How Anuel AA is riding the surge of Latin music to the top of the charts and beyond
You don’t need stats and numbers to notice the growing popularity of Latin music, just turn on the radio or your favorite streaming platform. In 2019 alone, Latin music accounted for $ 296 million in revenue according to the Recording Industry Association of America and in 2020, seven of the 10 most listened to artists on YouTube were Latin artists.
One such artist is Puerto Rican rapper and Latin Trap sound pioneer, Anuel AA. Anuel joined the recent Yahoo! Event Celebrate Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month to discuss the evolution of the genre and how he’s used social media to go beyond just being another rapper.
In July 2018, Anuel AA released his first album, “Real Hasta la Muerte ”, the day he was released from a sentence of more than 2 years in prison for possession of firearms. After months on the Billboard charts in 2019, he released the song “China,” a collaboration with other Latin artists Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna and J Balvin. The popularity of the worldwide success resulted in Latin Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Record of the Year and solidified her place among the best Latin artists.
“It’s really big. And since the whole story has influenced me a lot, it’s super important. Because right now Spanish music is one of the music that everyone listens to the most in the world.
Leila Cobo, vice president / head of Latin industry at Billboard and author of “Decode Despacito” was also a guest at the Yahoo! event and knows that it’s not just the music that made Anuel AA one of the biggest stars on the planet in just two years. “I think he’s an artist, he’s an excellent example, of an artist who knows how to use his social networks, first of all to connect with his fans who are very connected to his social networks. And then he also likes, you know, he likes to be a social media provocateur.
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted almost all live music shows, events and festivals, some artists have successfully taken to social media to engage with their fans. With the explosion of social media apps like Tik Tok impacting the total song count of artists, those who have successfully reached their demographics have seen their popularity skyrocket, including Anuel.
“Yes, everything has changed suddenly since the pandemic struck. Like, yeah, the whole, all the music. Everything that was has now changed. Tik Tok counts as streams, everything has been really different. And a lot of people have adapted very quickly. It hurt a lot of people too but a lot of people adapted quickly, you already know that. So, how I like I like I like it, because in order to keep growing we have to keep evolving. And so I like it.
Now at the top of his industry, as his music continues to break records and destroy old beliefs about the genre’s boundaries, Anuel has no intention of slowing down. Seeing his success in the charts as simply a building block to creating something beyond just music.
“I just work by trying to influence the streets in the best possible way. Like me, I never had a model. So really, I’m really focusing on that. I really focus not only on being a great rapper, but on being a great, great company. So it’s something that step by step, I go through it, we do it little by little, it’s going to be a big influence for the streets.