Crossing the borders of music and language

The music industry has always seen a merging of cultures and perspectives, but we’ve been noticing more and more how the intersection of languages and music has become an area of experimentation for new artists. It’s also invigorating the careers of longtime artists we already know and love. With Bad Bunny crowned as 2021's most-listened artist on Spotify (for the second year in a row, no less!), it is no secret that Latin music is popular. But this trend – or movement, really – goes well beyond that. The globalized music business will shift from a focus on scale into a focus on merging, and we are already seeing it with these artists:


The singer, perhaps best known for her reggaeton single “Sin Pijama” with fellow Latin singer Becky G, is looking to delve into a more global audience through her new collaboration with K-pop girl group Momoland. The song, titled “Yummy Yummy Love,” has accumulated over 27 million views on YouTube in just 10 days. This is the latest example of a trend we keep seeing popping up: Korean musicians working hand-in-hand with Latin stars to create a completely new kind of pop hit. (We see you, Chicken Noodle Soup.)


It’s been 20 long years since the last time Xtina recorded an album in Spanish, but the pop star – who is of Ecuadorian descent – finally released a follow-up to her first Spanish-speaking project, “Mi Reflejo,” last Friday. The EP, titled “La Fuerza,” includes collaborations with big names in the Latin music scene like Becky G, Naty Peluso, and Ozuna. This new project represents a shift not only in language but also in music styles for Christina, as she dips her toe into reggaeton and explores new sounds inspired by Latin music, like rancheras and guaracha. “La Fuerza” is the first of three parts from her upcoming album, expected to come out later this year.


This up-and-coming Chinese-American musician is making strides in the electro-pop scene with her heavily synthesized hyperactive beats and dual-language lyrics. Gao, who moved to the U.S. from China when she was 17, can write and sing in Japanese, Chinese, and English. Though she’s still on the cusp of fame, the performer has caught the attention of virtually every major music publication, from The Fader to Pitchfork to MTV, and her fans already include Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, and The Weeknd. If you ask us, she's one viral hit away from being a household name.