You know what they say: new year, new music! In celebration of 2024’s arrival, the Billboard Latin and Billboard Español teams have predicted some of the Latin music trends that we believe will take off this year based on their momentum from 2023.
Last year, we reached out to various hitmakers such as Edgar Barrera, MAG and Ovy on the Drums, who all shared their predictions for 2023.
MAG, known for producing bangers for Bad Bunny, said it best: “I love that we’re seeing the global expansion of several Latin music subgenres other than just reggaetón. It’s exciting to see bachata and regional Mexican music growing outside of their rooted territories.”
With the massive success of artists like Peso Pluma, Fuerza Regida, Carin León and Grupo Frontera, to name a few, it’s evident that Música Mexicana dominated 2023, over any other Latin genre.
For Barrera, this is due to “being raw and authentic, being true to their sound and not trying to chase whatever is working for someone else,” he previously told Billboard about Mexican music expanding to new markets outside of Latin America.
Like the growth of Regional Mexican music, Emiliano Vasquez, A&R at Sony Music Latin, predicted a growth in bachata music for 2023—and he was right. “Bachata is becoming more popular as it merges with different musical genres, such as R&B, pop, electronica, hip-hop and trap. It is very common to see pop and urban artists recording bachata in their promotional singles and achieving great acceptance, even without originally being bachateros,” he said.
That same year, many urban and pop acts unleashed bachata tunes including Maria Becerra & Enrique Iglesias, Sofia Reyes & Beele, and Chayanne.
Which Latin music trends should we be looking out for this year? Check out our predictions below.
We predict that cumbia music in all its entirety and subgenres (chicha, sonidera, norteña, villera, etc) will see a massive growth in 2024. In fact, in recent years we’ve seen how Mexican cumbia pioneers Los Angeles Azules have given the genre a new take by collaborating with some of today’s hottest acts. In 2023, for example, they teamed up with Santa Fe Klan and Cazzu for “Tú y Tú” and later with Maria Becerra on “El Amor de mi Vida.” Both songs which keep the group’s cumbia sonidera sound and romantic lyrics intact but fused with a touch of modern pop.
Meanwhile in Argentina, we’re also seeing a wave of emerging acts staying truthful to the country’s cumbia villera sound. There’s Flor Alvarez, and one of Billboard’s On the Radar artists, who with her sugary-raspy vocals has become a viral sensation on social media by covering cumbia songs and releasing original music. And there’s also acts such as Fer Vázquez of Rombai, who’s delivering a fresh sound of Uruguay’s cumbia cheta to a new fanbase. — JESSICA ROIZ
Given the global nature of dance, the genre has historically fused well with other genres, including Latin music. Over the past five years, artists such as Karol G and Tiësto (“Don’t Be Shy”), Steve Aoki, Elvis Crespo, Daddy Yankee and Play-N-Skillz, (“Azukita”) and J Balvin and Skrillex (“In Da Getto”) found immediate success with EDM-reggaeton collaborations. Now, dance has tapped into the well of regional Mexican music, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
At a time when música mexicana has gone global, it makes sense for these two global genres to solidify their partnership. As a nod to Mexican music’s domination of 2023, which started rather early in the year, Marshmello invited Peso Pluma and Fuerza Regida’s Jesús Ortiz Paz, to join him on stage at the 2023 EDC festival in Mexico City. Subsequently, Deorro — who had already joined forces with Los Tucanes de Tijuana in 2022 (“Yo Las Pongo”) — dropped a remix of Eslabon Armado and Peso’s blockbuster hit “Ella Baila Sola” and Marshmello then joined forces with Fuerza Regida for “Harley Quinn,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart (dated Nov. 11). Sierreño artist DannyLux also experimented with EDM in his latest album DLux delivering the club-ready “House of Lux.”
Because of both genres’ global appeal, we predict more acts will tap into the dance bélico or electrocorrido style this year. As regional Mexican goes mainstream and fuses with other genres, it will be important that the genre stays true to its essence as it evolves its sound. “Harley Quinn,” which you can listen to above, is the perfect mashup of both styles and sounds innovative. — GRISELDA FLORES
Higher Power Music
If past years serve as a precedent where a handful of artists have spoken publicly about their faith in God, and in some cases their conversion to Christianity, it is possible that in 2024 we will see more songs with reflective lyrics that point towards spirituality to the beat of the songs like “Bonita” by Daddy Yankee and Farruko’s “Pasajero”. We could also see more forays by secular artists into the Christian market such as the collaborations “Conéctate Conmigo” by Wisin with Gocho and Redimi2, “Corro a tus Brazos” by Yeison Jiménez and Alex Campos, and “Amén” by Nacho, Gilberto Daza and Alex Zurdo to name a few from 2023. A turn towards the normalization and acceptance of talking about faith in a higher power outside the usual scope of Christian music may be one of the notable musical trends of the year. — LUISA CALLE
Tejano or Tex-Mex music has experienced a new transformation recently. This genre originally gained immense popularity in the 1990s thanks to artists such as Selena y Los Dinos, Bobby Pulido, La Mafia, Grupo Límite, and Intocable, who contributed to the genre’s evolution. Throughout the years, Tejano music has maintained its essence but its commercial popularity has sizzled down until recently, when acts such as Grupo Frontera have revived it.
After gaining social media virality with their norteño rendition of “No Se Va” in 2022, Frontera introduced Tejano music to a new generation of music lovers. Their fresh take on the genre even garnered the attention of renowned urban acts such as Bad Bunny and Arcangel, both of which collaborated with the McAllen-based group. We also observed how Pulido, one of Tejano music’s pioneer, joined forces with indie-pop artist Caloncho for “Separarnos.”
These types of collabs, and even Frontera’s success on the year-end Billboard charts (they ranked No. 2 on the new Latin artist of 2023 list), keep us hopeful that the captivating Tejano genre is coming strong in 2024 with more new talent and more innovative fusions. — INGRID FAJARDO
World Music Fusions
Collaborations between Afrobeats and Latin music artists have been increasingly notable in the past year, with productions such as an entire album (Afro) by Puerto Rican hitmaker Ozuna dedicated to the genre, featuring duets with Nigerian musicians Davido (“Eva Longoria”) and Omah Lay (“Soso Remix,“) and a live performance by Nigerian star Burna Boy alongside Brazilian Anitta atthe 2023 UEFA Champions League final. Moreover, Colombian urbano star Feid released “Bubalu” with Nigerian sensation Rema, who’s had a big year with his Selena Gomez-assisted megahit “Calm Down.”
But this is not the only international rhythm that we’ve seen flirting with the Latin world recently. In another captivating fusion, Camilo teamed up with singer and Bollywood actor Diljit Dosanjh on “Palpita,” a mid-tempo pop song with urban desi elements in which they take turns to sing in their respective native languages before joining forces towards the end in a Punjabi verse. And before him, J Balvin and Tainy released “Voodoo” with Indian rapper and singer Badsha in 2022, the same year we saw massive World Cup anthems by Ozuna (“Arhbo”), Sebastián Yatra (“Ulayeh”) and Maluma (“Tukoh Taka”) powered by Middle Eastern sounds.
The fusion of World Music styles with Latin rhythms may have started a few years back when Luis Fonsi’s global smash hit “Despacito” got a Hindi version, but the trend will likely continue on in 2024 and beyond as Latin music only becomes more appealing to global audiences. — SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS