Latin music is often misunderstood since it’s hard to pin down. With such a broad range of music, it’s a challenge to sufficiently define the genre. Recently we asked some of our favorite OurStage Latin artists to share their views a few topics that are important to the genre. We talked to Bergman Pazs, Gio Vanne from Orbita and David Rolas and discussed the state of Latin music, their personal inspirations, and the hardest question of all: What is “Latin?” Read on to see what some of these awesome OS músicos had to say.
OS: Do you feel that Latin artists and bands (mainstream or otherwise) are underrepresented in the media, or do you think that they are showcased appropriately given the audience who enjoys these artists most?
BP: Latin artists in this great country face this [issue] and more, but it’s very understandable. This country was founded under the English language. Yes, it would be useless to advertise them to an audience that doesn’t understand Spanish.
GV: I think that Latin Artists in general, they already have an audience in [the] USA in almost all genres… The biggest problem is that most of these artists/bands are only featured with big label companies which means that there is not given opportunity for new talent (like indie bands or independent artists.) There is a lot of underground/unknown talent out there, [and] it’s so sad that the Latin Grammys and all the other big events (Premios Juventud, or Latin Billboard ) ONLY put the mainstream bands, artists and groups. I hope that some day an event will come out and support all the unsigned /indie artists. We really need an event like that.
In terms of non-Spanish speaking audiences, I don’t think it really matters what language is the music you are playing or hearing, as long the music sounds good. Music is the best translator. Manu Chao, Fabulosos Cadillacs, Pitbull, etc…
DR: I think that Latin music is an international genre and you’d be surprised who listens to our music. We have a very vast audience (i.e. Anglo, Afro-American, Asian, European). And as far as underrepresented…I think we are. It would be nice to get a little bit more exposure than we do. We should get the same attention that other artists get.
OS: In your own music do you find yourself drawing inspiration more from traditional Latin styles and musicians that have been around longer, or from more modern sounds?
BP: Both; I’m sure most Latin artists grew up listening to Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bon Jovi, ToTo, Bob Dylan etc. etc., as well as many folk-Latin artists. You can start with a composition based on a Latin style but switch or twitch it to a modern style.