This month’s feature blog focuses on the rise of Latin music and the impact on independent artists. Joining us to answer these questions is our brand-new signing, Halfofyou.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Halfofyou is a Latin Urban artist who emigrated to the United States by way of visa lottery. Escaping brutal dictatorship, HALFOFYOU’s music discusses themes of Cuban pride, love and longing with a mix of braggadocious tracks to lighten the mood. Anara Publishing caught up with Halfofyou to ask him about his songwriting process, musical roots, and bringing Latin music to a new audience.
Latin Music in the US totalled $886 million in 2021, according to the RIAA – making up 97% of total Latin revenues. How do you think the rise of high-profile Latin artists has translated down to independent artists?
I think the rise of high-profile artists in the Latin space is bringing awareness to smaller artists; and the need to listen to more music when the “the majors” aren’t releasing makes listeners look for those artists that aren’t as known.
Is the rise in Latin music more concentrated around established artists, or are independent artists seeing a slice of the pie too?
Currently, the major artists are getting the recognition but eventually we will start to see some concentration on indie artists.
Can you tell us about the songs that you’ve previously released and your songwriting process?
For the songs I’ve released, as well as my album, I try to make the music that I spend my time listening to but with a twist. I want to showcase my flair, my roots, my Cuban slang in there. My songwriting process and my way of doing things is all based on vibes, so I paint a picture in my head of what whatever song I’m working on. The lyrics are based on what I’m going through, but the overall sound reflects that initial painting in my head. It’s kind of abstract in a sense.
Your music is partly inspired by rhythms of the Caribbean and your Cuban roots, tell us a little more about how this is shown through instrumentation and lyrics?
I haven’t released it yet, but pretty soon we’re going to be seeing me doing a genre of music that only Cubans know. It’s called “Reparto” and it’s basically Cuban reggaeton. So as for instrumentation, I like to keep it reminiscent of Cuban legends. For example, in my song “El Flow” we got a cool Guaguancó rhythm in there to make that nod to those Cuban rhythms. I love throwing in Cuban slang in there too, I want people to think it’s cool to be Cuban too.
What role do you think streaming has played in bringing Latin music to a new audience?
I think streaming has brought more popularity to music across the globe. K-Pop has huge traction in the US and UK. Language barriers are no longer a problem in this globalized market and so Latin Music is on the rise because of it.
We’ve seen English speaking artists collaborating with Latin artists. Do you think this has helped to bring Latin music to the mainstream?
I think that has definitely helped, but I wouldn’t say that English speaking artists catapulted Latin music to the forefront. The world is big, and good music is good music. Ultimately, that’s what people care about, and Latin Music got to this point on its own merit.
If you want to read more about Latin-pop music and the growing industry, head to our blog “Latin America’s Growing Music Market in 2022” where we talk to industry professional David McCLoughlin, Head of Horus Music Latin America.
If you’d like to learn more about Halfofyou or license one of his songs, please contact the Anara Publishing team.