The nominees for the Latin Grammy are announced to be delivered on November 17 in Las Vegas and the Chilean artists, with the exception of Mon Laferte and Cami, along with Myriam Hernández’s lifetime achievement award, there are no. The national urban army only shows its face from production. Magicenelbeat is nominated for his work on Bad Bunny’s latest album. Instead, the interpreters of the movement, which is growing rapidly on Spotify, stay out of the party. Favorite guests hail from traditional Hispanic American musical powerhouses like Puerto Rico, Colombia, Spain, Argentina, and Mexico. We, as in the last World Cups, will see it on TV.
In 2011, an article in the Spanish newspaper El País titled Chile, new pop paradiseto describe the generation of Gepe, Javiera Mena, Ana Tijoux and Dënver. The article highlighted the local quality, but warned of the scant international impact of our music, with the exception of Víctor Jara and Violeta Parra (“how many people would say that Violeta Parra was Chilean?”). “Isolation” was the recurring term of those interviewed, in addition to recognizing the modesty of the public to assume their taste for pop.
One of the prides of the national urban litter lies in its ability to generate successes outside our borders, avoiding the traditional mechanisms of production and promotion. A compound theme in a bedroom can break it. Yet the music industry, on the brink of post-2000 knockout from piracy and file-sharing, never completely lost control of the business. Awards like the Grammy reflect his influence. There are the seven nominations of Christina Aguilera, singing in a Spanish that she barely understands.
Both Mon Laferte and Cami are artists fully aware of how the field works. They are associated with major labels because their ambition is vast, and they meet the demands without question. They are not just singers, but stars whose dimension goes beyond the songs, an aspect that New Chilean Pop never addressed, prioritizing music.
Isn’t it just about music? True, but the mass public demands other details. That’s how we found out about Birth of Mon Laferte and of the controversies that Cami lavishes from time to time.
The distance and the limited local market are still major barriers for ambitious Chilean artists of internationalization. Nor does it pave the way for episodes such as the controversy with Puerto Rican producer Álex Gárgolas, who intended to publish an album with national urban stars, a project canceled after a few rounds on social networks with local singers and followers. Regardless of who said what, the Chilean reaction exuded unnecessary chauvinism.
The vigor of a scene and its projection depend on multiple factors. Improvements are urgently needed to project talent, from promotional work, to specialized retrospective coverage -uploading photos of a show to Instagram is not exactly a report-, paradoxical if one considers that the live offer and launches continue to rise.
The independent path may be full of praise from critics with palates allergic to dough and a loyal fan base, but it hardly guarantees a ticket to the big markets, and awards like the Grammys. We can discuss the quality of applicants and winners or the industrial dynamics, but a candidacy – what to say about obtaining a gramophone – still symbolizes a major achievement in the career of any artist. In that league, for now, we are more spectators than protagonists.
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Column by Marcelo Contreras: Without an invitation to the Grammy – La Tercera