Every month, Billboard Latin editors will feature a small group of new or relatively unknown artists whose music we love. Think “diamantes en bruto,” or “diamonds in the rough.” These are newcomers who have yet to impact the mainstream — but whose music excites us, and who we believe our readers should make a point to discover.
Check out our recommendations this month:
Why They Should Be on Your Radar: Sometimes I let Spotify take the wheel and on one of those occasions, I came across Dekko with his 2021 track “12X3.” After hearing the song sporadically, I eventually grew drawn to his musical style: a reggae-dancehall-urban fusion that’s chill, infectious, feel-good, and very refreshing. Dekko is a Colombian singer-songwriter with a scruffy look and messy dirty blonde hair, but with a sweet raspy vocal that immediately captivates you — as exemplified by tracks like “El Cielo Se Me Cayo,” “BFF,” and “Byemalandra.” Dekko recently won the Promise Award at the 2022 Heat Latin Music Awards, further proving that he’s someone to keep an eye on. — JESSICA ROIZ
Song For Your Playlist: “12X3”
Name: Mariangela Guerrera
Why They Should Be on Your Radar: You have probably listened to her sweet and melodic vocals on her TikTok and Instagram reels, where she does many covers. Scrolling one day on social media, I was captivated by her cover of Roberto Carlos’ “Cama y Mesa.” She’s a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Monterrey with a unique way of interpreting and transmitting feelings through her songs, with a very charming and angelic voice. Most recently, Mariangela released her new single “Soñarte,” a dreamy pop fusion track that she composed after the loss of her father’s best friend when he was young, which later became personal for her. — INGRID FAJARDO
Song For Your Playlist: “Soñarte”
Name: Lili Zetina
Why They Should Be on Your Radar: Lili Zetina can be considered an anomaly in Latin music. As one of the very few female corrido singers out there, the L.A.-based, Mexican-born singer-songwriter has carved a lane for herself in the male-dominated Mexican Music subgenre. Her journey has not been easy, “being a woman who sings corridos, the humiliation is still as strong as when I started,” Zetina previously told Billboard. But still she’s persevered and her lyrics are as raw and blunt as she is in real life. Her corridos narrate her humble beginnings, but she can also get romantic with ballads on love, such is the case with her latest single “De Besito En Besito.” Zetina will be part of the Women on the Rise panel at this year’s Latin Music Week in Miami. — GRISELDA FLORES
Song For Your Playlist: “De Besito En Besito”
Why They Should Be on Your Radar: One of the things that first catches my attention when it comes to discovering new artists is their chosen artist name — and that’s how I came across Sael and decided to press play. Not only is his name short and cool, but his music is just as dope. Few may know that this rising Argentine artist is the mastermind behind Mariah Angeliq’s hit “Perreito.” Few may also know that he first began creating EDM beats before embracing the Latin urban space, and is signed to Sky Rompiendo’s label Black Koi Entertainment. Now, the Argentine songwriter and producer is coming to the forefront as an artist with his edgy reggaetón and R&B tracks and soulful voice. If his collaborations with Feid, Manuel Turizo, Duki, and Mau y Ricky, among many more, are any indication, Sael is definitely one to watch. — J.R.
Song For Your Playlist: “Verificada”