The 2017 Billboard Latin Music Conference started off on a high note with the Pop + Urban = The Perfect Marriage panel, featuring superstar speakers Reik, Wisin, Ozuna, Silvestre Dangond and ChocQuibTown's Tostao.
The discussion, which was moderated by iHeart Radio's Enrique Santos, centered around the urban/pop collaborations currently dominating the Billboardcharts, and most importantly, the need for artists to maintain their integrity in the collaborative process. "We can make fusions, and collabs but the most important part is that artists don't leave their identity behind," Wisin said during the one-hour panel, which ended with salsa star Jerri Rivera up onstage improvising a collab with the panelists.
Superstars and Super Executives: What to Expect at the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Conference
Wisin: "Silvestre Dangond reaches a different audience than my audience, and when we unite we make something new and refreshing for the audience. That's what it's all about. It's all about taking that risk."
Ozuna: "We make music so the audience can choose what they want to hear. We have to be ready to create at any moment, and wherever there is a clear opportunity. I'm already talking to the other artists here at the conference for collaborations."
Reik: "We saw that artists in pop were starting to get too comfortable. We quickly learned that we had to do things differently and not be comfortable. We want to continue to look for interesting things and make other unexpected collaborations."
Wisin: "It's important that we keep making collaborations, but we also can't lose our identities. Because of Reik's collaboration with Nicky Jam, that doesn't mean they're going to stop being Reik."
Tostao: "It's important that when music starts crossing borders, people can figure out from our sound that we are Latin. Not from Colombia, Mexico, etc. -- that we are Latin, and we represent Latin music."
Latin Conference Preview: Honoring Hitmakers (In the Age of Trump)
Silvestre: "When I started my career, I said in an interview that I would never try any other genre or live in Miami. But now I've evolved and grown and understood that music needs these types of collaborations."
Reik: "In the U.S., there is a sentiment of unity between Latinos you don't see in any other places. And that's amazing to see, because with everything that is going on in the world, we need to stay to together and help each other out."
Wisin: "There are many artists like Enrique Iglesias who are aware of the new generation of audiences, and understands that an urban collaboration will reach new ears. It's necessary that their music also evolves."
Ozuna: "We've been able to evolve and grow because we are helping each other out. The Latin market has grown so much and we're so thankful about everything that is happening to Latin music now."
Tostao: "Music is like juice. Nowadays, juice isn't only orange or pineapple. We start saying, actually let me get some kiwi or apple in the mix too."
READ COMPLETE ARTICLE