Music and Marketing

Rising Hispanic Artists to Watch: Marketers Should Know These Hot Acts With Crossover Appeal

Your Next Brand Ambassadors Could Be Among This Group

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Alex Lopez Negrete
Alex Lopez Negrete
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Few people love music more than Alex Lopez Negrete, president-CEO of the fourth-biggest U.S. Hispanic agency, Lopez Negrete Communications in Houston. A musician himself, he helps infuse Latin music and artists in his clients' campaigns, including co-writing a song for Dr Pepper several years ago, before signing up Pitbull for the brand. (His other clients include Walmart, Verizon Communications and Bank of America.) He even has a music-production studio called ZapBoomBang at the agency.

Mr. Lopez Negrete and his cousin Rudy Lopez Negrete, the agency's Los Angeles-based manager of music and content, talked to Ad Age about the next Hispanic music stars that marketers should get to know, starting with the wholesome teenage Sonus brothers and working up to a pick for only the edgiest marketer, Band of Bitches.

A key lesson: Look for artists whose music seamlessly transitions to English from Spanish, so they're able to reach everyone from the Spanish-dominant to English-speaking Hispanic millennials, and can eventually cross over into the general market.

La Santa Cecilia
La Santa Cecilia

LA SANTA CECILIA

Who they are: East L.A. band of Mexican-Americans, named after patron saint of musicians (hear them here).

Why marketers should care: Colorful lead singer La Marisoul. Rolling Stone praises her "enchanting, unfettered bellow," and she's performed with Elvis Costello.

SONUS

Sonus
Sonus

Who they are: Think One Direction. This trio of endearing teenage brothers from Argentina are equally at ease performing pop in English and Spanish (hear them here).

Why marketers should care: "Their stuff is as sticky as chewing gum," says Alex Lopez Negrete. "They'll be at the level of the Jonas brothers in the next couple years."

JENNY AND THE MEXICATS

Jenny and the Mexicats
Jenny and the Mexicats

Who they are: English girl Jenny is lead singer and trumpet player of a "truly unique" band with jazzy and flamenco undertones (hear them here).

Why marketers should care: After topping the charts in Mexico and touring Europe, the group is coming to the U.S. in the spring.

Arjona
Arjona

ARJONA

Who he is: Older at almost 40, this Guatemalan balladeer-pop idol in Latin America and former basketball player has sold over 40 million albums (hear him here).

Why marketers should care: He's a good choice for an advertiser looking for a star with a huge Latin fan base who sells out arenas.

Las Marti
Las Marti

LAS MARTI

Who they are: Sultry Shakira-like twin sisters from Colombia who are good songwriters as well as singers (hear them here).

Why marketers should care: Brand-friendly, they've already done a song for Lopez Negrete client 7UP.

Jesse y Joy
Jesse y Joy

JESSE Y JOY

Who they are: This brother and sister with a Mexican father and an American mother are big Latin Grammy winners (hear them here).

Why marketers should care: They're squeaky clean, and electrifying in videos and live. "I wouldn't be surprised if they do a deal with a big marketer in 2014," says Alex Lopez Negrete.

Band of Bitches
Band of Bitches

BAND OF BITCHES

Who they are: The name says it all. And they wear masks (hear them here).

Why marketers should care: Only for an equally edgy apparel or lifestyle brand. Think Converse.