Why U.S. Brands Should Partner With Latinx Musicians


Table Of Contents


Latin Music Has Surpassed Country Music In Popularity 

Generation Z, the youngest generation in the U.S., is becoming the most ethnically diverse generation and best educated generation yet. Whether it be pop, trap, or rap, Latin music is rising above and making appearances in the most popular U.S. music genres. Latin music has even become the 5th most popular music genre in the U.S., outshining country and EDM.

Partnering with Latinx celebrities isn’t just an aid to target your Latin consumers, but consumers of all backgrounds. Brands that aren’t capitalizing on the Latin Music movement are missing out on opportunities for larger viewership, higher engagement reach, and ultimately, a wider range of customers. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the strength of, and why, brands should be proactively building partnership strategies with Latinx Musicians.

Why Brands Should Partner With Latinx Musicians

Breaking Down The Definitions 

Partnering with Latin Musicians isn’t just about appealing to your Latinx consumers but attracting consumers of all backgrounds.

“Latinx” is a gender-neutral inclusive alternative to “Latino” that originated in the mid 2000’s. The x simply includes all genders, as in Spanish, the ‘o’ is considered masculine, while the ‘a’ is considered feminine for nouns in Spanish. Although the word doesn’t really exist in the Spanish language, it’s a proper English pronoun that is used to refer to a specific group of people.

Many people confuse Hispanic, Latinx, and Spanish – so here’s a brief breakdown of these definitions:

  • Hispanic: Originating from Spanish-Speaking Countries.
    • Argentina, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela. And, of course, Spain.
  • Latinx: Individuals from Latin American countries
    • Mexico, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, French-speaking Caribbean nations, Central or South America (though English-speaking regions). Your people might speak French, Portuguese, or Spanish."
  • Spanish: Individuals born in Spain
    • Spanish nationality
  • Chicano/Chicana: Individuals who are a United States Citizen with Mexican Ancestry, a synonym for Mexican-American.
    • This term was popular in the 1960's, but has been overshadowed by the terms Latino or Hispanic.

Now, that we have an understanding of these terms that are often misunderstood, we can start talking about how the Latino community represents about one fifth of the total U.S. population, and it continues to grow.


Latin Music & Gen Z. AKA The Why

Diversity and Hip Hop are two key elements to connecting to Gen Z because of the way they look at the world. Diversity is becoming the new normal as most of Gen Z describe having a social circle that is diverse. A third of Gen Z also say that they relate to Hip Hop the most, since it’s a sensibility that holds true across race and ethnicity.

Gen Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than previous generations, and teens are listening to more diverse music than ever before. Sweet High CEO Frank Simonetti says, “Music plays a pivotal role in Gen Z’s lives. They have more options than ever to find undiscovered music, and Gen Z embrace that diversity in their music genres and platforms, blending a mix of new and traditional media options for music discovery and consumption.”

A trait to describe Gen Z is individuality. Everybody has their own direction in life and they are given more opportunities than any other generation because of the technological advances. They’re also the most active in speaking up for what they believe in and making a change to the world, whether it be racism, human trafficking, or poverty, they are looking to prevent these issues.  

The rise of Latin music could be because of the increase of Latinos living in America. As music plays an important role in personal expression and identity, the rise of Latino artists has given Latinos a new sense of pride in their heritage and identity, especially since Latin music has modernized. Because of the rising popularity of Latin music in mainstream media, listening to Latin music is no longer something culturally obscure.


The Rise Of Latin Music & It's Subgenres 

Latin America generally consists the continent of South American in addition to Mexico, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean. Essentially, Latin American has a population of about 652 million people, which is double the amount of the U.S. This results in tons of different subgenres within the Latin category. Although Salsa, Tango, and Merengue are some of the most well known Latin music subgenres, in the most recent years, new subgenres have been developed that combined popular American genres.

Music streaming services rose in popularity after the releases of Enrique Iglesias ‘Bailando’ and Nicky Jams ‘El Perdón’ in 2014, as they combined traditional Latin music rhythm, with pop, Aka Latin Pop. Artists like Pitbull, Shakira, and Daddy Yankee continued to attract consumers in the coming years when they combined hip hop and reggae together to create Latin Urban Music, but nobody could beat Luis Fonsi with The Despacito Effect.

In 2017, Luis Fonsis’ ‘Despacito’ spiked Latin music attraction. Only 203 days after the music videos release, it has become the most viewed video of all time on Youtube with nearly six billion views. Yes, Six Billion. It won numerous awards and held the record of the longest time for a song to hold a number one spot on billboard’s hot 100 list.

The song cultivated a rise in Latin Music and America hasn’t been the same since. It’s not because this song was played repeatedly on the radio every 10 minutes, but because prior to this songs release, there were only four Spanish-language songs on any Hot 100 list. After this song, there were 19 Latin tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 list in 2017- which broke the record for the most Spanish-language songs in the top 100.

Despacito opened the door to not only the Latin Music genre, but also Reggaeton and Latin Urban music. It also opened the door to “Spanglish” which is a well known phrase for anyone who speaks a mix of Spanish and English. The music style is appealing to people of all backgrounds because it isn’t necessarily focused on the lyrics, but rather the rhythm. Latin music is danceable and relatable because it makes you focus on how you feel and how you move, not necessarily what the lyrics mean.


U.S. Collaborations 

American musicians have also quickly adapted to collaborating with Latin artists after The Despacito Effect. In 2018, Black Latina Cardi B (American Trap artist) released her hit ‘I like it’ collaborating with Boricua Latin trap artist Bad Bunny, and Colombian Reggaetonero J Balvin. Shortly after, Beyoncé remixed with J Balvin and French DJ, Willy Williams in the song, ‘Mi Gente’ which featured lyrics in Spanish, French, and English! With a triple threat of languages, it’s no surprise that the song topped the charts in more than 20 countries across Europe and Latin America.

Finding its way to another popular music genre in America, French producer DJ Snake collaborated with pop singer Selena Gomes, Reggaeton/Latin trap star Ozuna and Trap Queen Cardi B in the song, “Taki Taki”, in 2018. The song mixes reggaeton with a bit of EDM, alongside of lyrics that are in both Spanish and English.

The Black Eyed Peas released “Ritmo” in collaboration with J Balvin in October 2019 along with “Mamacita” which featured Ozuna and their new member who is of African-American-Filipina descent, J Rey Soul. They didn’t stop there, when the BEP decided to drop yet another collaboration featuring Dominican artist El Alfo, in “No Mañana”.

Spanish singer Rosalía recently collaborated with Travis Scott in “TKN’ which peaked on June 13th when it made it in spot number two in the top 100. The Jonas brothers even teamed up with Colombian Reggaetonera Karol G in the song “X”, an unpbeat dance-pop stune meshed with Latin-alt rumba.

And of course, we can’t forget about J-Lo and Shakira’s performance in the Super Bowl in February 2020. The Super Bowl got 102 million viewers, and J-Lo and Shakira got 104.1 million viewers tune in for the halftime show.

Stars of all music genres are finding ways to mix Latin beats, whether it be with reggaeton, trap, hip hop, or pop. With so many cross-cultural collaborations, Spanish-language hits are gaining more and more attention, and brands should ride the wave of popularity as well to gain more exposure to a wider range of people.


product placement in music film

Latin Music Consumption 

Streaming services like YouTube and Spotify, also did a huge favor for Latin music everywhere. They have allowed audiences from all around the world to discover and explore a wider range of music, exposing individuals to more global hits than ever before. The type of music that you listened to didn’t depend on what was being played on repeat on the radio, because people were finally given the ability to stream tracks on demand and share that music with other people regardless of what city, state, or country they lived in. To this day, streaming is now making up 93% of Latin music’s total revenue.

Latin music also accounted for 9.4% of all album listening, surpassing Country music which was ranked at 9.7 percent in 2019. Streaming services most likely helped the serge in consumption of Spanish-language music since it has made streaming possible anywhere and everywhere – including those who speak more than one language. The Spanish language is also one of the most common, as it is one of the most widely spoken Romance languages, right next to French and Italian, which could explain the accessibility of the music genre all around the world.

Music Video consumption is also rising among Hispanic consumers as many Latin artists have topped US artists in views for their music videos. J Balvin’s “Blanco” hit a whooping 223M view compared to Dua Lipas “Physical” with 164 M views. This is a great opportunity that brands should capitalize on. If a wider range of people are watching videos from these Latin artists, why wouldn’t you partner with them and give your brand the chance for exposure?

Studies even show that half of US consumers-particularly Gen Z- listen to music in Spanish, more than any other foreign language, and many enjoy listening to music they don’t understand simply for the experience.


An Opportunity Brands Can't Miss 

With nearly half of Gen Z identifying as people of color, this Generation is becoming more and more open to discovering and learning about different cultures, languages, ethnicities, and music genres. As Latin music continues to rise in popularity, it is important now more than ever before for brands to capitalize on a popular trend and opportunity. Music is just one example that brands can use to connect to their consumers, but brands could also use clothing, makeup, or food to draw in consumers from all around the world and relate to their consumers. With an opportunity to reach a larger viewership, increase engagement, and reach a wider range of customers, it would be in a brands best interest to partner with Latinx musicians now.

Learn More About How Hollywood Is Diversifying

More and more production companies are taking action and including people of all backgrounds in their campaigns, productions, and team. Read our blogs to learn how brands are adapting to the world's changes and how you can do the same. 

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