Get familiar with different Latin sounds and the artists at the forefront of each.
by Gabby Sgherri
Latin music has been taking over playlists and charts worldwide but even if you have a few Bad Bunny songs saved, there are tons of other artists you need to hear. The genre is extremely diverse, taking influence from different cultures and fusing Latin sounds with North American ones. You’ve heard the names Enrique Iglesias, Becky G, and Nicky Jam but do you know what Bachata R&B or Reggaeton Trap sounds like?
Get acquainted with some of the different styles in the Latin genre of music and the artists at the forefront of each. Ozuna will have you feeling like you’re at a Latin rave while Romeo Santos will turn you into a romantic with his modern Bachata ballads. These are the four Latin artists pioneering Bachata R&B, Salsa/Tropical, Reggaeton Pop, and Reggaeton Trap.
Prince Royce Genre: Salsa & Tropical
Prince Royce, born Geoffrey Royce Rojas, is one of the leading voices in Latin music. Growing up in the Bronx, his love for poetry and his eclectic music taste led him to start writing songs of his own. With over six studio albums, each takes a different approach to the genre. Royce often experiments with sounds, using slower tempos for his Bachata and R&B style songs and EDM pop beats for his Salsa and Tropical songs. Not limited to Spanish either, Royce is a jack of all trades delivering English songs like “Really Real” that feel very North American R&B with Latin influence. Royce has topped the Latin Billboard charts, has been nominated for multiple Latin Grammys, and often collaborates with the likes of Jennifer Lopez (they have a song together called “Back It Up”). You can count on any Royce song to make you want to get up and move, drawing you into the world of Latin music.
Romeo Santos Genre: Bachata Latin Pop/R&B
Dubbed the “King of Bachata” Romeo Santos’ influence is widespread, dominating charts in Latin America, the U.S., and Europe. He has completely transformed the genre of Bachata, which originated in the Dominican Republic. He fuses traditional elements of Bachata like Spanish guitar strings and romantic lyrics with upbeat sounds that make his music the perfect combination of sultry and lively. To say his R&B style of Bachata is popular would be an understatement. His five studio albums have consecutively hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Latin charts. Think of Santos’ music as the soundtrack for summer romances and trips abroad.
CNCO Genre: Latin Pop Reggaeton
CNCO is the Latin boy band you need in your life. Made up of Erick Colón, Christopher Vélez, Richard Camacho, and Zabdiel De Jesús, CNCO’s music is a mix of vibrant reggaeton and Latin pop. They’ve become an international sensation since winning the singing competition show La Banda in 2015—the Latin take on X-Factor. CNCO draws influence from sounds they grew up listening to—hip-hop, R&B, and ranchera—and mix it with their glossy Latin pop style of singing. They’ve tapped into the North American charts with songs like “Reggaetón Lento” which fuse Spanish and English lyrics. They’re breaking boundaries for Latin music as one of the few boy bands, and amassing a fan base that’s worldwide.
Ozuna Genre: Reggaeton Trap
Puerto Rican artist Ozuna wrote his first song at 12-years-old and never stopped. Turning his passion into a career, the two-time Billboard award winner delivers music that has the hit-making ability of hip-hop with the reggaeton bounce that gets everyone dancing. Ozuna’s hooks are always hard-hitting, keeping up with the fast-paced tempo of reggaeton beats. There are similarities to club music that has roots in Caribbean dance hall but it’s truly a unique sound giving major rave vibes. Ozuna is a must-hear in the Latin music scene and has collaborated with everyone from Cardi B and Doja Cat to J Balvin and Daddy Yankee.