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.
“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.
“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.
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.