The sound of regional Mexican music has endured for centuries, thanks to Mexican crooners and ballads like the great dead Vicente Fernández and Jenni Rivera. Today, a new generation of artists – on both sides of the Mexico-US border – are helping the genre continue to evolve, while achieving greater global success than ever before.
Regional Mexican music is a catch-all term that encompasses several styles of music who are from Mexico, including norteño, banda, mariachi and ranchera music. Besides Fernández and Rivera, artists who have defined the genre in recent decades include Pedro Infante, Juan-Gabriel, Selena, and Ariel Camacho. Although sadly no longer with us, a new generation of artists are reviving and redefining the sound of regional Mexican music. — and helping the age-old genre connect with younger audiences.
mexican singers nodal christian and Natanael Cano spearheaded the movement, pushing regional Mexican music up the charts in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Nodal fused mariachi and norteño music, while Cano pioneered the tumbados corridos, which gave a hip-hop and trap twist to traditional corridos.
Over the next few years, many more Gen Z artists from the United States and Mexico put their own stamp on the mainstream genre, even breaking records in the process. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, GRAMMY.com shines a light on six acts that are refreshing regional Mexican music.
Originally from the town of Caborca in Sonora, Mexico, nodal christian has become one of the biggest artists in regional Mexican music today since breaking out in 2018. His fusion of mariachi and norteño music (mariacheño, as he coined it), as well as his vocal range and vaquero charm, helped him connect with regional Mexican music. young and old music fans. These also earned him wide critical acclaim, including four Latin GRAMMYs and two GRAMMY nominations.
If Nodal puts a touch of youth to the genre, it also inaugurates new fusions. Alongside Mexican rapper Gera MX, Nodal make history in 2021 with their global hit “Botella Tras Botella”, which was the first regional Mexican song to hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2022, Nodal brought his unique flair to songs with the King of Bachata, Romeo Santos (“Me Extraño”), and Christina Aguilera (“Cuando Me Dé la Gana”).
Angela Aguilar proudly carries on the legacy of his family name. The Aguilar family’s heritage is deeply rooted in regional Mexican music: his grandparents are Mexican legends Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre, and his father is an icon Pepe Aguilar.
The Mexican-American artist adopts a more traditional sound of the genre, captivating audiences of all ages with his soulful voice that transcends his years. Along with carrying on her family’s legacy, she’s proving to be a star in her own right — and making waves in a male-dominated genre. She scored her second No. 1 on Billboard’s Mexican Regional Airplay chart in May with “Ahí Donde Me Ven”, making her the seventh female actress to have at least one No. 1 in the 28-year history. of the charts.
Natanael Cano turned regional Mexican music on its head by inaugurating the corridos tumbados movement. The emerging genre mixes the corridos of its Hermosillo, Sonora roots with the hip-hop flow of LA, where Cano is currently based.
Cano had a breakout year in 2019 thanks to the swaggering hit “El Drip,” which first gained popularity on YouTube. His fiery single “Soy El Diablo” caught the attention of bad bunnywho jumped on a remix.
Cano continues to take corridos even further with cross-genre collaborations with artists like Snoop Dogg (“Feeling good”) and Steve Aoki (“NataAoki”). He took the genre to its biggest stage in April, when he performed at Coachella.
Fans of the late Mexican singer Ariel Camacho will love Bay Area-based band Eslabón Armado, who are bringing sierreño music to life for a new generation of fans. Eslabón Armado’s take on the genre on guitar reflects their Mexican-American background, also giving the traditional Mexican sound an emo twist.
Since releasing their breakthrough hit, the haunting love song “Con Tus Besos,” in 2020, the group has landed six top 20 songs on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart – two of which reached the top 5. And only two years later, Eslabón Armado makes history: the trio’s 2022 album, Nostalgiapeaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 All Genres chart in May, becoming the first regional Mexican album place in the top 10.
Grupo Firme has become a maverick to watch in regional Mexican music. Through their brassy banda music anthems, the seven-piece band has amassed millions of fans inside and outside the genre.
This has been further proven by their impressive streaming numbers: at press time, the music video for their track “Ya Superame” has had over 305 million views on YouTube alone, and the boisterous “El Toxico” (featuring fellow Mexican singer Carin Leon) has over 413 million. Their infectious melodies and free-spirited performances also helped them earn a Latin GRAMMY for Best Banda Album of 2021 and a spot on the Coachella bill this year. Perhaps the title of their 2020 album said it best: Our Divertimos Logrando Lo Impossiblewhich translates to “We have fun doing the impossible”.
The group has also become a bright spot for LGBTQ+ representation in the genre, as member Jhonny Caz is openly gay. His brother, singer Eduin Caz, sings about the group’s message of inclusivity and speaks out against naysayers in ‘Cada Quien,’ which features the Colombian superstar Maluma.
Yahritza and Su Esencia
Yahritza y Su Esencia is the latest success story of regional Mexican music. The trio is made up of Yahritza Martínez and his brothers, Jairo and Mando, from Washington’s Yakima Valley.
Yahritza, who is the lead singer, started teasing the group’s debut single “Soy El Unico” on TikTok before the group officially released it in March. The heartfelt corrido that featured Yahritza’s soulful vocals debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart and No. 20 on the Hot 100. With this latest entry, Yahritza make history as the youngest Latin performer to appear on the all-genre chart at just 15 years old.
The family band continued their chart success with their debut EP, Obsessedwho open to n°1 on the regional Mexican album chart in May, showing that the genre’s next generation doesn’t just resonate, it dominates.
Listen to GRAMMY.com’s Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 Playlist Featuring Anitta, Selena, Bad Bunny, Shakira and More