Online platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud are paving the way for the rise of a new Latin music genre. Let’s take a look at how these platforms are helping artists draw the attention of record labels.
The rise of Latin trap
Latin trap, as the genre is referred to, began emerging in Puerto Rico in the mid-2000s. It found greater success during the 2010s with the debut of new artists like Bad Bunny, Ozuna, and De La Ghetto. These artists began experimenting with new styles by combining Latin trap with elements from other genres like reggaeton.
The experiments proved successful, with tracks like Bad Bunny’s “Mia” gaining millions of plays on YouTube, SoundCloud, and other streaming platforms.
Latin trap artists expressed their gratitude for the emergence of such platforms. In an interview with The Washington Post, artist De La Ghetto noted that during the early days of the genre, they really didn’t have a means of building large fan bases.
SoundCloud became one of their primary means of spreading their new music. Bad Bunny routinely uploaded new tracks on the platform when he wasn’t doing his day job. Other artists also relied on social media to hype their music to more listeners.
The growing popularity of the genre online also convinced record producers to take a second look. Dominican rapper Messiah said that, in the past, the labels often told them that the genre is “going nowhere.” Latin music blogs and sites seconded this opinion, stating that the genre was cool but did not have what it took to grow.
The tables have since turned, and labels are now scrambling to sign up Latin trap artists. In 2018, Bad Bunny released his debut album “X 100Pre” under the record label Rimas.
They also continue to grow their presence online. Puerto Rican artist Ozuna, for instance, became the most streamed YouTube artist in 2018. He was able to gather 8.7 billion views, beating perennial favorite Justine Bieber. “Te Bote Remix,” a collaboration of several Latin trap artists, was also one of the most-watched music videos for the year.
The secret behind Latin trap’s success
According to Messiah, the reason behind the genre’s continuing popularity is its continuing evolution. He noted that there were instances when most of the tracks he listened to were pure trap, but he also found ones that had a generous amount of R&B and dance hall influences to them.
This direction is important for promoting not just Latin trap, but also other music. Messiah noted that if there is little variety, they would end up sounding the same. Observers say that this also helped the genre become more mainstream.
Social media pushes Latin trap
Social media is another important factor in the popularization of the genre. It gave the artists a venue to promote their music and catch the attention of listeners despite not having the marketing machinery of major record labels.
The artists’ growth on different platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud also paved the way for record labels to reevaluate these artists. Once you can show a record label that there’s an audience, with solid numbers, you’re at least halfway there.
Latin trap music is expected to grow more in the next few years. Even if you are not part of the music scene, its story will give you a lot of lessons on promotions and marketing. Study it, and check out their beats while you are at it.