Latin Music is crossing over to the United States. After the success of "Despacito," expect more Spanish-language songs to enter the airwaves in the coming months.
The viral hit by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee was a massive success last year. It not only entered the Billboard Hot 100, it became the longest-running number one in the chart in any language. The song and the artists behind it also earned a nod from the North American Grammys.
Their success is only the beginning.
Latin Music Invasion
Billboard noted that 2017 brought Latin music to the shores. Last year, a total of 19 predominantly Spanish-language songs made it into the Top 100. In comparison, the year before that, only four reached the charts. In 2015, only three received the same warm reception.
The rise of the number of predominantly Spanish songs will likely not stop anytime soon. Billboard predicted that more Latin tracks will enter the music charts and it is all thanks to online streaming.
According to the publication, YouTube and Spotify allowed these songs to seep into the mainstream. After all, the platform allows its users to find and curate their own playlists instead of relying on a radio disc jockey like in the old days.
Moreover, the success of songs like "Despacito" should be attributed to the music itself. The tracks that were able to crossover from Hot Latin Songs to the American Hot 100 were dance music; upbeat tracks that make the listener stand on his feet and move with the beat.
This does not come as a surprise because, looking back, the most successful Spanish-language songs that made it to the U.S. airwaves like "Macarena" by Los Del Rio and "Livin' La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin were danceable tracks.
Dance, after all, is a language that everyone can understand.
As Charlie Walk of The Republic Group explains, Latin music is being created and marketed for the global audience.
"We're thinking not as a U.S.-based label but as a global label... Songs like 'Despacito' and 'Mi Gente' become so big globally not just because of the song but because of their sound," he told Billboard. "In a world where hip-hop is so big, we now get to include the Latin genre as something that plays widely in the mainstream audience."
There are already seven predominantly Spanish-language song in the Hot 100 as of this month. With Kpop becoming more mainstream as its fanbase grows exponentially, expect a more diverse music in the global music stage.