Victoria La Mala & Chiquis Team Up for Women’s Empowerment Anthem “Sexo Debil (TNMDQH)”

Victoria La Mala is empowering women with her latest single…

The Mexican singer has teamed up with Chiquis, whom she met about six years ago, for their first-ever collaboration “Sexo Debil (TNMDQH).”

Victoria La Mala & Chiquis

“I wrote the song a couple of years ago with Claudia Brant,” La Mala tells Billboard. “I was holding on to it for a while because I loved it so much and it meant so much to me.”

“Sexo Debil (TNMDQH),” short for “tu no me dices que hacer” is a Western-tinged corrido that fuses to an infectious cumbia melody towards the middle. It’s an anthem to remind women that they are in no shape or form the weakest sex.

“Every word we wrote was something that was told to me,” she adds. “I wanted to let women feel that they are empowered, have control of their lives and that they can do whatever they want.”

For the track, La Mala reeled in Latin Grammy winner, Chiquis, because “she’s such a strong woman and she’ll be able to relate.”

“Us women who are in this industry understand how hard it can be and the discrimination that happens,” Chiquis notes. “I love what Victoria did on this song because it comes from the heart. She’s really embracing who she is, she’s hip-hop, she’s Regional, she’s a little bit of everything and I love that she did something different. This song gives women power and reminds them that they can do whatever they want.”

In the music video, both Mexican artists are just as unapologetic and fierce as the track.

“I’m obsessed with this video! We had so much fun and I think it reflects that,” La Mala says. “I wanted to do this whole late ‘90s, early ‘00s aesthetic because I grew up with that. We filmed it in a day and we got to hang out with each other and let loose.”

With the release of “Sexo Debil,” part of Soy Mala EP coming out on May 5th, both La Mala and Chiquis hope to encourage more and more women in Regional Mexican to collaborate.

“Why can’t we get together the way Becky G and Natti [Natasha] collab? I want that in our genre so now it’s happening and hopefully it keeps on going,” Chiquis expresses.

“We’re the generation that’s doing it!” La Mala agrees. “There’s space to support all the women and grow together. We’re more unstoppable that way.”

Neto Bernal Releases New Version of Luis Miguel-Hit “Hasta Que Me Olvides”

Neto Bernal isn’t forgetting an iconic hit… He’s reimagining it!

The 23-year-old Mexican Regional Mexican music newcomer has released “Hasta Que Me Olvides,” his sierreño version of Luis Miguel’s 1993 hit written by Juan Luis Guerra.

Neto Bernal

The heartfelt track, on which Bernal beautifully flaunts his powerhouse vocals, is the lead single from Bernal’s new EP of the same name.

The set is home to six tracks, including the mariachi version of “Si Quieres” in collaboration with Carolina Ross.

Eden Muñoz and Salvador Aponte also worked on the project as composers.

An emotional music video shows Neto and his onscreen girlfriend get in a car accident and stay by each other’s sides during the recovery. 

Mon Laferte Releases New Regional Mexican Album “Seis”

Mon Laferte is changing things up for her next album…

The 37-year-old Chilean singer and songwriter wrote her sixth album, Seis, while hunkered down in the pueblo mágico Tepoztlán, nearly two hours south of Mexico City.

Mon Laferte 

Mon Laferte started writing it a month after the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed.

“I was like everyone else, just filled with uncertainty,” she tells Billboard. “So I clung onto my music and my guitar because I thought, if the world ends, I at least want people to know how I was feeling.”

It’s the first album in which she sings regional Mexican (banda, corridos tumbados, mariachi) music in homage to the country she’s live in for the past 14 years. In it, she doesn’t hold back while singing about toxic relationships, past and future loves, and the love she has for her mother and other women.

“The entire writing process was very solitary, bleak and melancholic … it was nights of just me and my guitar, drinking mezcal, with the crickets in the background,” she adds.

Lupillo Rivera Signs Record & Management Deal with Z Records

Lupillo Rivera has a time-ly new deal

The 48-year-old Mexican-American singer-songwriter has signed a record and management deal with Regional Mexican indie label Z Records in partnership with Rancho Humilde, according to Billboard.

Lupillo Rivera

“I’ve always had a high respect for George Prajin (Z Records CEO),” says Rivera. “I’ve worked with him and his family since the 90s. They are the ones that helped us launch our record label in Huntington Park in California and they were the only ones selling our music in their records stores. I said why not give him a chance. We’ve never had an issue working together. There’s a lot of respect there from his family to my family.”

Under the new deal, the corridos singer will also launch and host the interview-style show Época Pesada on Z Records’ YouTube channel. The idea is “to interview artists from the 90s and put the 90s music back and its artists on the map,” Rivera adds. “The kids listening to the new stuff are also listening to 90s regional Mexican music but I don’t think they know who the artists are. So, let’s put ourselves out there.”

To keep the momentum going, the chart-topping artist, previously signed to Linea Music, will also release multiple albums throughout the year including a duets record, a 90s-inspired set and a tribute album to mariachi titan Vicente Fernández.

“It’s an honor to welcome the great Lupillo Rivera to our roster of artists,” Prajin says, whose Z Records’ lineup includes Leonel El Ranchero,” Jorge Gamboa and El Chalinillo, among others. “In his 20-year career, I’ve had the privilege of being his friend and have worked with him on multiple occasions. Lupillo is one of the most influential artists in regional Mexican, his music has transcended frontiers and he’s made valuable contributions to the genre.”

Jimmy Humilde, founder of Rancho Humilde, will also co-produce Época Pesada set to go live February 17. “In 2021, Rancho Humilde is committed to take all its artists to the next level and Lupillo Rivera’s arrival to the group’s talent is a testament to that,” Humilde says.

Snoop Dogg will be the first guest on the show. “I don’t think Snoop remembers me but we were in the same class in Long Beach Polytechnic and it was fun hanging out with that guy in class,” Rivera says. “I’m going to remind him of all the stupidities we did in class. It was fun, we were high school students so imagine what we were doing over there. He’s going to trip out. It’s going to be great.”

Other artists confirmed to be a guest on the show include El Aleman, Jorge Gamboa, Voces del Rancho, Chalinillo and B-Real.

“I think that it’s a big responsibility to make all of this work because Z Records is putting everything behind me. I’m going to try my best with the music and the show and make it work no matter what,” adds Rivera.

Natalia Jiménez Signs with Sergio Lizárraga’s Management & Booking Company LM Events

Natalia Jiménez has new representation…

The 39-year-old Spanish singer-songwriter, who is beloved in Mexico, has signed a management and booking deal with LM Events, the management and booking company headed by Banda MS manager and founder Sergio Lizárraga, according to Billboard.

Natalia Jiménez

The move marks the first time in recent memory that such a prominent pop act enters a management agreement with a company that specializes in the Regional Mexican market. The deal underscores how fluid and collaborative genres have become in Latin music, with the former demarcated lines between sounds and formats, and now business, increasingly fading.

“He [Lizárraga] has been a pioneer of the genre with Banda MS, taking them to international success, and he’s proven his mettle by remaining relevant in a very difficult industry,” Jiménez tells Billboard. “I think it’s a fascinating challenge and I’m 100% vested in this pairing.”

Jiménez rose to prominence as the lead singer of hit Spanish pop group La Quinta Estación. Since launching her solo career in 2011, she’s placed three albums on the top 10 of Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart and six songs on the Hot Latin Songs chart, including No. 1 “Lo mejor de mi vida eres tú” with Ricky Martin.

And for the past decade, Lizárraga’s Banda MS has been one of the top groups in Latin music, in any genre, with 19 top-10 hits on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart.  They are also Mexico’s top-touring banda act and ended 2018 as the country’s most streamed act on Spotify. Last year, the band made history by pairing up with Snoop Dogg in the hit track “Que Maldición.” The fusion track marked the first time a major Mexican banda collaborated with a major American rap act, and landed both acts their first top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs track.

However, signing Jiménez or bridging pop and Mexican music, wasn’t something that Lizárraga was actively looking for. He and Jiménez met in 2019 when the singer and the group recorded a new version of “El Color de Tus Ojos,” a Banda MS hit, as part of Jiménez’s album México de mi Corazón, an homage to Mexican music that featured prominent acts from different genres.

Jiménez wanted to record the track with the full band, so Lizárraga invited her to their home base of Mazatlán to record in his studio. There was a feeling of mutual respect, and last year, Jiménez called Lizárraga and asked if he’d be interested in handling her. “I was surprised at first; I wasn’t sure whether to take her seriously,” says Lizárraga. “Then, we met and I took it very seriously indeed. I know it’s a different genre, but in the end, it’s the music business and a lot of things overlap.”

Lizárraga is widely seen as one of Mexican music’s most successful executives. He helms Banda MS’s label, Lizos Music, launched in 2013, and also opened up LM Events as a management and booking subsidiary for the band and other groups.

“We have a lot of plans [with Natalia],” he says. “I have great songwriters in my team, and she can sing rancheras, mariachis, ballads, which is our expertise. I’m giving her a huge team to work with, in every department, and I’m bringing my honesty, which is flag. Finally, I plan to devote myself entirely to her new music.” Jiménez’s upcoming album is México de Mi Corazón 2, which will be produced by Armando Ávila, who worked on the first set.

She continues to be signed to Sony Music Latin, which also has a close relationship with Banda MS; the label was in charge of distributing and marketing the Snoop Dogg collaboration.

“This is a new and fascinating direction for me, particularly because regional Mexican music is the genre I’m most enjoying right now,” said Jiménez. “This is a woman who, musically speaking can sing anything, in any genre. I definitely feel the pressure,” laughs Lizárraga. “But I like a good challenge.”

Jiménez was previously signed to Westwood Entertainment, the company that manages Carlos Rivera and Reik, among others.

Eslabon Armado’s “Vibras de Noche” Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums Chart

There are plenty of good vibes for Eslabon Armado…

The Mexican-American trio’s latest album Vibras de Noche has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart dated August 1.

Eslabon Armado

Eslabon Armado’s sophomore album becomes the second title by a Regional Mexican act to debut atop the chart in 2020. 

Vibras de Noche opens with 23,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending July 23, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Of the set’s starting count, 1,000 were in album sales and the bulk of the remainder attributed to streams. The set earns 2020’s biggest week for a regional Mexican album in terms of overall units.

Top Latin Albums ranks the most popular Latin albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Vibras de Noche is a special project for us,” 18-year-old Pedro Tovar, lead vocalist and composer of the group, tells Billboard. “Production wise, it meant a great effort as it we were super demanding in defining the sound we were looking for. We loved the result, that new zest we are infusing little by little in regional Mexican music.”

In addition to Pedro, the group is also comprised of Brian Tovar and Gabriel Hidalgo.