Mexican music has a long history of tugging at the heartstrings of listeners. Coming from a vibrant culture, influence ranges from European, Indigenous, African roots, and beyond. From rancheras, corridos, boleros, and more – today’s popular sounds find innovative ways to enmesh these traditional sounds.
In our series ‘5 Artists You Should Know,’ we introduce you to local talent from regions all over the world who are dominating their local territory. We’re excited to tell you more about these five rising artists in Mexico: Vanessa Zamora, Peso Pluma, Axel Catalán, Abraham Vazquez, and Chucho Rivas.
Singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Vanessa Zamora from Tijuana is one to watch in Mexico’s indie pop-rock scene. In her latest release, DAMALEONA, VOL 1., titled after her alter ego, the artist creates her own reality and transforms within it. These 3 tracks take listeners along this journey and the track “TRASCENDER,” which translates to “transcend,” “demonstrates our internal battles with ourselves,” says Zamora. Be sure to be on the lookout for her following releases from this third album which will be released little by little later this year.
Peso Pluma is a Sierreño artist with 4 albums and has grown exponentially over the past 3 years under Z Records. From Culiacán, and with over 6 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Pluma’s unique voice and talent within the Regional Mexican genre makes him an artist to be reckoned with. He’s collaborated with artists such as Luis R Conriquez, Raúl Vega, Tornillo, Polo Gonzalez, and more. Be sure to check out his latest singles “El Belicón” and “Siempre Pendientes.”
Morelia-born artist, Axel Catalán, creates works inspired by Latin American rock and folklore. This past August, he released his debut album Vespa 97. He worked on this album in the mountains near Tepoztlán – this new environment allowed him to connect more with nature and shut out distractions. The title is inspired by his Vespa model 97 scooter that he bought before his move. Upon moving back to Mexico City, his scooter follows him on his journey. The album was produced by Santiago Mijares and the engineer and musician Carlos Medina (both from Little Jesus and Petite Amie). His song “Cuento de Brujas,” track 2 on the album, which translates to “Story of Witches,” is one of the more playful ones on the album. Whereas, his song “Paz Mental,” track 3 on the album, which translates to “Peace of Mind,” details mental health battles with poetic and emotional lyricism.
24-year-old composer and singer, Abraham Vazquez, from Ojinaga, is notable for his innovation in the Regional Mexican genre. Thanks to songs like “Cómo No Amarla” and “El De Las Dos Pistolas,” his music reached popularity throughout Mexico and abroad. This led to his release of his latest album, Ahí Viene la Subida. With inspiration from artists such as Intocable, Calle 13, and Gera MX, the artist is eager to bring forth an urban-corrido mix to the mainstream. With over a million monthly listeners on Spotify, the artist is sure to continue accomplishing his goals.
From Mazatlán, Chucho Rivas has become an unmatched artist in today’s music. With a unique way of composing and interpretation of lyrics, the 25-year-old has created a connection with the public that highlights the beauty in vulnerability and nostalgic sentiments. He’s grown mass numbers of streams on YouTube and digital platforms with songs like “Amarte y Perderte,” “La Gata Bajo la Lluvia,” “Cursi,” and “Como Tú,” which reached No. 1 on national pop radio. In his latest release, “Quedé,” Rivas takes listeners through a story of heartbreak and loss of trust in love.