Home » The Mexican American Singer Creating a New Latin Music Subgenre – Billboard

The Mexican American Singer Creating a New Latin Music Subgenre – Billboard

by UNN Feed

In the opening days of 2024, a pioneering new sound vibrated throughout the industry, capturing the top spot on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. The electrifying corridos track “La Diabla” (“She Devil”) was by newcomer Xavi, a relatively unknown 19-year-old Mexican American artist delivering an equally unknown sound.

The tumbados románticos single — which tells the tale of a bad boy’s romance with a bad girl — is crafted with the crisp strains of a requinto guitar — a signature instrument in regional Mexican music. But it’s Xavi’s combination of the rebellious corridos tumbados spirit with the tenderness of romance that sets him apart.

However, “La Diabla” almost never came to be. “I DM’ed him and he wouldn’t answer me,” recalls Interscope executive vp Nir Seroussi. He discovered Xavi in early 2021 thanks to the label’s A&R executive, Emerson Redd, who shared the soul-stirring guitar ballad “Te Quiero” with him. Intrigued by the artist’s raw emotion, Seroussi was determined to meet the young star — and his persistence paid off.

After two months, Xavi arrived at the Interscope offices in Miami, guitar in hand, and performed for nearly an hour. “It was love at first sight,” says Seroussi, who saw in Xavi not just a musician but an “old soul,” with a profound ability to connect. “He has all those qualities that differentiate a hobbyist from someone who could be a real artist, a career artist. It wasn’t about numbers. I fell in love with Xavi, the artist.” Seroussi signed him to a record deal later that year.

Raised in Phoenix and Sonora, Mexico, the artist born Joshua Xavier Gutiérrez says that his bicultural upbringing deeply influenced his own music, which blends Mexican corridos traditions with modern rhythms. “We are the first generation to move here, to give [ourselves] a better life,” Xavi says in Spanish.

Xavi photographed on…

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