One of the most important narratives in contemporary pop has been the emergence of Latin music as a potent commercial force in the United States. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of Spanish-language entries on the Hot 100 jumped from a mere four to 19. So far this year, there have been at least 16 more charting singles. After years of calling up English-language acts and trying to convince them to collaborate, veteran A&Rs in the Latin music industry can now enjoy being chased by Anglo artists desperate for a streaming boost.
But some industry figures are concerned that Latin pop’s gains are too heavily concentrated in just one area — what’s known as “urban” music, which primarily encompasses reggaeton and trap. As songs in this space rack up stream counts in the billions and labels follow that money, some fear that other Spanish-language music genres will no longer be seen as profitable and may become niche products, abandoned by the mainstream.
“It’s a conversation I hear everywhere, but especially in the U.S.,” says Juan Paz, a former major label employee who now works with Trending Tropics, Monsieur Periné and Superlitio, none of whom adhere to the standard urban sound. “Even Mexico — which used to be a pop and rock market for a long time — is turning into an urban market. When everything becomes a monoculture, it’s dangerous for the sake of artistry.”
Some industry figures believe that a trickle-down mechanism will gradually assert itself. “Urban-leaning tracks are driving Latin music, but as Latin music has started to cross over and artists like Bad Bunny and Balvin have started to break barriers, it’s opening the door for other artists to come up and have the opportunity to shine with music that’s not necessarily urban,” says Roc Nation’s Borrero.
The primary example presented as evidence of the trickle-down theory right now is Rosalía, the Spanish singer praised for her revisionist approach to flamenco: In the U.S., it’s hard to imagine her getting support from, for example, Apple Music without the initial breakthroughs of various reggaeton and trap artists. But despite all the praise Rosalía has earned for her new album, El Mal Querer, it has not yet become a streaming success on par with many of the trap or reggaeton records, and it is most definitely not on the radio.
Welcome to our Spanish I Distance-Learning Class! ¡Bienvenidos a Nuestra Clase de Español I!
Today's lesson: Learning Targets:
I can explain what a cognate is in English.
I can analyze and interpret Spanish cognates for their English meanings.
I can compare slight differences in Spanish cognates with their English counterparts.
1) Click on the link to access valuable information about our class!
2) If you've not already received a copy of our class syllabus, you can access it here by clicking on the appropriate class. Be sure to take the time to read over and highlight pertinent info.
3) Words that are similar and have the same meaning in two languages are called "Cognates." They help us negotiate our way around the meanings of words in another language. Write that word and definition into your notes for future use.
When you have the ability to understand and speak another language, you have the potential to help people like a superhero! How does it feel to be a superhero-in-the-making? To be a true superhero, you need a superhero name! Let's see if we can find yours and discover some Spanish words you already know, at the same time.
4) Click on the link below. Read over the words in each column, and on the back
Looking over your Superhero Name sheet. Please respond in an email with the following:
Which words in the columns are easy for you to understand? Why?
Please list at least 5 from each column
Which words in the columns are difficult for you to understand, because they are so different to English? Please list at least 5 from each column.
Using Google translate, look up the meanings of any words you are unsure about, and write the word and its definition in your email.
Type in your first and last names. Then, based on the first initial of your first name, and the last initial of your last name, type in what your Superhero Spanish name would be. Then write it's English meaning.
Type in your best friend's first and last names. Then, based on the first initial of your first name, and the last initial of your last name, type in what your Superhero Spanish name would be. Then write it's English meaning.
In your own words, explain what a cognate is and give me your two favorite examples, from this handout.