Entertainment

Kane Brown And Becky G Are Keeping The Latin/Country Music Fusion Alive With The ‘Lost In The Middle Of Nowhere’ Remix

At a musical crossroads, two genres unexpectedly meet: country and reggaeton music for the Spanish remix of Kane Brown’s “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere” featuring Becky G. Both rising stars come together and push the limits of the genres they’ve been successful in. As groundbreaking as the move seems, Spanish-language music and country music have a bit of history that Brown and Becky G are only enriching with their unique collaboration.

Back in November, Brown, 25, released his second album “Experiment” with an English-language version of “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere” featuring Mexican-American singer Becky G, 22. As a multiracial artist who is white on his mother’s side and African-American and Cherokee on his father’s side, Brown decided to play up his maverick identity in a white-dominated country music field.

Credit: kanebrown_music / Instagram

“When I named my album ‘Experiment,’ one of the things that was important to me was to not feel limited sonically in what I could do,” Brown said in a press release about the album. “I’m a country artist, but I have a range of influences. I didn’t feel pressured to keep it in a certain box because of the way my fans have always been there for me.”

In the last week of March, Brown released “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere” as the third single from “Experiment” with a rollout of two versions of the song:  the English-language one from the album and a brand new Spanish-language version. The latter features a fuller reggaeton music sound mixed with a splash country music. The steel guitars meet tropical beats. Becky G sings in Spanish and surprisingly, so does Brown.

Credit: iambeckyg / Instagram

“I love that Kane has been such a pioneer in country music himself being so young, his background and his story,” Becky G said in an interview with Beats 1. “When he sent me his version of the Spanish chorus, I was like ‘Oh my God, you sound so good. You have such a great accent.’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, man.'” Becky G imitated the strong twang in his voice when quoting him.

As unheard of as the mix of country and Latin music seems, Brown and Becky G follow in the footsteps of those before them that paved the way for a collaboration like this to happen. Since the Americana genre’s beginnings, it has always had an affinity for the region of Mexico closest to the borders. As Wide Open Country noted, “American country music’s ties to an obsession with Texas alone should make for more than songs about Mexico. Or at least those songs about our South of the Border neighbors could paint the place as more than a getaway for drunks and criminals on the run.”

With country music and Mexico’s close ties, there have been a few Latin artists that have hit it big in the genre previously. Going beyond the banditos and borrachos stereotypes, Tejano singer Freddy Fender took his heartbreaking bilingual ballad “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” to No. 1 on both Billboard’s country music and the all-genre Hot 100 chart in 1975. Another Mexican-American singer from Texas, Rick Trevino, topped the country music chart over 20 years later with “Running Out of Reasons to Run” and its Spanish-language counterpart “Se Escapan Mis Razones.”

The strides Latin music has made as a global presence in a post-“Despacito” society have also been undeniable.  A report from BuzzAngle at the top of the year revealed that Latin music consumption outpaced country music in the U.S. in 2018. With music, in general, taking a turn to Latin influences, it was a smart move on Brown’s part to enlist Becky G for “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere” as she’s become a force in reggaeton since pairing up with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny on “Mayores.”

The Spanish remix of “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere” is already proving to be a hit alongside the original version. Brown and Becky G debuted at No. 13 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart while the primarily country music mix  has reached No. 4 on the Country Digital Songs Sales chart. The remix music video featuring the duo in the middle of a jungle nears 11 million views on YouTube compared to the original version’s almost 1.3 million views.

The release of “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere” also coincided with the news of Billboard removing rapper Lil Nas X’s twangy banger “Old Town Road” from the Hot Country Songs chart. “Upon further review, it was determined that ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X does not currently merit inclusion on Billboard’s country charts,” Billboard said about the controversial move. Lil Nas X later bucked it by releasing a remix of the song with country music legend Billy Ray Cyrus and he has since galloped to No. 1 on all-genre Hot 100 chart.

Credit: lilnasx / Instagram

As music continues to push boundaries, like country music blending with reggaeton music on “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere,” it’s going to be more difficult to box-in the sound, but the songs are going to be as refreshingly far-out as ever. On the same day as Brown’s release, Country music artist Jake Owen teamed up with social-media-star-turned singer Lele Pons from Venezuela on their dreamy collaboration “Señorita.”

Brown and Becky G throw caution to the wind their free-wheeling and rhythmic banger. Where the two singers get lost, there’s no borders, but only open-road opportunities for them to find new and exciting directions for their respective genres.

Watch the “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere” video below.

Honestly, this fusion is a definite bop.

READ: Country Music Is Losing Steam As Latin Music Experienced Major Growth In Popularity Last Year

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Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Photo via selenagomez/Instagram

Good news, Selenators! Word on the street is that Selena Gomez will soon be dropping her first-ever Spanish language album. The rumors started after Gomez dropped a surprising (and beautiful!) new Spanish-language single, “De Una Vez”.

Soon after the single dropped, rumors of a full Spanish-language studio album began to swirl when murals promoting “De Una Vez” and a yet-unreleased single “Baila Conmigo” popped up across, Mexico.

To make matters even better, Selena already dropped “De Una Vez”‘s music video.

The lush and imaginative video has been garnering praise for its inclusion of Latin American visuals and symbols. Gomez hired Tania Verduzco and Adrian Perez to direct her video–a husband and wife team who hail from Mexico and Spain, respectively and go by the moniker Los Pérez.

Of hiring Spanish speakers to direct her video, Gomez revealed to Vogue online that the decision was intentional. “If I was going to completely immerse myself into a project inspired by Latin culture, I wanted to work with native Spanish speaking creators,” she said.

And indeed, Verduzco and Perez tried to infuse as much Latin spirit into the video’s conception as possible.

“Magical realism has always been part of the Latin culture, whether it be in art or telenovelas,” Gomez told Vogue. “I wanted [to capture] that sense of a supernatural world.”

They accomplished this sense of magical realism by utilizing motifs from Mexican folk art, like Milagro, which is symbolized by the glowing heart that is beating within Gomez’s chest throughout the video.

“We wanted to play with powerful language and images. We designed the heart—we call it the Milagro in Mexican culture—and its light to be a metaphor for the healing throughout the story,” Verduzco told Vogue.

Selena Gomez fans are especially excited about this project because Gomez has long hinted at her desire to release a Spanish-language album.

Back in 2011, Gomez tweeted about her plans to eventually record an entire album in Spanish. “Can’t wait for y’all to hear the Spanish record;) it’s sounding so cool,” she wrote.

She retweeted the sentiment on Thursday with the comment: “I think it will be worth the wait”–which many fans took as confirmation that a full studio album is on its way.

It’s worth noting that Gomez has already dipped her toe into the Latin music scene with 2010’s “Un Año Sin Lluvia” and 2018’s DJ Snake, Ozuna and Cardi B collab, “Taki Taki”.

As for the difficulty of recording songs in a second language, Gomez said that it was a practice that came naturally.

“I actually think I sing better in Spanish. That was something I discovered,” she said in an interview for Apple Music. “It was a lot of work, and look, you cannot mispronounce anything. It is something that needed to be precise, and needed to be respected by the audience I’m going to release this for.”

She continued: “Of course I want everyone to enjoy the music, but I am targeting my fan base. I’m targeting my heritage, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

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Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Bad Bunny is on top of the world. Or, at least, that’s how it appears to all of us on the outside enjoying his record-breaking year. Not only did he release three albums in 2020 but he also landed his debut acting role in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico and from his Instagram stories, he seems to be in a happy, contentful relationship.

But like so many others, Bad Bunny has his experience with mental health issues, of which he recently opened up about in an interview with El País.

Bad Bunny recently spoke up about his struggle with depression.

Despite his immense success that’s catapulted him to, arguably, the world’s biggest superstar, Bad Bunny admits that sometimes he still feels like the young man who bagged groceries in a supermarket.

The reggaetonero revealed in an interview with El País that right as his career really started to take off, he was not happy. “You asked me before how I hadn’t gone crazy. Well, I think that was the moment that was going to determine if I was going to go crazy or not. From 2016 to 2018 I disappeared, I was stuck in a capsule, without knowing anything. The world saw me, but I was missing,” he said.

Although no doctor diagnosed him, he is sure of what was happening. it only did he feel lost and empty but he had stopped doing many of the things that brought him joy, like watching movies and boxing. Without realizing it, he had also fallen out of contact with much of his family, with whom he was typically very close.

“And that’s when I said: who am I? What’s going on?” he told El País. When he returned home to Puerto Rico from spending time in Argentina, he was able to get back into the right state of mind and remember who he was.

Despite his success, Bad Bunny still worries he’s in financial trouble.

Although today, he is the number one Latin artist on Spotify and the awards for his music keep coming, there are times when Bad Bunny still thinks that he has financial problems.

“Not long ago, I was 100% clear in my head what I have achieved, maybe a year or six months ago; but until then, many times I forgot, I felt that I was the kid from the supermarket. He would happen something and say: “Hell!” And then: “Ah, no, wait, if I have here,” he said, touching his pocket.

Much like Bad Bunny, J Balvin has also been candid about his own mental health struggles.

Bad Bunny is just the most recent to speak to the emotional havoc he experiences despite being a global superstar. And, thankfully, like many other celebrities, he’s been able to find refuge in a reality that allows him to keep his feet on the ground so that he too can enjoy the achievements of his career.

Much like El Conejo, J Balvin is known for the brightness of his style and mentality. But he’s long addressed the importance of caring for one’s mental health. During his Arcoíris Tour, he encouraged people to not be ashamed of seeking professional help, and let the audience know they are not alone.   

“Las enfermedades de salud mental son una realidad. Yo he sufrido de depresión y he sufrido de ansiedad, así que tengo que aceptarlo. Y eso me hace más humano, me hace entender que la vida tiene pruebas,” Balvin said. “Pero si alguien está pasando una situación difícil, no están solos, siempre llega la luz. Tarde o temprano llega la luz.”  

“Mental health illnesses are a reality. I have suffered from depression and anxiety, so I have to accept it. And this makes me more human. It makes me understand that life has challenges,” Balvin said in Spanish. “But if someone is going through a difficult time, they are not alone, light always comes. Sooner or later, the light comes.”  

We need more men like Benito and J Balvin to speak up about their mental health struggles, to help destroy the stigma that exists within our community.

And in the same interview, he also spoke about why he works to elevate the Spanish language.

As for the possibility of singing in English, the answer remains the same: a resounding no.

“You have to break this view that the gringos are Gods…No, papi,” he told El País. And, although he’s collaborated with artists like Drake, Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez, he has always sang in Spanish and with his famous accent.

“I am very proud to reach the level where we are speaking in Spanish, and not only in Spanish, but in the Spanish that we speak in Puerto Rico. Without changing the accent,” he said.

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