To those who say there’s no new Latin talent coming up, we say: Have you been listening? We hear exciting new voices and sounds everywhere and from every conceivable genre. But here are 10 artists that have displayed particular artistry early on and who we predict will rise to bigger and better things in 2013.
Adriel Favela –- He plays a mean accordion and writes from the heart. Favela was born in California then lived in Mexico for several years. The singer/songwriter was raised by a struggling single mother, but despite adversity the 20-year-old crooner has taken to writing heartfelt, catchy and smooth music in the regional Mexican genre. His independent album goes on sale Feb. 14.?
América Sierra— ?Her sultry vocals have been widely heard softening the galloping electronic terrain of Monterrey DJ group 3Ball MTY’s hit “Inténtalo.” Sierra has been composing for other artists since she was a teenager. She’ll have her chance for a star turn this Spring, when her first solo album of original songs on UMLE could mark the debut of a new Regional Mexican leading lady.
Duina del Mar— The 22-year-old Colombian’s vibe and look are reminiscent of Lana del Rey but far more luminous and whimsical. With a pop/alt sound with touches of reggae, Duina’s music is light and airy but not shallow and her appeal is also eminently visual, with a video for every track of her upcoming album, Natural, due out on UMLE this summer. After opening shows for the likes of Alejandro Sanz, Colombia’s Shock magazine named her their face to watch in 2013.
Yahaira — The Colombian beauty signed to indie Dreamaker Records has released a couple of sizzling dance/hip hop videos, including “Sexiest,” a collaboration with Lil’ Mama that’s sleek and mean and had enough sex appeal to get Yahaira booked on most major national Spanish language TV shows. That, in turn, has major heads turning. Definitely bigger things will be in store for Yahaira in 2013.
Elaín— Cuban-born, Miami-based singer/songwriter Elaín released two albums before gaining attention with 2012’s Volando Alto (Melomania Productions)and the haunting single “Sin Pasaje de Regreso” (written by Jorge Luis Piloto), used for a campaign against domestic violence. Elaín’s blend of tropical jazz and trobuadour elements garnered him Latin Grammy nods last year for Best new artist and Best Contemproary Tropical Album. We hear a distinctive voices with distinctive stories to tell.
NEXT PAGE: Los Colores, Max Capote, Nena Guzman + More
Los Colores? — With their tight combination of Latin bolero and classic indie rock, we predict that Los Colores will be the next young band from Venezuela’s energetic music scene to earn some solid Latin Alternative buzz, like their countrymen La Vida Boheme and Los Mesoneros before them. Lead singer/guitarist Alejandro Sojo has the dark bedroom eyes of the proverbial Latin lover, and a seductive delivery that’s the stuff of 70s romantic icons. Their self-titled debut on AOA / Discos Caracas is due out in Venezuela on February 5. Look for it in digital stores stateside soon after.
Max Capote — Maybe it’s a little about the cool swagger and the black shades, but make no mistake that Capote is utterly addictive thanks to a voice that pairs well with his signature ‘60s Motown sound. Born in Uruguay, the singer/songwriter received a Latin Grammy nomination for best new artist in 2011 and since then has been a music festival fixture. Up next is a new album due in the spring on Mexican indie Intolerancia.
Raul y Mexia?— “Arriba y Lejos”, singer and rapper brothers Raul y Mexia’s first album as a duo, says a lot about where they come from, and gives a good indication of where they’re going (one likely destination is radio). The California-raised sons of Los Tigres del Norte bassist and vocalist Hernán Hernandez, together with Mexican producer/DJ Toy Selectah, debut on Nacional Records with an instinctive fusion of roots, rap, beats and vocals that’s better heard than explained. Let’s just say this is what good Latin pop sounds like today.
??Nena Guzman — The regional Mexican singer returns with a second project slated for release during the second half of 2013. If YouTube is an indicator, this new voice on the music scene is bound for a bigger stage thanks to a large following. Guzman was launched on the Del Records label — home of popular acts such as Gerardo Ortiz, Regulo Caro and Martin Castillo, via Sony Latin — at a time when there are few women from her generation singing corridos and igniting the genre.??
Oscarcito — Already a star in Venezuela, salsa singer Oscarcito is close to signing a major label deal stateside thanks to impetus from his hit “Tu Eres Perfecta,” which reached No. 1 in Venezuela, and to “Si Tu Me Besas,” which he wrote for salsero Victor Manuelle and hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Tropical Airplay charts. Oscarcito writes catchy, theme-based ditties that should impact U.S. radio with his own voice.
?Brought to you by the Latin Notas Team: Leila Cobo, Justino Aguila and Judy Cantor Navas