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.
In honor of Pride, our fifth edition of “On the Radar Latin” includes emerging queer artists that you should be listening to. See our recommendations below:
Artist: Michelle Maciel
Why Should They Be on Your Radar: I discovered Maciel on TikTok, where, like many influencers, he reacts to videos, jumps on the latest dance trends, and posts relatable content for today’s youth. In the mix, I also came across his music. Born Michelle Maciel, the 24-year-old artist from Sonora describes himself as a “Pisces, musician, and student.” His bio description on the DSPs is simple yet interesting: “break my heart for art.” And that’s precisely what’s so captivating about this newcomer who built a solid fan base on TikTok. His dulcet vocals belt out lyrics about love, infatuation, and heartbreak over edgy fusions that include funk, indie pop, and urban ballads. Most recently, Maciel teamed up with Eden Muñoz for an innovative regional and reggaeton fusion called “No Sabia Cuanto.” — JESSICA ROIZ
Song for Your Playlist: “Nos Sabia Cuanto” – Eden Muñoz feat. Michelle Maciel
Artist: Dani Ride
Why should they be on your radar? Dani is a whole 80’s mood! It’s his magical way of delivering this synth-pop while adding powerful messages throughout his lyrics that really makes him a standout artist. The simple yet effective way he writes makes it so easy to connect with him. Plus, his eclectic style matches his pink color hair and padded shoulder jackets that make him pop even more. — INGRID FAJARDO
Song For Your Playlist: “Ya No Más”
Artist: The Change
Country: Dominican Republic
Why should they be on your radar? The Change is one of those artists that you wish you would’ve discovered sooner but I finally (and thankfully) came across her music after she was featured on Sofía Reyes’ new album, Mal de Amores, for the track “24/7.” Born Carmen Cambiaso, the Dominican Republic artist is a triple threat as a singer, songwriter and producer. With her raspy vocals, she injects pathos to her delivery making her lyrics — on falling in and out of love — sound more intentional. Her sound is wide-ranging so in her repertoire you’ll find pop gems fused with subtle urbano beats. — GRISELDA FLORES
Song For Your Playlist: “Cicatrices”
Artist: Ambar Lucid
Country: U.S./Dominican Republic/Mexico
Why they should be on your radar? Ambar Lucid is the true definition of a diamante en bruto. I’ve had Ambar on my radar for a few years now but any chance I can put a spotlight on her, I will. From early on in her career, she built a buzz SoundCloud thanks to her dreamy, indie-pop sound. Her bilingual lyrics — that often touch on hardship — speak to a Latinx generation that finds it easier to express themselves in two languages. Her hushed yet striking and powerful vocals thrive over a canvas that’s as experimental as ever as she easily navigates different sounds such as psychedelic pop, reggaeton and R&B. — G.F.
Song For Your Playlist: “girl ur so pretty”