CNCO, Vicente Garcia, Sofia Reyes & More: Meet the Latin Grammys’ Best New Artist Nominees

The nominees for the 2017 Latin Grammys were finally announced on Sept. 26. As usual, one of the most exciting categories is best new artist, where 10 acts have been nominated this year. We already know some of them, while others are making themselves known in the Latin music industry.

Billboard has gathered more details about all of the 2017 hopefuls. From CNCO to Sebastián Yatra, meet the Latin Grammys’ best new artist nominees.

 

Paula Arenas

Paula Arenas is a pop singer/songwriter who started as a solo artist in 2011. Her songs mix life experiences, dreams and deep feelings. Arenas’ sound influences come from ranchera and French rhythms. Matices, her debut EP, was produced by Grammy winner Julio Reyes Copello.

Musical influences: Juan Gabriel, Rocío Durcal, Edith Piaf, Billy Joel

Biggest milestone: Touring in Mexico and being the opening act for Alejandro Sanz.

On Billboard charts: N/A

Why people should listen to her music: Paula Arenas’ music brings a strong message of empowerment and passion for life.

 

CNCO

CNCO is the strongest competitor in this category. The boy band members, chosen through Univision’s Ricky Martin and Simon Cowell-produced reality show La Bandain 2015, won three Premio Lo Nuestro awards this year, were named the iHeartMusic Awards’ best new Latin artist and received two Billboard Latin Music Awards, including new artist of the year.

Members/countries: Erick Bryan Colon (Cuba), Joel Pimentel (Mexico), Zabdiel de Jesus (Puerto Rico), Richard Camacho (Dominican Republic), Christopher Velez (Ecuador).

Musical inspirations: Ed Sheeran, Sin Bandera, Drake, Sam Smith, and Pablo Alborán

Biggest milestone: The Latin Grammy nomination; they grew up watching the Latin Grammys and dreaming of being on that stage.

On Billboard charts: Four hits on Hot Latin Songs: “Tan Facil” hit No. 5 (2015); “Quisiera” hit No. 26 (2016); “Reggaeton Lento (Bailemos)” with Little Mix hit No. 6 (2017); and “Hey DJ” with Yandel hit No. 14 (2017). Their only charting album hit No. 1 on Top Latin Albums (2016).

Why people should listen to their music: “Our music is made to bring the rhythm out in people,” says the band. “We enjoy listening to all genres of music, but music that makes you feel something, music that makes us just want to dance your heart out; now that is good music. So many amazing artists have created music that has made us feel that way while we were growing up. Now it’s our turn to create it, our turn to make people feel it.”

 

Vicente Garcia

Vicente Garcia has a unique music style that combines different Caribbean rhythms. He is currently signed by Sony Music Latin after being an independent artist for many years. Beside competing as best new artist, Vicente Garcia is also nominated in three other categories: album of the year (A la Mar), best tropical song (“Bachata en Kingston”) and best singer songwriter album.

Country: Dominican Republic

Musical influences: Juan Luis GuerraAlejandro Sanz, Cultura Profetica

Biggest milestone: Latin Grammy nominations.

On Billboard charts: Two hits on Latin Pop Airplay: “Como Has Logrado?” hit No. 38 in 2010; and “Mi Balcon” hit No. 27 in 2011.  One hit on Tropical Airplay: “Carmesi” hit No. 15 in Jan. 2017. His album A La Mar hit No. 16 on Latin Pop Albums in Sept. 2016.

Why people should listen to his music: Vicente Garcia’s music represent Dominican Republic and the Caribbean in a different way. “People can live and feel the value of being Dominican,” he tells Billboard. (If you missed his Billboard Live session, click here.)

 

Martina La Peligrosa

Martina La Peligrosa debuted in 2013 with her single “La Peligrosa.” But this year, Martina dropped her first album, Alma Mia, a 11-song set produced by Slow Mike (Chocquibtown) and Jairo Barón. The set showcases her versatility, with Caribbean rhythms and romantic themes that explore different genres so that everyone can identify with them at any stage of love. (See Martina performing for Billboard Live here).

Country: Colombia

Musical inspirationsCarlos Vives and her sister, Adriana Lucia

Biggest milestone: The Latin Grammy nomination.

On Billboard charts: N/A

Why people should listen to her music: “My music is a fresh proposal within what happens in the music industry. I am against the flow but it is very honest,” she says.

 

Mau y Ricky

Sons of the iconic singer/songwriter Ricardo MontanerMau & Ricky have spent almost all their lives on a stage, since they were musicians during many of Montaner’s tours. They officially debuted as a duo in 2011 and got signed with Sony Music Latin in 2015. The siblings are also nominated, as songwriters, in the song of the year category with Ricky Martin’s “Vente Pa’Ca.”

Country: Venezuela

Members: Mauricio Montaner, Ricardo Montaner

Musical inspirations: Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Ricardo Montaner, Ozuna, Vicente Garcia, Post Malone, Alejandro Sanz, Residente

Biggest milestone: When Ricky Martin and Maluma recorded “Vente Pa Ca” and the song became such a success.

On Billboard charts: N/A

Why people should listen to their music: “Because it’s honest and there is depth to it,” Mau & Ricky say.

 

Rawayana

Rawayana is a reggae band which debuted in 2009 with a fresh and ingenuous sound, getting the attention of young Venezuelans. Rawayana describes its genre as trippy-pop by the way that the band mixes different musical formats, but always maintains a very Caribbean sound, with a strong influence of reggae.

Members: Alberto “Beto” Montenegro, Antonio “Tony” Casas, Andrés Story and Alejandro Abeijón

Country: Venezuela

Musical inspirations: Bob Marley, Rubén Blades, Michael Jackson, Simón Díaz, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Miles Davis.

Biggest milestone: Latin Grammy nomination.

On Billboard charts: N/A

Why people should listen their music: “Anyone interested in discovering new music, in this case made with honesty and dedication, will always be cordially invited to listen us,” Rawayana says.

 

Sofia Reyes

Sofia Reyes droppped her first album, Louder!, in February 2017. Reyes was discovered by Bachata singer Prince Royce, who signed her under his label D’León Records, making her the first artist under his charge. Royce partnered with Warner Music Latina in order to support Reyes’ career.

Country: Mexico

Musical inspirations: Whitney Houston, Miguel Bose, Taylor Swift

Biggest milestone: The Latin Grammy nomination.

On Billboard charts: Two hits on Hot Latin Songs: “Muevelo,” featuring Wisin, which peaked at No. 25 in 2015, and “Solo Yo,” with Prince Royce, which peaked at No. 35 in May 2016. One charting album on Top Latin Albums: Louder! hit No. 23 on the chart dated Feb. 25, 2017

Why people should listen to her music: “Because through my music I give a positive message, filled with love,” Sofia Reyes says.

 

Rosalia

Rosalia has revolutionized Latin music with her flamenco style for more than a decade. She knows the tradition of her musical style, but at the same time, she transports it to the contemporary world with an angelic voice tone.

Country: Spain

Musical inspirations: La Niña de los Peines, Sinjin Hawke, Travis Scott, Ligetti, Luis de Victoria, Diego del Gastor, Vybz Kartel, James Blake

Biggest milestone: The Latin Grammy nomination and performing in front of thousands of people at the biggest festival of her city: Bam Fest.

On Billboard charts: N/A

Why people should listen to her music: “The whole world should approach this genre [flamenco] because it is one of the most beautiful and visceral in the world,” says Rosalia.

 

Danay Suarez

Danay Suarez is a 32-year-old singer-songwriter with an Afro-Caribbean musical style, ranging from jazz to hip-hop to traditional Cuban sounds. Danay Suarez is signed with Universal Music Latino Entertainment, and her talent was discovered on her first visit to the United States. Suarez has three other Latin Grammy nominations: album of the year and best alternative album with Manual Words, and best alternative song for “Integrity.”

Country: Cuba

Musical inspirations: God and many artists

Biggest milestone: When she released her first album, Polvo de la Humedad(2014).

On Billboard charts: Palabras Manuales hit No. 11 on Latin Rhythm Albums Sales on the chart dated March 25, 2017. Polvo de la Humedad hit No. 7 on Latin Rhythm Album Sales on the chart dated Nov. 1, 2014.

Why people should listen to her music: “Because I have written words that build, there is no destruction in my mouth or my creative process,” says Danay Suarez.

 

Sebastian Yatra

Sebastian Yatra is a singer/songwriter who was born in Medellín. His career debuted in 2013 after dropping “El Psicólogo,” a pop ballad of his authorship. Sebastian has recorded with many superstars, like Carlos Vives, Wisin, Nacho and OneRepublic, among others.

Country: Colombia

Musical inspirations: His family and Michael Bublé

Biggest milestone: Singing with OneRepublic.

On Billboard charts: Four hits on Hot Latin Songs: “Por Fin Te Encontrél,” with Cali & El Dandee and featuring Juan Magan, hit No. 47 in June 2016; “Traicionera” hit No. 26 in Nov. 2016; “Alguien Robo,” featuring Nacho and Wisin, hit No. 31 in May 2017; and “Robarte un Beso,” with Carlos Vives, hit No. 22 on the chart dated Oct. 14. “Alguien Robo” and “Robarte Un Beso” both peaked at No. 34 on Latin Airplay.

Why people should listen to his music: “People should listen to my music because it comes from my heart,” Sebastian Yatra says.

 

Source: Billboard.com


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