Amazon Music has officially launched its Gen Mex initiative to spotlight the growing regional Mexican genre’s evolving style and renewed popularity as it begins to reach global audiences.
The regional Mexican category has historically been used as a catch-all term that spans banda, grupero, norteño and other folk formats — but as more artists begin to experiment with Mexican music in new ways, the market for it has exponentially expanded.
“At Amazon Music, Musica Mexicana listening has increased 140% YOY,” Rocio Guerrero, global head of Latin at Amazon Music, tells Variety.
“This revolution is unstoppable and it will continue to reach new heights. Even though it has recently started to be in the global spotlight, thanks to this new generation of artists emerging we are going to see more genre-bending acts that will continue to infiltrate it even more in the mainstream conversations, shedding light to, and building conversations around it.”
What Gen Mex aims to do, is provide a hub for the dynamic genre while “trying to find the right ways to honor its [tradition], but looking ahead and being a catalyst for its reinvention.”
As a part of this catapult into the limelight, Gen Mex promises to include new Mexican music programming and editorial content in the form of Amazon Originals. The first of which comes as a collaboration with Christian Nodal who stars in a short yet cinematic introductory video for Gen Mex. Nodal delivers a heartfelt and prideful homage to Mexico, encapsulating the essence of the music and artists.
“This one goes out to my heroes, the ones who taught me how to feel,” he starts. The video was also released with an Amazon Original song titled “Que Tal” written and performed by Nodal for Amazon Music. See the full video below.
Other Amazon Original collaborators include Rancho Humilde CEO, Jimmy Humilde for the playlist “Las Que Rifan Para…” where he shares his favorite songs. Gen Mex will also receive its own Amazon Original EP by Grupo Firme, which contains four previously unreleased audio and video versions of their greatest hits along with the recent release of the Harry Styles-inspired “Sabes A Tequila.”
This new initiative is also making room for what customarily has lacked in regional music: regional Mexican female artists. The platform will introduce its “Las Amazonas” playlist aimed to elevate the voices of the women redefining the genre.
Four female acts will be covering traditional classics through an Amazon Original that will showcase the ways in which this new generation of artists is redefining Mexican music. Itzel Vida will cover Chalino Sánchez’ “Nieves De Enero,” Janely Rosa will cover Jenni Rivera’s “La Chacalosa,” Michelle Bi will cover Bad Bunny’s “Amorfoda” and Lluvia Arámbula will be singing Ariel Camacho’s “El Rey de Corazones.”
The platform will also integrate videos, live streams, and more than 50 playlists including a mix of both traditional artists and up-and-comers. The first addition being regional rising stars, Yahritza Y Su Esencia, who will be featured on the platform’s Rompe program (created to support and accelerate the careers of emerging artists in the U.S., Latin America and Spain).
Mexican music has become increasingly blended with other genres and artists from around the world, making for some chart-topping and genre-transcending collaborations.
Take for example Snoop Dogg and Banda MS’ 2020 release “Qué Maldición,” which refreshingly surprised listeners and took the Latin charts by storm. Before that, Bad Bunny tapped corrido tumbado pioneer Natanael Cano for 2019’s “El Diablo (Remix),” which helped popularize the style that blends traditional corrido elements with an added hip-hop sensibility.
Most recently, Eslabon Armado’s “Nostalgia” became the first regional Mexican album to reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart.