Regional Mexican music leaders and artists discussed how the genre is evolving in the music business, and offered ideas on how to navigate as the industry evolves, during Billboard Latin Music Week's "Renovarse o Morir" ("Renew or Die") panel, which intended to explore how the genre is adapting to a new musical and business reality.
Moderated by Billboard's contributing writer Tere Aguilera, the panel included recording acts El Fantasma, Gerardo Ortiz, Luis Coronel, Regulo Caro and Sergio Lizárraga. Music executive Jessica Vazquez and public relations/journalism specialist Sara Eva Pérez also joined the conversation.
Ortiz, one of regional Mexican's biggest names, declared that acts within the genre will only benefit from making the kind of music that will have longevity. "Regional Mexican music has had good and bad days," he said.
For Coronel, networking with other artists in music has been key as a way to deepen relationships within a competitive industry. However, he said, it's also crucial to think outside the box and push for projects that people will say, "It will never happen."
One of those projects was Coronel's team-up with Banda Los Recoditos. Two different labels were part of the deal and as people doubted the collaboration could happen, the artists involved insisted and the results were seen as positive and in the name of unity within the genre.
The popularity of regional Mexican music, Coronel noted, goes beyond Mexico in countries such as Colombia and Venezuela, so the audience is there, it's global and "people do like it very much on a global level," Coronel said.
El Fantasma, who said he was elated to be sharing the stage with some of the genre's biggest names, said that he's been focused on his own career, but as a response to the continually shifting market, he's finally going to be releasing a album of duets and the embrace from people in the industry has been overwhelmingly optimistic.
"It's all about heart at the end of the day," El Fantasma said. "I tell [aspiring musicians] that as they work on their craft they should do so by being true to themselves and staying original."