Coachella 2022: Mexico’s best regional artists share the spotlight

Grupo Firme, the Latin Grammy-winning norteño band, have counted many hits under their silver-buckled belts over the years:El Toxico,” “Ya Superameand 2021’s “Cada Quien,” featuring reggaeton-pop idol Maluma, to name a few.

In March, the Tijuana players held a press conference at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood to announce their upcoming “Enfiestados y Amanecidos” tour of the United States – and generate buzz ahead of their debut at this year’s Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival. year.

“We put on our boots,” said Eduin Caz, lead singer of Grupo Firme, “and bring a Mexican party to the United States.”

This weekend, Grupo Firme, along with Banda MS and Natanael Cano – three of today’s most important regional Mexican artists, as the genre is known – will all be making their first appearances at Coachella. They join a tidal wave of Latin American artists performing this weekend and next, including Brazilian pop powerhouses Anitta and Pabllo Vittar, Colombian reggaetonera Karl G. and Argentine singers Nathy Peluso and Nicki Nicole.

A total of 20 artists from Latin America and its diaspora will perform at Coachella this year, up from 17 in 2019.

Coachella promoter Goldenvoice has made concerted efforts to captivate Latino audiences in recent years, whether by recruiting more Latin artists to the Coachella roster or hosting events like the Latin Music and Food Festival. of Los Angeles, Tropicalia. These efforts have coincided with the astronomical growth of Latin music revenues in the United States, which according to an RIAA report published on Tuesdaygenerated an all-time high of over $886.1 million in 2021 through streaming, subscriptions and retail sales.

A handful of Latin artists have performed at Coachella since its inception in 2001, including Café Tacvba, Julieta Venegas, Nortec Collective and Los Ángeles Azules.

However, 2019 marked a breakthrough for Spanish-speaking artists at the festival. Reggaeton titans Bad Bunny and J Balvin received top spots, while flamenco fusion artist Rosalía performed a very hyped set.

That same year, the Grammy-nominated norteño group Los Tucanes de Tijuana became the first regional Mexican band to perform at Coachella. The band not only regaled fans with their classic corridos – folk ballads reserved to tell tales of outlaws and other legends – but the accordion-stirred bustle of their wedding party staple.”La Chonawas so infectious that the audience, a mix of curious Latinos and English speakers, demanded a cover, which Los Tucanes obliged.

Natanael Cano will perform for the first time at Coachella. “I am extremely grateful and excited to bring my culture to Coachella.”

(Media and Media / Getty Images)

On stage this Sunday, Sonoran-born singer-songwriter Natanael Cano, 21, contributed to corridos’ popularity among Gen Z. Signed to Los Angeles label Rancho Humilde, Cano sparked interest in the norteño art form by combining acoustic guitar licks with trap beats and a melodic flow inspired by rappers like Drake and Bad Bunny.

“Every time someone would tell me about the festival, they would tell me how hard it was to get in. I never really saw myself as invited,” Cano said over the phone. “But I’m extremely grateful and excited to bring my culture to Coachella. I want the world to enjoy it and have a good clear view of where I come from and why I love it so much.

Two musicians with arms raised, on stage.

Alan Manuel Ramirez and Oswaldo Silvas of Banda MS.

(Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images for Estrella Media)

Members of Sergio Lizárraga’s Banda Sinaloense MS, better known as Banda MS, were also thrilled to see the band’s name in the festival’s second billing, tied with Doja Cat and Run the Jewels. But according to Banda MS vocalist Oswaldo Silvas, they don’t see themselves gaining a new audience so much as they see an audience gaining a new experience.

“I think the real challenge is actually for people who don’t know banda music, people who don’t even know Spanish,” Silvas said. “I just hope it can spark something in them – to make them move, dance, scream, whatever – but something positive about Mexico.”

Masters of the brass-heavy genre known as banda, Mazatlán band Sinaloa have not only won 12 Billboard Latin Music Awards, but they’ve smartly navigated their rise collaborating with artists across borders, like Snoop Dogg and Becky G in the 2020s” Qué Maldicion.

“We’re committed, not just to a good show, but to opening the doors for more banda music at Coachella,” Silvas said. “We’re just here to do something interesting.”

Corina C. Butler