Emilio Estefan sat down with Billboard at the Billboard Latin Music Conference to discuss the changes in the Latin music industry since he began his career 35 years ago, how hard it is for new acts to get noticed, and his own responsibilities in the scene.
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On how new artists can get financial backing:
“I see how hard it is for new talent to get noticed; especially if you go to a label, they don’t have enough money to promote you,” he said. “Now if you go to a label with the backing of Target or companies like AT&T, companies will sometimes put a lot of money behind them to promote them.”
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On the challenges he faced early in his career:
“In the beginning it was very hard, we didn’t have partnerships with anybody, people would never put us in when it came to somebody that was new, especially if you were Latino or bilingual,” he said. “I mean, most of our music, somebody would say take the horns out, change the percussion, change your name, and me and Gloria [Estefan] said we don’t want to change our name, we don’t want to change anything, this is who we are. And as time passed we proved people wrong because music has no language.”
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW: