What is Latinx music? – Impact Magazine
Emily explores the scope of the term “Latinx” and its variations in this exciting fusion of genres.
When I first volunteered to write this article, I didn’t fully realize what I had gotten myself into. An article on “The Rise of Latinx Music”, I thought I would just be talking about songs that my friends, family and neighbors knew that came from “Latinx” artists. You know those: there is one that starts with D and ends with O by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi, and then there was also Reggaeton Lento originally by CNCO, later reissued when they collaborated with Little Mix. Enrique Iglesias will always be our hero and Shakira made sure our hips don’t lie. Still, I hit a barrier once I started to delve deeper into this genre: what should I classify as Latinx?
“Each genre has different rhythms as well as different instruments.”
The term “Latino / a / x” generally refers to those who reside in Latin America. We also need to recognize the problems with using the term “Latinx” exclusively to describe music that comes from Latin American countries, as there are so many different genres in this umbrella term. Each genre has different rhythms as well as different instruments.
There is the popular dance genre, salsa, which has roots in Cuba and typically uses a lot of portable percussion, horns, and strings, while Mexico’s corrido is a kind of narrative folk music that strongly emphasizes emphasis on guitars. Then there are also the hybrid genres like mambo (Cuba), which merges swing and jazz music, and boogaloo, which highlights the often overlooked African roots of Latin America stemming from the slave trade. This genre merges African-American beats with blues, soul and even a bit of mambo, creating a rather hoarse but fun and energetic sound. More recently, the hybrid genre of reggaeton, whose roots began in Panama, has become popular on the Western popular music charts which merges hip hop, ballroom and Caribbean music.
“This causes Spanish musicians to be incorrectly categorized as ‘Latinx music’ as well.
Now that we have identified the scope of the umbrella term “Latinx music,” we need to identify why so many different rhythms and countries have been lumped into one. That reason is: they all use the Spanish language. This connection is, again, problematic, as it causes Spanish musicians to be incorrectly categorized as “Latinx music” as well.
One of the most famous examples of misleading cultural labeling is Enrique Iglesias. Spanish is derived from Latin, so it is always fair for him to be considered the king of Latin pop, but not Latin pop, as Iglesia is from Madrid, Spain.
More recently, Rosalía Vila Tobella, better known as Rosalía, has also been classified as Latina. The successful singles singer A Pale and Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi, became a hot topic on Twitter when she became the face of Vogue Mexico’s August 2019 cover. Many in the Latin and Spanish community criticized Vogue because the feature film was titled “20 Latinx Artists” despite Rosalía’s birth in Catalonia, Spain. Her music gives a modern twist to the Hispanic dance music style of flamenco (originally from Andalucia), which she says clearly has aspects of Latinx music in her sound. Ultimately, Rosalía called for the unity of Spanish and Latin American influence because these countries have been linked together throughout history, while stressing that her great-grandfather is Cuban.
“I think there should be more effort to highlight the different genres that make up ‘Latinx music’
Now that I’ve written this article, I think there should be more effort to highlight the different genres that make up “Latinx music” because it’s actually amazing how much is packed into it. this category. Perhaps it is more correct to call it “Spanish-speaking music”? Then again, this could open up a whole other debate as to whether a song can be classified as Spanish speaking if it also uses English a lot.
Either way, it’s worth considering the differences between music from different Latin American countries, as only then can you appreciate the complexity of the Latinx music category.