make regional Mexican stronger we have to unite and make music together. Let’s not destroy our genre.”
For schedules, venues and additional information, visit billboardlatinconference.com.