Peso Pluma is 10 minutes early to his Zoom interview with Billboard.
It’s not super common for an artist to appear on the screen right on time, much less earlier than expected — but the Mexican corridos performer is eager to start the interview and talk about “all the crazy” stuff that’s been happening in his short but rapidly ascending career. “Everything is happening so fast,” the 23-year-old artist says. “I’m as excited about everything as I am scared. I’m just enjoying the moment. I think I’m doing all right.”
It’s safe to say that Peso Pluma is doing just fine. In the past year alone, Peso signed with indie label Prajin Records, his first record deal, and has so far placed nine songs on the Hot Latin Songs chart, including three top 10s: corridos anthem “AMG” with Natanael Cano and Gabito Ballesteros, his slowed-down sierreño track “Por Las Noches” and “PRC” with Cano. He scored his first global chart hit, with the Luis R Conriquez-assisted “Siempre Pendientes,” it reached No. 155 on Global Excl. U.S. and No. 174 on the Global 200.
“It took me a while to assimilate what was happening,” says Peso, who has 216 million on-demand official streams in the U.S., according to Luminate. “To see my name on the charts, to see my name next to really important artists, I always dreamed with this. I know it’s all happening so fast, but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop working hard. On the contrary, I feel obligated to continue delivering hits.”
Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Peso Pluma (who prefers not to share his real name) doesn’t come from an artistic family and learned to navigate this complex world on his own. Inspired by artists such as the late sierreño icon Ariel Camacho, Peso learned to play the guitar at age 15 by watching videos on YouTube. Then he started writing.
“Ever since I was a kid, I would write down my emotions because it was like therapy for me,” he explains. “I used to have a diary and my friends would make fun of me — because that’s considered ‘girly’ — but it worked for me. That’s where I’d write how I was feeling, then I realized some stuff would rhyme. I kept practicing and became better with time.”
Showcasing his blunt style of writing corridos about the highs and lows of life and his ability to also be vulnerable in a song, has caught the attention of Argentine rapper and singer Nicki Nicole and Colombian hitmaker Ovy on the Drums, who’ve recently teamed up with Peso for collaborations.
“Those that know me know that I love reggaetón, it’s what I listen to the most,” he says. “I was positive I’d do a reggaetón song with Ovy, but then they told me that he wanted to do regional Mexican. I was shocked, because he’s a renowned producer who wants to do Mexican music. I added my style, he added his and I love the song.”
Promising to deliver more star-studded collaborations, Peso also has his eyes set on global domination. “I feel like Mexican Music has come close to really going international, but it hasn’t fully happened yet. The United States isn’t everything. I want to go to Brazil, Spain, Argentina. I’m up for the challenge. The regional Mexican artist is emerging — we’re growing within the industry, you can’t deny that anymore.”
Below, meet this month’s Latin Artist on the Rise:
Recommended Song: “If you want to know all about Peso Pluma, listen to ‘AMG.’ You’ll then want to listen everything else.”
Major Accomplishment: “What a good question. I hadn’t thought about this. I think everything. To see my name on the charts. These past few days have been crazy because I keep thinking about all that’s happened. I’m really excited to show everyone what I can do but all in its time.”
What’s Next: “We have more collaborations coming. There’s one that I’m super excited about. You guys are going to love it, and I’m sure it’ll hit No. 1.”