Ozunais on Cloud Nine…
The 27-year-old Puerto Rican reggaeton and Latin trap singer/songwriter was named the Contemporary Latin Songwriter of the Year at the 26th annual BMI Latin Awards.
Ozuna was recognizedfor writing a record-breaking nine of the most-performed Latin songs of 2018, including “Ahora Dice,” “Criminal,” “El Farsante,” “Escápate Conmigo,” “La Modelo,” “La Rompe Corazones,” “Se Preparó,” “Te Boté (Remix)” and “Tu Foto.”
Ozuna attended the night’s festivities and took the stage to accept each one of his nine awards.
Legendary Mexican singer/songwriter Mario Quinteroof Los Tucanes de Tijuana received the BMI President’s Award.
Quintero, who has seen the fortunes of his Tucanes de Tijuana ebb and rise through the years, is in the midst of a major resurgence that includes an appearance at Coachella next month. On Tuesday night, his words of appreciation were mostly to his wife.
“I have few opportunities to recognize her,” he said, admitting he was nervous. “My wife. I call her mi cielo (my heaven). Thank you, mi cielo, for giving me the freedom I need. It’s important to say that when your partner gives you too much freedom, you can make mistakes. But when you give your partner the liberty they need to grow, it’s amazing. And it’s reciprocal.”
Producer Sebastian Krys was honored with the BMI Champion Award. Krys was not only honored for his work as a producer (Elvis Costello, Alejandro Sanz, Carlos Vives, La Santa Cecilia, Luis Fonsi and Enrique Iglesias, among many others), but also for his work as a philanthropist through his Los Producersinitiative — which raises money for multiple music education initiatives — asked songwriters to “dig deeper” in a time of short attention spans.
“You create the raw material on which our culture is based,” he said. “Most of our music does not reflect our truth. I challenge each of you to speak from your truth. We cannot allow popular music to become a version of Instagram. Some people say ‘this is what the labels want’ or ‘this is what the platforms want.’ But as Henry Fordsaid, if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. Be bold, be brave, be real influencers.”
Other winners of the evening included J Balvin, who won Contemporary Latin Song of the Year for “Mi Gente,” and Espinoza Paz, named Regional Mexican Songwriter of the Year for his hits “Ésta Es Tu Canción,” “Las Cosas No Se Hacen Así” and “Ojalá Que Me Olvides.” Omar Robles won Regional Mexican Song of the Year for “El Color de Tus Ojos.”