Billboard Latin Music Conference Issue

Are we currently riding a “new wave” of dance music?

It’s getting more and more difficult to notice that both genres of Anglo and Latin music are being “infused” with what is rapidly being known as a “new wave” of dance/club/rhythmic music.

Notice that I used various terms, because depending on who you speak with, some music industry pundits are more comfortable using one synonym than the other. Although most radio programmers would want to deny it, they have been forced to deal with another wave of “music with a beat”.

Of  course, I know that Anglo radio programmers “squirm” in their office chairs wondering how long this “rhythmic wave” of multiple single releases from Britney, Gaga, Enrique, BEP, Kesha, Usher and Rihannas are all going to last—the answer is that it’s definitely here for an “extended play” stay. Same seems to be true for the Latino radio programmers—it’s no lie that Enrique’s current album, “Euphoria”, is markedly one of his biggest albums to date, netting both massive Anglo and Latino radio hits. On top of the “obvious hits” at Latin radio, the trend seems to be that recent single releases from Usher and Rihanna which have shot to the top regions of the Hot 100 recently are also charting high on the Latin Radio Airplay charts in Billboard as well—and surprisingly, in their original Anglo recorded versions.

Although some tend to identify the current “clubby” trend with breakthrough global dance hits like “Stereo Love” by Edward Maya featuring Vika Jigulina (originally from Greece) and “We No Speak Americano” by Yolanda B Cool and DCUP (from Australia), this electro-influenced pop, progressive house and club fare was sparked and ignited in 2007 by an innovative French DJ/producer named David Guetta. There’s no denying that his style and influence are intricately interwoven in a majority of these current pop/dance tunes, but it’s a shame though, that his music was first encountered with such resistance. For those who follow the music, many will remember the anthem, “Love is Gone”, Guetta’s first official radio single in the U.S. (although certainly not his first in Europe), which featured vocals by Chris Willis, was met with such resistance by programmers, although breaking through as a “hit” in several major markets.

The resistance continued in 2009, with the release of mega-single “When Love Takes Over”, Guetta’s first global #1 single (#1 or Top 5 in most territories except for the U.S., where it reached only #76 on the Hot 100), featuring former Destiny’s Child member, Kelly Rowland. If that undeniable track wasn’t proof enough of his talent and trendsetting pulse, he was the songwriting and production mastermind behind the Black Eyed Peas multi-million selling release, “I Got a Feeling”, which was the #1 pop/dance single of the year in 2009 and the highest selling digital single in the history of iTunes (and still selling).

I guess the point that I’m attempting to make here is that when the “wave” is more closely aligned in “tsunami” proportions, WHY fight it? As most industry people know, outside of the obvious major label hits, only a mere couple indie dance tracks (the aforementioned “Stereo Love” and “We No Speak Americano”) have actually broken the U.S. Top 40 chart in Billboard.

Most industry insiders MUST realize that most of these heavyweight artist album projects that are currently being released were produced sometime last year and usually inspired by one of these innovative global dance tracks. And more importantly, with every current success and milestone which is achieved, another block of singles and albums are being recorded, auto-tuned, produced, tweaked and pre-bundled (or packaged) as we speak. Radio programmers hear this: Please expand those narrow, dance-resistant minds of yours and become a bit more open to trends for which you cannot deny (no matter how much you want to fight them)!

With that being said, we are expanding one of our Genre charts in the current issue—our Pop/Remix chart is now lengthened to a Top 10 chart and will follow the LMCR Top 20 and Top 5 Genre charts. Viva la Club!!


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