Every January, Billboard’s Latin staff compiles a list of artists to watch in the coming 12 months. In honor of 2022, this year’s list includes 22 acts, covering a broad variety of Latin music genres, from pop to reggaetón to R&B, regional Mexican and tropical. Our Artists to Watch are not brand new acts, but rather, artists who have already made impact, be it in the charts, media, streaming platforms or public consciousness, and who we believe will make significant strides in their careers in the coming year.
The list does not include artists who already have significant chart presence or have been nominated for a Billboard award; in our estimation, such acts have already achieved noteworthy success. Some of the names here will be known to you, some will not. But we believe that all will make their next big mark in 2022.
Below are are our 22 Latin acts to watch in 2022, listed in alphabetical order.
Alvaro Diaz (Universal Music Latino)
On TikTok, Alvaro Diaz’s “Problemón” with Rauw Alejandro has garnered over 640,000 video creations, generating a new following for the Puerto Rican artist. But prior to his viral hit, from his 2021 studio album Felicilandia, Diaz already had a taste of virality thanks to his first-ever track “Chicas de la Isla,” produced by Tainy in 2012. Though his trajectory spans 10 years, Diaz’s career began to skyrocket in the midst of the pandemic, as he landed collaborations with Yandel and Sebastian Yatra, among others. Diaz’s musical style is innovative, tapping into reggaetón de la vieja escuela, alternative rock, and jazz rap. “This pandemic took out the best of me,” Diaz, a former Latin Artist on the Rise, told Billboard. — JESSICA ROIZ
Beéle (Hear This Music/Sony Music Latin)
The 19-year-old from Barranquilla, Colombia (Shakira’s hometown) has a baby face and a rich, R&B-tinged voice that’s already gotten him collabs with the likes of Maluma, Ovy on the Drums and Natti Natasha — as well as hundreds of millions of streams, thanks to hits like “Loco,” “Aloha” and “Inolvidable.” Recently signed to Sony, Beéle can veer from dancehall to balladry, and his versatility bodes well. — LEILA COBO
Blessd (JM World Music/Warner Music Latin)
Highlighted as a 2021 Billboard Latin Artist on the Rise and YouTube Foundry Artist, the blue-haired rapper and singer is poised for major impact in 2022. Mentored by Maluma, who appeared with him on the “Imposible” remix and invited him to perform at his Miami Arena tour stop, Blessd is also a fave of producers like Ovy on the Drums and the Rude Boyz. — L.C.
Boza (Sony Music Latin)
Hailing from Panama City, Boza (real name: Humberto Ceballos Boza) got on listeners’ radar in the midst of the pandemic with “Hecha Pa’ Mi,” an infectious and edgy dancehall track that went viral on TikTok and entered Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs, Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. charts in 2020. Inspired by Michael Jackson, Drake, reggae, and countless renowned Panamanian artists, including Kafu Banton, Boza defines his sound as “peculiar,” with Panama’s plena as the base of every beat and his emotions as the canvas for every lyric. In 2019, the newcomer signed with Sony Music Central America, and he was nominated for best new artist at the 2021 Latin Grammys. Currently, he’s making the rounds with “Ella” remix in collaboration with Lenny Tavarez, Lunay, Juhn, and Beele. “Sech did his labor to make a name [for Panama] in the industry. My role is to make sure it stays firm,” the former Latin Artist on the Rise told Billboard. “Taking my flag with me wherever I go is like taking the entire country, and that makes me feel proud.” — J.R.
Danny Lux (VPS Music/Cinq Music)
Daniel Balderrama, a.k.a Danny Lux, is among the new acts espousing sierreño, but with an alt-rock twist. Inspired by classic rock bands such as The Beatles and the Eagles, the Palm Springs native first realized his passion for music at age six and since, hasn’t stopped writing songs and experimenting with different sounds. But sad sierreño is what he’s known for; those ultra-melancholic tracks powered by a requinto tune that Gen Z has quickly embraced. In October, Lux — who released his EP Love </3 last year — hit No. 1 on Billboard‘s Latin Songwriters chart, thanks in large part to his feature on Eslabon Armado’s “Jugaste y Sufrí,” his first charting entry as an artist or songwriter on Billboard‘s charts. It’ sall setting him up for a promising 2022. — GRISELDA FLORES
Ecko (Universal Music Latino)
Influenced by artists like Calle 13 and Eminem, Ecko (born Ignacio Matias Spallatti) kicked off his music career at the age of 15, participating in rap battles such as popular “Redbull Batalla de Gallos.” Thanks to his single “Dorado,” by the age of 19, the MC had become a household name in his native Argentina and was ultimately dubbed as one of the pioneers of the Latin trap movement in the South American country. But far from being just a rapper, Ecko shines as a talented lyricist who fuses trap, hip-hp, old-school reggaeton, and perreo, as best reflected on his albums Young Golden and Geminis. Ecko has collaborated with artists such as Eladio Carrion, Cazzu, Mariah Angeliq, and Brytiago, to name a few. — J.R.
Gera MX (ONErpm)
Gerardo Daniel Torres Montante, artistically known as Gera MX, first made waves in 2014 with his unapologetic track “Suelo Soñar y Tropezarme.” It was the first time fans sang along to one of his songs at a concert, he previously said to Billboard. But in 2021, the Monterrey-born and San Luis Potosi-raised rapper made Billboard history (along with Christian Nodal) with the first Regional Mexican song to enter the Hot 100 in its almost 63-year history, “Botella tras Botella.” The Hip-Hop-tinged ranchera wrapped the year as one of the Billboard staff’s favorite songs of 2021. According to the former Latin Artist on the Rise, his upbringing and attraction to artists such as Molotov, Control Machete, and King Lil G, is what shaped his career. “I come from a dangerous neighborhood that made it easy for my lyrics,” he explained to Billboard. “I had so many things to share, nothing was invented. I simply penned my feelings [on] paper.” — J.R.
Ivan Cornejo (Manzana Records)
The 17-year-old sad sierreño artist ended 2021 on a high note: In an unlikely collaboration with urban hitmaker Jhay Cortez, Cornejo released a remix for his heartbreak anthem “Está Dañada” in December. It was a follow up to the already chart-topping track, which vent viral on TikTok and peaked at No. 61 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October, making it only the second regional Mexican song to enter the all-genre chart. Additionally, the Manzana Records signee topped Billboard‘s Latin Songwriters and secured his first entrance on any Billboard chart with Alma Vacía, his debut album, which arrived at No. 2 on the Regional Mexican Albums tally (dated Oct. 16). Cornejo will build on his momentum releasing his “best album yet,” he teased during a previous interview with Billboard. — G.F.
Jessi Uribe (Mano de Obra)
The Colombian singer kicked off 2021 by becoming the first música popular artist to enter the top 30 of the Billboard Regional Mexican Airplay chart. Born Yesid Eduardo Uribe Ordóñez, the 34-year-old artist is part of the growing movement of Colombia’s version of regional Mexican music and has been a force in the genre for more than 15 years. A key figure in catapulting música popular to mainstream exposure in 2022, Uribe has in the past collaborated with artists such as Espinoza Paz, Joss Favela, and Carin León. — INGRID FAJARDO
Juliana Velásquez (MUN Records)
Winning one of the most exciting (and hard to predict) categories of the Latin Grammys, Colombian artist Juliana Velásquez was crowned best new artist during November’s ceremony. The indie artist, known for her raw and personal lyrics that touch on love, heartbreak and resilience, has learned to trust the process. After releasing her first single in 2016 and quitting music after “nothing happened,” the 23-year-old realized timing is everything, and now is her time to shine. With big plans for 2022, Velásquez released “Mujer Desastre,” the first single off her forthcoming album, set to drop later this year. — G.F.
Kevvo (Interscope Records)
Puerto Rican rapper Kevvo had quite the year. The 23-year-old Interscope signee released his debut album Cotidiano in December with a star-studded list of features, including El Alfa, Rauw Alejandro, Becky G, Zion & Lennox, among others. His contagious single, “Te Va Bien” featuring Becky G, Darell and Arcángel, debuted at No. 25 on the Latin Digital Song Sales chart, paving the way for a fruitful 2022. — NEENA ROUHANI
Keityn (Warner Music Latina/White Mascara)
Kevyn Mauricio Cruz Moreno, known as Keityn, has become one of the most renowned urban music songwriter with three Latin Grammy nominations and a catalog that includes more than 100 original songs. A force behind Karol G and Nicki Minaj’s 2019 mega-hit “Tusa,” which debuted No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs, he co-wrote the anthem alongside his good friend Colombian writer-producer Ovy on The Drums. Keityn is also been behind the smashes “Hawái” (Maluma) and “Agua” (J Balvin), among many others. In 2022, he’ll continue exploring his career as a singer after releasing his first-ever track “Nueva Versión” in October, and wrapping up the year joining newcomer Beéle on “Repeat.” Most recently, he also signed a worldwide exclusive deal with Warner Music Latina. — I.F.
Los del Limit (DEL Records)
Los Del Limit is primarily the project of Rúben and Marco Leyva, a Texas-based group that, like most of the talent on this list, assembled in the midst of the global pandemic. Rúben is the singer-songwriter frontman who also plays the guitar, requinto, and acoustic. With songs such as “Siendo Sincero,” “Las Razones,” and “Amor Fugaz” — the latter quickly becoming a viral TikTok sound — Los Del Limit are young but full of emotions, as best heard in their romantic tumbados. Signed to DEL Records, CEO Angel del Villar previously said to Billboard: “We just signed our next big stars that will dominate the charts in the next few years. One of them is Los del Limit. Keep an eye on them.” Last year, they released two albums: The Life in Your Eyes and Diferente Pensamientos. — J.R.
Luis R. Conriquez (Kartel Music)
The Sonora-born artist isn’t a household name just yet, but he’s on his way to becoming one. With more than four million monthly listeners on Spotify, Conriquez — known for his corrido and banda songs — earned a spot on Billboard‘s year-end Top Latin Artists chart, coming in at No. 40 just behind Wisin, Marc Anthony and Los Dos Carnales. In 2021, he earned his first top 10 entry on the Regional Mexican Airplay chart with “El Buho” in September (No. 4 peak), and the song also made it to the top 20 on Latin Airplay. To further cement himself as dominant force in regional Mexican, this year, he’s expected to release a star-studded duets album, with collaborators that will soon be announced. — G.F.
Luis Vazquez (JAK Entertainment)
At 15 years old, Luis Vasquez made history on the Billboard charts: His track “Tu Fan,” an urban-infused salsa anthem, scored the Puerto Rican artist his first No. 1 on any Billboard chart as it crowned the Tropical Airplay chart in July, making him the youngest soloist to arrive at the summit since the chart began in October 1994. Representing a new generation of salsa artists, Vazquez is carving a lane for himself by fusing salsa and urban beats for a more contemporary approach to the legacy genre. — G.F.
Micro TDH (Warner Music Latina/King TDH)
Born Fernando Daniel Murillo Rivas in Merida, located in the Andes mountains of northwestern Venezuela, Micro joined freestyle battles at the early age of 12, and little by little created his fan base. In 2017, his single “Cafuné” put his music on the map, signing a record deal with Ovy on the Drums’ indie record label Big Ligas in 2018 and an exclusive record deal with Warner Music Latina in 2021. His breakthrough hit, however, arrived in 2019 with the Piso 21-assisted “Te Vi,” which earned him his first Billboard entry, peaking at No. 28 on Hot Latin Songs chart (dated May 11, 2019). He’s also placed entries on the Latin Airplay and Latin Rhythm Airplay charts. A savvy, passionate, and soulful rapper with edgy fusion tracks inspired by influences like Akapellah, The Beatles, and Boyz II Men, the former Latin Artist on the Rise said to Billboard that his music “is not only for listening, but also a refuge for that person who feels alone.” — J.R.
Mora (Rimas Entertainment)
The 25-year-old singer-songwriter and music producer, who began producing tracks in 2015, has since grown to writing and producing for superstars (and fellow Puerto Ricans) like Bad Bunny, which led him to see his name for the first time on any Billboard chart. Last year, Mora also kicked off his singing career, officially his debut album Primer Día De Classes, which debuted in the top 15 of Billboard‘s Top Latin Albums and Latin Rhythm Albums charts. So far, he’s had collaborations with Arcángel, Lunay, Farruko, Jhay Cortez, Nicki Nicole, among others. — I.F.
Ovi (Warner Music Latina/Rancho Humilde)
Ovidio Crespo, better known as Ovi, is a Cuban rap artist signed to Rancho Humilde who first became known after dabbling in corridos tumbados working his way up by adding his catchy rhymes to collaborations with Natanel Cano. But with his second album, RETUMBAN2, he proved he could also rap — delivering 15 trap songs via star-studded teamups with Zion & Lennox, Ñengo Flow, Justin Quiles, and Arcangel. He closed 2021 with the Gente de Zona-assisted “Que Locura.” — I.F.
Rochy RD (Vulcano Music)
The Dominican Republic-based rapper and singer has made a name for himself in the urban and dembow worlds, thanks to his hits such as “El Malo Soy Yo,” “Decomputao,” “Alta Gama” and his many collaborations with artists such as Myke Towers and Nicki Nicole. His incredibly catchy beats paired with his unique, witty freestyle have made him a standout and one to watch in 2022. Most recently, he was featured in Barack Obama’s favorite songs of the summer, when the former president included “Ella No Es Tuya (Remix)” on his annual list. He started a fresh new year with “Los Illuminaty,” joining forces with Anuel AA, who the Puerto Rican artist considers as one of the greats in the genre. — I.F.
Tiago PZK (MAD Move Records/Warner Music Latina)
Tiago PZK, who’s inspired by Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, does not like to be pigeonholed into a single genre. “If I have to, I’ll do reggaetón, rock, dancehall, and R&B,” he previously said to Billboard. His sincere and thought-provoking lyrics lean toward love and loss and his own journey from the housing projects of Buenos Aires to nascent fame. Last year, the Argentine newcomer placed three songs on the Billboard Global 200: the trap-heavy “Además de Mi” with Rusherking, Khea, Duki, Maria Becerra, and LIT Killah; the catchy reggaetón jam “No Me Conocen” with Rei, Duki, and Bandido; and the LIT Killah-assisted R&B fusion cut “Entre Nosotros.” In 2021, he also inked a worldwide publishing agreement with Sony Music Publishing U.S. Latin and kicked off 2022 by signing a record deal with Warner Music Latina, via a partnership with indie Grand Move Records. At only 20 years, Tiago even made his acting debut in the film Cato, directed by Peta Rivero y Hornos. — J.R.
Tokischa (Paulus Music)
Dominican artist Tokischa is making waves on the Latin music scene through her unorthodox take on dembow music, with a breakthrough year that included collabs with Latin chart-toppers J Balvin (“Perrea”) and Rosalía (“Linda”). Superstar features considered, Tokischa remained true to her roots, releasing a handful of undeniably catchy singles with other dembow artists, including Yomel El Meloso and El Cherry Scom, racking up millions of views and listens across platforms. Not only is Tokischa set to continue catapulting dembow into the mainstream, the Paulus Music signee is also redefining sexual expression in the genre through her image, lyricism and attitude. — N.R.
Yendry (RCA Records/Liberator Music)
Scoring a mention on Obama’s favorite songs of 2021 year-end list, Yendry is turning heads with sobering lyrics on wide-ranging topics that range from toxic relationships to healing and beyond. A celebration of both her Caribbean and European influences, her genre-hopping music is what keeps listeners hooked. Going from a subtle dembow riddim (“Ya”) to flamenco (“El Diablo”) and bouncy reggaetón (“Instinto” with J Balvin), the Dominican-Italian vocalist is going full force in 2022, with new music set to drop soon. — G.F.