Spotify Developing Original Audio Programming for the U.S. Latino Podcast Audience

Spotify is investing in Latinx voices…

The Swedish digital music service has created a team to develop original audio programming for the growing U.S. Latino podcast audience.

Spotify

Spotify, which over the last two years has made a sizeable investment into non-music audio formats like podcasting, will work with Latinx creators to produce both English- and Spanish-language programming.

Javier Piñol, who for the last two years has served as head of studios for Spotify in Latin America, will lead the group.

“As we continue to grow we want to make sure we’re developing content that is relevant to our audiences. Our mission is to bring the U.S. Latinx consumer the streaming access they want and need, all in one place,” said Courtney Holt, global head of studios and video for Spotify.

Latinos represent 18 percent of the U.S. population, or more than 60 million people, and they are listening to podcasts more than ever before. A quarter of Latinos age 18 and up in the U.S. have listened to a podcast in the last month, according to an Edison Research report published June 30. The report also found that the majority of Latinos started listening to podcasts within the last year.  

As a global platform, Spotify has invested in podcasts for Latin American markets, including Fausto and Se Regalan Dudas in Mexico and Café da Manhã in Brazil. Earlier this year, reggaeton artist J Balvinreleased the original podcast Made in Medellín, promoting the six-episode series during his Super Bowl halftime performance alongside Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

“We have seen our podcast content consumption grow in Latin America, and now, we’re focusing on giving the U.S. Latin market well deserved attention as the best destination to consume relevant Latin podcasts,” added Holt. Spotify is already in business with digital creator and singer Lele Pons, who is developing a podcast for its platform.

Spotify reaches 286 million monthly users in 79 countries. The company has 130 million subscribers to its ad-free service. In addition to expanding its podcast programing in the U.S., the company is also beginning to bring local versions of its originals to other markets, per a Reuters report. It is starting with scripted series Sandra, which will get adaptations in countries including France and Mexico.

J Balvin Releases Animated Video for “Negro” Single

J Balvin is going back to black… 

After releasing music videos for his colorful singles like “Rojo” and “Azul,” the 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer and aspiring fashion designer has released the new animated video for “Negro.”

j-balvin-negro

In the video, J Balvin, who designed a collection inspired by his new album for Guess, is accompanied by the baddest girl in town and his sidekick dinosaurs as he roams the streets of a post-apocalyptic-like world.

Directed by Colin Tilley, the cryptic video released today finds J Balvin trying to take over the empty streets of a Gotham City-inspired town. Although his crew seems to conquer and outnumber any rival, J Balvin is met by the ultimate ruler, a T-Rex who swallows J Balvin whole in one roar.

With the release of “Negro,” all songs but one on his Colores album have a video. While it’s not clear if there will be a video to “Arcoíris,” the Colombian star posted on his social media “closing the chapter on Colores” announcing the release of “Negro.”

“The goal was to create different content that would really stand out and that the reggaetón world hadn’t really seen before,” says director Tilley about the videos. “Jose is just the definition of a true collaborator. My goal was for every video that drops for it to up the previous one. If we’re not doing that, then we’re not doing our job and there’s no point of releasing every single video.”

Yeison Jimenez Signs With Vibras Lab for Global Representation

Yeison Jimenez has a vibrant future…

The 28-year-old Colombian singer has signed with Vibras Lab, the management company headed by J Balvin co-manager Fabio Acosta, for global representation.  

Yeison-Jimenez-

Jiménez, signed to Sony Colombia, is one of the leaders in the country’s burgeoning “Música popular,” or popular music movement, the name given locally to Colombia’s take on regional Mexican music.

“Colombia is a trend-setter in music, and música popular, as they call the genre in Colombia, has seen huge growth there in the past year,” says Acosta. “Yeison is a leader in that genre and he has the potential to be one of those Colombian artists who are very successful with another genre, as happened with reggaetón and artists from Medellín.”

The deal with Vibras, says Acosta, will allow Jiménez to expand in other territories. 

Already, the singer/songwriter has more than 400,000 followers on Spotify

Jiménez’s music is an example of how regional genres morph. Although he’s rooted in Mexican norteño and mariachi sounds, he also adds tropical music and the traditional acoustic guitar of Colombian popular music from the countryside for a unique blend of sounds.

Jiménez joins a Vibras roster that also includes Colombian Manuel Medrano, Argentine rapper Cazzu, J Balvin and newly signed Matt Paris.

J Balvin Partners with Deepak Chopra for Free Bilingual 21-day Meditation Experience

J Balvin is spreading a little zen

The 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer, who has long championed the benefits of meditation, has partnered with Deepak Chopra to launch an all-new, free 21-day mediation experience.

J Balvin

Renew Yourself: Body, Mind & Spirit, is an audio experience featuring guided mediations, storytelling and self-care wisdom from J Balvin and Chopra. 

The program, which can be accessed at choprameditation or by downloading the app, is available in Spanish and English. It’s comprised of daily 20-minute sessions that begin with “guided wisdom and storytelling” from J Balvin, followed by a meditation session.

This is the latest installment of Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Experience, which he launched with Oprah Winfrey in 2013. The franchise currently features 17 programs.  

J Balvin has spoken openly about his struggles with depression and how meditation has served as a powerful tool to combat it.

“What makes mental health universal is that it doesn’t discriminate. It affects all of us. I have struggled with anxiety. I have been depressed. Meditation is one of the many ways that I have dealt with my mental health,” said J Balvin in a statement. “And that goes especially for this moment we’re currently experiencing: where money is so tight for many; health is such a question mark on a global level; and the fight for racial justice is more urgent than ever. When our world is in flux, our mental wellbeing is often one of the first things we neglect. But this should not be the case. In fact, it’s in times like these that mindfulness can help us most. This is personal for me.”

“The world is offering us a reset and J Balvin is the perfect partner to help us reach a critical mass of expanded global awareness,” adds Chopra.

Shakira to Take Part in Global Citizen’s “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future – The Concert”

Shakirais going global…

Global Citizen and the European Commission have joined forces for Global Goal: Unite for Our Future – The Concert, with the43-year-oldColombian singer-songwriter set to perform.

Shakira

Dwayne Johnson will host the event, which will take place on Saturday, June 27. 

The Concertwill be televised worldwide and digitally streamed special that will highlight the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on marginalized communities.

In addition to Shakira, The Concertwill feature performances from Jennifer HudsonChloe x HalleChristine and the QueensColdplayJ BalvinJustin Bieber and Quavo, Miley CyrusUsher and Yemi Alade

In addition, there will be appearances from Billy PorterCharlize TheronChris Rock, David BeckhamDerrick JohnsonDiane KrugerForest WhitakerHugh JackmanKen JeongKerry Washington,Nikolaj Coster-WaldauOlivia ColmanOpal TometiSalma Hayek PinaultAntoni Porowski and more.

“Global Citizens around the world are calling for systemic change, change that brings about justice for everyone, everywhere, regardless of where they were born or the colour of their skin,” said Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen. “If we are to end COVID-19 for all, we need our world leaders to commit the billions of dollars needed to develop and equitably deliver testing, treatments and vaccines. Global Goal: Unite for Our Future – The Concertwill bring the centuries-old concept of music as a motivator for change and unity, together with science and data, to honour the problem solvers – including doctors, scientists, lab workers, essential workers and human rights advocates – who are racing to not only create the cure for COVID-19, but also to ensure that it’s available for everyone who needs it.”

The Concertwill air on broadcasters across the globe including ARD,Canal+ GroupRTVE in Europe, Bell Media, CBCCitytv, and Global TV, in Canada, NBC and iHeartMedia in the U.S.,Grupo Globo in Brazil, MultiChoice Group and SABC in Africa, Fuji TV and Star India in Asia, and Channel Nine in Australia. 

The Concert will also be streamed on global platforms. 

The virtual broadcast will celebrate innovators, scientists, health workers, activists and organizations working to develop and distribute COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines to everyone, everywhere who need them.

The Concertfollows Global Goal: Unite for Our Future—The Summit, a global pledging moment where world leaders, corporations and philanthropists will announce new commitments to help develop equitable distribution of COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines, as well as rebuild communities devastated by the pandemic. 

The Summit will feature panel discussions and interviews moderated by journalists Katie CouricMallika KapurMorgan RadfordIsha Sesay and Keir Simmons. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Miley Cyrus, Angelique Kidjo and Ken Jeong will join the conversation as well as experts including Brittany Packnett CunninghamMelinda GatesDr. Vin GuptaNAACP President Derrick Johnson, Executive Director of UN WomenPhumzile Mlambo-NgcukaEddie NdopuAbiola OkeKate Upton and Justin Verlander.

J Balvin Teams Up with Guess for Collection Inspired by Latest Album “Colores”

J Balvin is bring hiscoloresto (fashion) Life…

The 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer has joined forced with GUESS to launch a Colores-inspired collection for men, women and kids. 

J Balvin x Guess Colores Collection

The multi-color, tie-dye collection includes cropped hooded sweatshirts, swimwear, bodysuits, joggers and J Balvin’s signature matching two-piece tracksuits.

It’s the second time J Balvin collaborates with GUESS to design a clothing collection. 

Last year, he launched a Vibras-themed campaign with 90’s Miami-inspired designs and ready-to-wear accessories.

“What was interesting this time around compared to last time is that we really got to work with him from the inception of the album,” says Nicolai Marciano, director of brand partnerships at GUESS. “I knew he was working on an album before it was called Coloresand once it became Colores, we started working on the creative process and so as we were designing the collection as he was creating the album.”

J Balvin x Guess Colores Collection

“Everything about the collection really represents him and how he feels and the energy he likes to put out. It’s been great to see it come together in an ideal working situation with an artist. We were really able to find the balance between what he wanted and what made sense for us as a brand,” says Marciano.

A standout design is a Colombia-inspired print jacket, shorts and a bucket hat.

J Balvin x Guess Colores Collection

“It’s an idea one of our designers pitched. The photos [on the print] are a collection of different images from around Colombia mixing architecture, agriculture, landscape and kind of just really displaying the different elements that make up Colombia,” explains Marciano. “We were able to use this interesting nylon fabric that showed a lot of saturation of colors where it feels very like alive so it was interesting to see how it was put together. We were all very impressed with the end result.”

The new Colores-inspired collection is now available online.

Anitta Signs Recording Deal with Warner Records

Anitta is ready to breakthrough in the United States…

The 27-year-old Brazilian singer, a massive star in Latin America, has signed a recording contract with Warner Records. And she’s eyeing the release of a multilingual debut, to be produced by Ryan Tedder, in the U.S. later this year. 

Anitta

Anitta fuses elements of reggaetón, bossa nova, R&B, hip-hop, EDM and funk carioca to create her own unique musical blend. 

She’s previously collaborated with the likes of Miley CyrusBecky GJ BalvinKaty PerryDavid Guetta and P. Diddy.

Already a star in her native Brazil — where Anitta is the most streamed artist — and beyond, Anitta’s digital profile includes 47 million Instagram followers, nearly 5 billion YouTube views, in addition to more than 14 million YouTube subscribers, and 6.5 billion cumulative Spotif ystreams. 

She has been nominated for five Latin Grammys and has won 6 MTV EMAs. She was set to perform at Coachellaand Rock In Riothis year before the COVID-19pandemic caused the cancellation of both.

“I’m so excited to join the U.S. Warner Records team,” said Anitta, who is based in Rio de Janeiro. “It’s the most important moment in my career. Now, I can show more about my art and culture to the world internationally. I can’t wait for everyone to hear all the new music I’ve been working on, which will be a fresh blend of both Spanish and English.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with the global Warner Music Latin team to bring Anitta’s incredible music to the U.S. and beyond. Anitta is truly unlike any artist we’ve ever experienced,” said Aaron Bay-Schuck and Tom Corson, co-chairmen of Warner Records. “ She’s not only an extraordinary musical talent, but is a blazing creative force, an electrifying performer and a true cultural phenomenon.”

Rosalía Makes First Chart Visit on Billboard Hot 100 with Travis Scott Collaboration, “TKN”

It’s a special first for Rosalía

The 26-year-old Grammy-winning Spanish singer has notched her first chart visit on the Billboard Hot 100, as her Travis Scott collaboration “TKN” arrives at No. 66 on the all-genre chart dated June 13.

Rosalia

Additionally, Rosalia and Scott’s new single debuts at No. 2 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.

The dembow-infused tune with a trap beat was co-produced by both acts with El GuinchoSky RompiendoTainy and Teo Halm. It was released May 28 via Columbia Records.

“TKN” lands on both charts mostly on the strength of streaming activity. The bilingual track collected 7.3 million U.S. clicks in the week ending June 4, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, which yields a No. 1 debut on the Latin Streaming Songs chart.

“TKN” also registered 5,000 downloads in the week ending May 4, and debuts at No. 1 on the Latin Digital Song Sales chart. It’s the second No. 1 for Rosalia on that list, and first for Scott.

“TKN” marks the highest charting title for Rosalia on Hot Latin Songs. She previously ranked as high as No. 12 with “Yo X Ti, Tú x Mi” with Ozuna (January 11-dated tally), and with her first chart entry, “Con Altura” with J Balvin and El Guincho (chart dated June 29, 2019). 

“TKN” is the pair’s second team-up. Their first collaboration arrived through the remix of Scott’s Hot 100 No. 1 “Highest in the Room,” which also features Lil Baby.

J Balvin Among Latin Artists Speaking Out About Police Brutality in Latin America

J Balvin is among the Latino artists speaking out about police brutality in Latin America

As protests spread across the United States demanding racial justice following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, the 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer and fellowLatin music artists are also breaking their silence on Anderson Arboleda, a young black man who recently died at the hands of police in Colombia.

J Balvin

On May 19, Arboleda, a 19-year-old man of Afro-descent, was allegedly beaten outside his home by local police officers for breaking the quarantine curfew. 

He was reportedly hit multiple times on the head with a baton and tear-gassed, according to his mother Claudia Arboleda, reports El Tiempo. Arboleda, who aspired to become a soldier of the Military Police and sold face masks in his town, was pronounced dead due to brain death on May 20 at Valle del Lili clinic in Cali.

Arboleda’s story came to light in a tweet by ChocQuibTown’s Goyo (real name: Gloria Martinez), just days after a video of Floyd’s death surfaced showing police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck. 

“Racism is when police murder a young negro in Puerto Tejada supposedly for failing to comply with the quarantine. And this isn’t reported by big media outlets. Is this not enough to outrage a country?”

J Balvin Post

https://www.instagram.com/p/CA_onNlHU1a/

In an Instagram post, J Balvins hared Arboleda’s story and publicly asked for justice. “One of the things that doesn’t let me sleep at night is injustice and that’s why I ask for Anderson Arboleda’s death to be investigated,” he expressed. “I raise a voice of protest and justice […] there is also racism here [in Colombia] and that is why I want to denounce it.”

El Tiempo reports that commander of the Cauca police, Colonel Rosemberg Novoa, is investigating the case.

Outside of the U.S., the recent death of Arboleda brings to the forefront the seriousness of police brutality and racism around the world. 

In Mexico, activists and artists like Alejandro Fernandez and Salma Hayek, are also demanding justice for Giovanni Lopez, who was recently allegedly tortured and killed by police in Jalisco, Mexico for not wearing a mask that was also caught on video.

With the world taking notice of cases of racism and police brutality, artists have taken to social media to condemn the acts and demand justice for the families of the victims.

Bad Bunny’s “Los Que No Iban a Salir” Headed for No. 1 Debut on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums Chart

Bad Bunny  could be his own usurpador

The 26-year-old Puerto Rican Latin trap and reggaeton singer is looking to replace himself at No. 1, again, on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. 

Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny’s surprise release Las Que No Iban a Salircould register more than 40,000 equivalent album units in the week ending May 14, according to industry forecasters. 

If it starts as projected, the new album (LQNIAS) will bump his own YHLQMDLGfrom the top spot on the tally next week, where it’s held the pole position for 10 straight weeks since its debut at No. 1 on the chart dated March 14.

The Top Latin Albums chart ranks the most popular Latin albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which comprises traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). 

Las Que No Iban a Salirdropped without warning in the mid-afternoon on Sunday, May 10, so it will only have about four-and-a-half days of activity before the tracking week’s end on May 14. (Most new releases tend to drop on Friday each week, the first day of the tracking week. Bad Bunny has bucked this trend repeatedly with his earlier albums, opting to release them at varying times of the week.)

Assuming Las Que No Iban a Salir starts at No. 1 on Top Latin Albums, it will replace Bad Bunny’s own YHLQMDLG at the top. 

It would not the first time Bad Bunny has replaced himself at No. 1. WhenYHLQMDLG debuted at No. 1, it bumped X 100PRE from the top. And, whenJ Balvin and Bad Bunny teamed up for the Oasis collaborative album, it opened at No. 1 on July 13, 2019, replacing X 100PRE.

Bad Bunny’s new 10-track album is effectively a compilation of previously unfinished songs. 

The set includes, amusingly, simple-named songs like “Canción Con Yandel” with Yandel, and “Bad Con Nicky” with Nicky Jam.

Most of the first-week activity for Bad Bunny’s album will come via streaming services. (There are no merchandise/album bundles in play as of May 12.) The album has proven to be so popular out of the gate with streamers, that, according to Apple Music, it became the first Latin album to reach the top of Apple Music’s Top Albums tally. Apple Music’s Top Albums ranking ranks the most streamed albums within the service at any given point in time.