Entertainment

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

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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

Bet You Still Know All The Words To These 2005 Summer Jams

Entertainment

Bet You Still Know All The Words To These 2005 Summer Jams

While 2005 feels like it happened just yesterday, it’s already been nearly 15 years since these tracks first graced our FM radios. Even in 2019, we all know your party playlist ain’t mierda without a throwback track from Mariah Carey and some of the OG reggaetoneros like Daddy Yankee and Calle 13. Your 2005 playlist probably didn’t include “Beverly Hills” by Weezer or “Behind These Hazel Eyes” by Kelly Clarkson. Prepare yourself for a walk down memory lane.

These songs were our summer jams. We were just some young people trying to figure out who we were and where we were heading in this world. Most of these songs became part of our DNA with how much we played them. We were these songs. These songs were the soundtrack to a summer of young love, loss, adventure, and heartache. Sit down and take a listen.

1. “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey

Credit: Mariah Carey / YouTube

This is the song you belt after all your early 2000s breakups. Back then, we related to Mariah when the song gets “too deep (too deep) / I gotta change the station / So I turn the dial tryin’ to catch a break.” Except we’re not hearing Babyface “I Only Think of You” on the radio anymore. 

2. “La Tortura” by Shakira

Credit: Shakira / YouTube

Your abuela was threatened and offended by Shakira’s ‘hips [that] don’t lie”, but everyone else and their mother was obsessed with Shakira’s deep, sultry voice, and, yes, those hips. We also can’t get over the scenes of her chopping onions. 😂

3. “Rompe” by Daddy Yankee

Credit: Neranjan manabharana / YouTube

Daddy Yankee was King of the 2000s, and while Billboard wasn’t even recording year-end top songs for the Latin genre, “Rompe” remained at number one for weeks on end. There was nothing Daddy Yankee could do that didn’t make you want to move that body all over the living room.

4. “1, 2 Step” by Ciara featuring Missy Elliot

Credit: Ciara / YouTube

Ladies and gentlemen, this song was the bop of the summer, no question. The music video is an actual time capsule, with scenes of bros spraying themselves with AXE, and it being sexy. We all started 1, 2 stepping everywhere we went.

5. “La Camisa Negra” by Juanes

Credit: juanes / YouTube

Remember when this song was fresh? Juanes was topping all the Latin charts in 2005, and shockingly, his music video may be the original Boomerang. There’s no question: this song is just as relevant in 2005 as it is today. Sure, he’s playing with the trope of the witchy seductress, but our kind has all kinds of brujería in us.

6. “Pon de Replay” by Rihanna

Credit: Rhianna / YouTube

Only second to Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together,” Rihanna’s debut single from her very first album captured everyone’s hearts. She spoke truth to power, and what everyone else in the club was thinking: “Mr. DJ, turn the music up!”

7. “Let Me Love You” by Mario

Credit: Mario / YouTube

Who didn’t have a major crush on Mario, especially as he was smooth-talking all of us about what a loyal, loving boyfriend he would be. “Show you the way love’s supposed to be, you deserve betterrr,” he coos. Someone ought to play this when I get down to the last Taki crumbs, before I’m covered in spicy dust.

8. “Atrévete te te” by Calle 13

Credit: elvecindariocalle13 / YouTube

Calle 13 may have won 21 Latin Grammy awards since their first 2005 album, which included”Atrévete-te-te”, but the group could have won zero and would still have Boricua hearts. The group is also famous for advocating for Puerto Rican independence and commenting on the social issues in Latin America. With the rise of the Internet, Calle 13 asks, “Who cares if you like Green Day? Who cares if you like Cold Play?” The song is all about Puerto Rican pride and we felt that.

9. “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani

Credit: Gwen Stefani / YouTube

This absolutely B-A-N-A-N-A-S song was only the third single Stefani ever released and reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 that summer. There was no choice in whether that song would get stuck in your head. Everyone knew the song by mid-summer.

10. “Lose Control” by Missy Elliot featuring Ciara & Fat Man Scoop

Credit: Missy Elliott / YouTube

The music video for this summer jam went on to win a two MTV VMA awards for “Best Dance Video” and “Best Hip Hop Video” and a Grammy for “Best Music Video.” It is a must-watch, especially for the close-up shots of Missy Elliot using a very advanced stylus pen on her Nokia touch screen. 

11. “Gold Digger” by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx

Credit: Kanye West / YouTube

Remember when nobody knew who the Kardashians were, and we were all just enjoying Kanye West’s peak artistry? Kanye originally produced this song in Ludacris’ home for Shawnna’s debut album, but nobody knows why she passed on it. Kanye eventually went on to win a Grammy for “Best Rap Solo Performance.”

READ: Fans Are Freaking Out Over Mariah Carey Graciously Honoring Lil Nas X For Beating Her Billboard Record

Celso Piña “El Rebelde Del Acordeon” Died Of A Heart Attack At 66 In Mexico

Entertainment

Celso Piña “El Rebelde Del Acordeon” Died Of A Heart Attack At 66 In Mexico

wachamagazine / Instagram

If there’s one instrument that best describes Mexican music is has to be the accordion. While the musical key instrument known as a squeezebox has its origins in Europe, it indeed came alive in Mexico as the staple sound in rancheras and cumbias. There is only one musician who thrived through the accordion sound, though sadly that is now a thing of the past.

Celso Piña, known as the “The Accordion Rebel,” died yesterday at the age of 66.

Credit: Instagram/@danonewillrise297

The Mexican musician was in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, and was soon scheduled to g on tour, but had a heart attack and died at the hospital.

La Tuna Group, Piña’s record label, confirmed in a statement that he died yesterday at 12:38 p.m. after suffering a heart attack.

Credit: Instagram/@mexicoprimero_

“Today is a sad day for La Tuna Group,” they stated, “Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and followers. We are left with an intense emptiness, but he leaves us his great legacy forever. We appreciate respecting the privacy of the family.”

Piña seemed to have been in good spirits earlier in the day and tweeted for the final time. “No one can resist the cumbia,” he said.

The self-taught musician had been touring off and on for months. He also had upcoming shows in Georgia and Texas.

The Grammy-award winning musician had a musical career that spanned 40 decades, and aside from his musical stylings as an accordion player, he was also a composer, singer, and arranger.

Credit: Instagram/@patanegra_mx

Piña had collaborated with several contemporary artists including Lila Downs, Julieta Venegas, Cafe Tacvba, and Gloria Trevi, Variety reports. He was also more than a cumbia musician. His sound also fused into other musical genres, including norteña music, hip-hop, ska, reggae, and more.

Several celebrity fans and collaborators tweeted their heartfelt condolences.

According to the Grammy Academy, Piña got his hands on his first accordion in 1980. He taught himself how to play and performed with his brothers. “Together, they went on to play norteña and tropical music, eventually adding cumbia to their style,” the Academy states. “The brothers became known as ‘Celso Piña Y Su Ronda Bogotá,’ giving a nod to cumbia’s motherland.”

Fans on social media also expressed how much Piña meant to them.

One fan, @iphadra, tweeted, “his greatness of # CelsoPiña is not due to its successes or fame in the 5 continents. It is because it was he who came to claim the music of the marginalized.” @JJ4rmCh tweeted, Rest In Peace Celso Piña, no one fucked it up on an accordion like u did.” But this tweet we could totally relate to from @jennjenn1_  who tweeted, “It wasn’t a real quince or wedding until you played some #CelsoPiña ❤️🇲🇽 🎶🎶🎶 may his music live on for generations to come.”

Writer Melissa del Bosque had the honor of being able to interview him. She tweeted, “Hearing ‘Barrio Bravo’ for the first time was a life-changing experience. Celso Piña and Toy Hernández, of Control Machete, had created a whole new hybrid mixing Colombian cumbia with the anarchy of urban streets. I went directly to Monterrey to interview El Rebelde del Acordeón. Here we are at Cafe Brasil, one of his favorite haunts. As I wrote then, when ‘Cumbia Sobre el Rio hit the airwaves there wasn’t a car from Chicago to Chiapas that didn’t have the bass booming and the sonic onslaught layered with accordion rattling their windows.’ #RipCelsoPina.”

Last year, Piña visited one of his biggest fans, who is also an accordion player just like him. The two performed in the streets of Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Herrera recalled what it was like hearing that his musical idol had died. The young musician told El Universal that he was with his daughter when he heard the news that Piña had died. He said he couldn’t believe it, and all the memories from his incredible visit with him last year rushed back to him. He said it was a dream to have been able to perform with him. 

Here’s a couple of his most beloved and hit songs.

Here’s “Cumbia Sobre el Rio Suena” live and with an orchestra! He had such a distinct voice and sound. There was no one else like him.

“No Sea Conmigo”

This was his collaboration with Cafe Tacvba. So lovely! We dare you not to dance to this one.

What’s your favorite Celso Piña track? Let us know in the comment section below. Rest in power, Celso!!

READ: This Isn’t Your Mama’s Cumbia: The Eclectic History Of Latin America’s Classic Music Genre

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