Jump to FM.tv

Spotlight

Future Hispanic History Month: 19 Musicians You Need to Know Now

Don't miss out: Superstars like Maluma, Anitta, CNCO and many more are on their way to worldwide recognition

1 / 19

Anitta

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Why You Should Pay Attention: Off the bat, those of us (yes, including me) just now stanning for Anitta are already late to the party. The Brazilian singer gained buzz in North America this Spring when her catchy-as-hell "Paradinha" made its way around social media. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Anitta’s already dropped three successful studio albums (and a live album) back home in Brazil, including her platinum, 2013 self-titled debut at just 20-years-old. She’s racked up nine Top 10 hits on Brazil’s Hot 100 Airplay chart, including a hit collab with Colombian singer (and fellow Future Hispanic History honoree) Maluma. In the past year she’s sang the hook on Iggy Azalea’s gay club–ready "Switch," and hopped on Major Lazer’s "Sua Cara" along with Brazilian singer, drag queen and viral sensation Pabllo Vittar. As if to let us know she's REALLY coming for our wigs, Anitta just dropped the dreamy "Will I See You," her first fully English single, with frequent Justin Bieber songwriter Poo Bear. The Bieber alignment isn’t by accident, either—the Brazilian bombshell is managed by the Bieber-backed Shots Studios. Mark Sundstrom

2 / 19

Ally Brooke Hernandez

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas, U.S.

Why You Should Pay Attention: Hailing from the same community as the late Selena Quintanilla, the eldest member of Fifth Harmony drew from "the Queen of Tejano music" to shape her own style and sound, eventually leading the 24-year-old talent from the small stages of San Antonio to The X-Factor limelight. Now a member of one of the world's biggest pop groups, Hernandez has empowered millions of young female fans who have witnessed her transformation into a multitalented force. Speaking to People magazine in May, the Mexican-American singer confirmed that she's expressing herself through music even more this year and even has plans to dabble in acting. Whether she's delivering messages of self-confidence through her music or looking flat-out fierce for the stage, 5H fans can rest assured that Hernandez won't be stopping her slayage anytime soon. Tina Xu

3 / 19

​Cardi B

Hometown: The Bronx, New York, U.S.

Why You Should Pay Attention: Born Belcalis Almanzar in the Bronx, Cardi B seems to be an overnight sensation, but she's been poppin' for a while now. She got her start on Instagram and built a nine-million-plus following with her funny viral videos (Hoes never get cold) and pop-culture takes. From there she was added to the cast of Love and Hip Hop: New York and began to showcase her musical talents, by the time she'd left the show in 2017, Cardi had released two mixtapes and her song "Lick" had hit the charts. Her latest song "Bodak Yellow" was of the songs of the summer and still rising. She's also featured on G-Eazy's last track 'No Limit' with A$AP Rocky. All before even releasing her first official album. When Cardi says "I ain't got no time to chill..." she isn't kidding. Patrice Callender

4 / 19

Camila Cabello

Hometown: Havana, Cuba; Mexico City, Mexico; Miami, Florida

Why You Should Pay Attention: Cuban-born Camila Cabello is in the midst of a blossoming solo career, following her departure from Fifth Harmony, while also racking up international endorsement deals with Guess and L'Oréal Paris. Since June 2017, three of her solo songs (“Crying in the Club,” “Havana” and “OMG”) have charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Prior to those singles, off her upcoming debut album due out in October, Camila found relative success branching out from 5H with a pair of duets. Her “Bad Things” collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100 and her “I Know What You Did Last Summer” duet with Shawn Mendes ascended to No. 20. While achieving global fame, she hasn’t forgotten her roots, singing,“half of my heart is in Havana,” in her recent song named after the capital of her home country Cuba. Outside of music, she leverages Twitter and Facebook, where she has more than six million combined followers, to educate her relatively young fan base on important political issues and to bring awareness to philanthropies she believes in such as Save the Children and Children’s Health Fund.Brian Anthony Hernandez

5 / 19

CNCO

Hometowns: New Jersey, Ecuador (Christopher Velez); New Hampshire, Dominican Republic (Richard Camacho); Puerto Rico (Zabdiel De Jesus); California (Erick Colon); Cuba, Florida (Erick Colon)

Why You Should Pay Attention: Everyone knowns Simon Cowell knows how to put together a boy band and CNCO is one of his latest visions. The quintet created on Univision's sensational singing competition La Banda that had Ricky Martin as a producer, a man who also knows a thing or two about boy bands as a former member of classic Latin outfit Menudo. But make no mistake: These boys have earned their success all their own. After trying out a few different sounds, "Reggaeton Lento" became their breakout smash across the Latin-music community with a video boasting more than a billion views and a Spanglish remix with Little Mix breaking the band into new countries. It's been more than five years since Cowell took over the world with One Direction...we're due for another boy band takeover. Jeff Benjamin

6 / 19

Danny Ocean

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela 

Why You Should Pay Attention: This rising star is the product of massive streaming success (and the love from teenage girls)! Danny Ocean already made strides in the Latin world, but the 25-year-old caught attention overseas when his "Me Rehúso" single was re-released over the summer. It quickly blew up on Spotify and entered the No. 13 slot on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs charts. We’re excited to see the rest of the musical ammo Ocean has in store. Bianca Gracie

7 / 19

Dave East

Hometown: New York, New York, U.S.

Why You Should Pay Attention: When Dave East gained the attention of Queens legend Nas, we were certain we should keep our eyes and ears locked to the rising rapper too. The half-Dominican lyricist made his breakthrough moment last year when XXL magazine included him in their Freshman Class for 2016 and he announced he was Def Jam Records' latest signee. But let’s make it clear: The Harlem rapper is not new to the game. East kicked off his career back in 2010 with his Change of Plans mixtape and followed with nine, (yes nine!) mixtapes. His highly anticipated Kairi Chanel mixtape peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard 200 chart and he continued to strike with his debut album Paranoia: A True Story hitting the Top 10. With his dark storytelling and cold lyrics, the 29-year-old is bringing traditional hip-hop back to our airwaves and there's no telling what he has in store next, but we’re ready. Amissa Pitter

8 / 19

Ibeyi

Hometown: Paris, France; Havana, Cuba   

Why You Should Pay Attention: The twin duo of Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz have been making waves across the music world since releasing the mesmerizing video to their single “River.” Singing in English, French and Yoruba, Ibeyi lyrics are soulful and refreshing. They effortlessly infuse their culture within their music and leave listeners longing for more. I’m looking forward to their sophomore offering and am ready to bathe in the beauty of their talent. Malikah Shabazz

9 / 19

J Balvin

Hometown: Medellín, Colombia 

Why You Should Pay Attention: “Despacito” may have been the song that ruled the summer, but let’s not forget about all the other artists ruling Latin music. J Balvin already established himself in Latin and South America, and now it’s his time to officially show the rest of the world just how much of a swagged-out superstar he is. His fourth album Energía (released in June 2016), helped to push him to the mainstream forefront. It debuted at No. 38 on the Billboard 200 and is certified four-times platinum. J Balvin is also a friend to many in the industry, working with Pharrell, Camila Cabello, Anitta, Pitbull, Wale, Major Lazer and more. His recent single “Mi Gente” is just another example of his pending industry takeover. Bianca Gracie

10 / 19

Jesse & Joy

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Why You Should Pay Attention: Nothing says "We like you, we really like you" like a GRAMMY win and Jesse & Joy's gorgeous Un Besito Más album gave the underdog duo their first win at the general GRAMMY Awards after scoring six statues at the Latin GRAMMYs. While the rock-pop duo know how to get you dancing with tracks like "3 A.M." (and its newly unveiled remix with Gente de Zona), tender tracks like "Dueles" truly show the band's musical irresistible lushness. Jeff Benjamin

11 / 19

Lauren Jauregui

Hometown: Miami, Florida

Why You Should Pay Attention: The politically outspoken member of Fifth Harmony and the daughter of Cuban parents doesn’t mince her words when passionately speaking out against President Donald Trump and his administration's attacks on rights for women, LGBTQ people, and immigrants. She also has the propensity of bringing light into the dark political climate, as evidenced during 5H’s acceptance speech at the Teen Choice Awards, where she said, “To all of the young ones at home watching, no matter who you are, where you come from or what you look like, you are beautiful and you are important, so keep spreading love and positivity, alright?” Musically, she explored that “spread positivity” theme in Fifth Harmony’s new song “Bridges” in which she sings, “I know the world can be cold, we can't let it divide us; there's something inside us, a power that grows.” Just like her 5H sisters, Lauren has also tested the waters outside of Fifth Harmony this year, collaborating with Halsey on “Strangers” and Marian Hill on “Back to Me.” Most recently, her contributions to Fifth harmony’s self-titled album pushed it to a No. 4 debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart.  Brian Anthony Hernandez

12 / 19

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hometown: New York, New York, U.S.

Why You Should Pay Attention: At this point, everyone should know Lin-Manuel Miranda! But even with all the accomplishments the Hamilton founder has under his belt, he still has so much more to give. Following the success of the Broadway musical, Miranda scored a voice role as Gizmoduck in the Ducktales reboot as well as a spiritual successor to Bert the Chimney Sweep in Mary Poppins Returns. He also sings the new theme song for The Magic School Bus Rides Again. And if you thought the Hamilton reign was over, think again. He plans to create a film adaptation very soon. Bianca Gracie

13 / 19

Maluma

Hometown: Medellín, Colombia

Why You Should Pay Attention: With more than 55 million followers across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, Maluma's presence online is already undeniable, but the Colombian reggaeton star is on his way to becoming ubiquitous on the music scene too. He's been a go-to collaborator for everyone from Fifth Harmony to Ricky Martin to J.Lo, and will soon make his biggest musical statement as he prepares a bilingual album. The world is already watching Maluma—his steamy "Felices los 4" video is on its way to cracking one billion views—and it won't be long until we're all listening to his sexy croons too. Jeff Benjamin

14 / 19

​Melanie Martinez

Hometown: Long Island, New York, United States

Why You Should Pay Attention: The imaginative Melanie Martinez, whose parents are of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, has capitalized on the “cry baby” nickname she obtained as a kid, turning the phrase into a full-blown character named Cry Baby during her music career. She introduced the vulnerable character on her 2015 debut album, fittingly titled Cry Baby and its subsequent music videos like “Dollhouse,” a dark tale about a dysfunctional family. Now, Cry Baby's childlike yet brutally honest journey will continue in a "feature film" that will be released in tandem with her upcoming sophomore album. The film will connect all of the album's 13 songs into one long visual experience, similar to Queen Bey's approach for her past two critically acclaimed visual albums, Beyoncé and Lemonade. Melanie’s quirky stardom will continue to rise when that album and accompanying film arrive in 2018. Brian Anthony Hernandez

15 / 19

Mon Laferte

Hometown: Viña del Mar, Chile

Why You Should Pay Attention: Chile hasn't been totally known for producing global music stars, but that looks likely to change with the rise of Mon Laferte. The singer-songwriter has taken over her home country and slowly taking over the rest of the Western Hemisphere, recently performing at Central Park's Summer Stage in NYC. Her Juanes duet "Amárrame" brought her career to the next level with the smooth duet with the Latin legend acting as a perfect introduction, but there's loads more to explore on her albums with 2017's La Trenza marking her most accomplished work to date. Jeff Benjamin

16 / 19

Nicky Jam

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.; San Juan, Puerto Rico

Why You Should Pay Attention: The Boston-born, Puerto Rican reggaeton star returned to the music scene with full force this year, dropping a 26-track studio album, Fénix, that went No. 1 on the U.S. Top Latin Albums chart. In addition to delivering one of the year's most popular songs in "Hasta el Amanecer," Nicky Jam racked up a whopping nine nominations and six wins at the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards, clearly indicating that the 36-year-old is only getting better with time. And for those who might recognize Jam from the silver screen, he linked up with veteran Vin Diesel for his Hollywood debut in xXx: Return of Xander Cage, a career move that placed even more eyes on the versatile act. With an extensive catalog that already features seven studio albums, Jam is well on his way to solidifying himself as reggaeton's biggest star. Tina Xu

17 / 19

Prince Royce

Hometown: The Bronx, New York, U.S.

Why You Should Pay Attention: After years of owning the bachata scene, Prince Royce spent the last couple years trying out new projects including a mostly English album (2015's Double Vision) and acting (joining Hulu's East Los High in 2016). But this past year saw the Prince returning to his roots and doing it better than ever with February's Five LP that incorporated some of the biggest names in Latin music (Farruko, Gente de Zona and then Shakira features on the standout single "Deja Vu," which has a video with a quarter of a billion views) and Hollywood (Royce even got Zendaya to sing a bit of Spanish for "X"). With his hand in a slew of other projects, Prince Royce will be a name you continue to see popping up all over the industry for years to come. Jeff Benjamin

18 / 19

Romeo Santos

Hometown: The Bronx, New York, U.S.

Why You Should Be Paying Attention: While he may not be a household name in America, Romeo Santos is nearly too big to be considered future Hispanic history—he's already made it. The Justin Timberlake of bachata successfully moved on from his Aventura boy band to score three No. 1 albums,  (2017's Golden is his third No. 1 on the U.S. Latin charts and his third Top 10 record in America.), sell out baseball stadiums (In 2014 he became the first Latin artist to headline shows a Yankee Stadium, selling out both show)) and get the world's biggest artists to sing in his language (Drake and Nicki Minaj got their Spanglish on in different tracks on Santos' Fórmula, Vol. 2 album while Swizz Beatz co-produced a track with Santos on Golden). And he did it all on his own terms, by singing in the language he prefers and never losing his original sound. Jeff Benjamin

19 / 19

Sofia Reyes

Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico

Why You Should Pay Attention: The idea of music being in one language is becoming more and more outdated, and one of the artists doing that in the most accessible and exciting ways is Mexico's Sofia Reyes. The multitalented singer-songwriter-instrumentalist is a protégée of fellow FHHM honoree Prince Royce who helped the young star land her first No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs chart with their "Solo Yo" duet. 2017 has seen the release of her debut album—the genre-spanning, bilingual Louder!—along with her first full-fledged English release "Tell Me" with rising producer AXSHN. With a new bilingual album she told Fuse is already underway, it looks like global domination is only the logical next step. Jeff Benjamin

User Comments

Advertisement

Photo of the day

October 19: SZA, Khalid and Julia Are Eyeing a GRAMMY

The GRAMMYs are just around the corner and a slew of new artists like SZAKhalid and Julia Michaels are looking to break big this year. Are Best New Artist nods in their future? Check out the new issue of Billboard to find out their chances...

Advertisement