On The Radar Latin: Alessandra Aguirre, Marcelo Rubio & More Artists to Discover
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On The Radar Latin: Alessandra Aguirre, Marcelo Rubio & More Artists to Discover

Every month, Billboard Latin and Billboard Español editors spotlight a group of rising artists whose music we love. Think “diamantes en bruto,” or “diamonds in the rough.” These are newcomers who have yet to impact the mainstream — but whose music excites us, and who we believe our readers should make a point to discover.

Our latest edition of On the Radar Latin includes a wave of emerging artists, who we discovered by scrolling on social media, networking, or coming across their music at a showcase, for example. See our February 2024 recommendations below.

Artist: Alessandra Aguirre

Country: Peru

Why They Should Be On Your Radar: Ever since she was a little girl, Alessandra Aguirre has been honing her vocal and songwriting skills by being part of competition shows like Perú Tiene Talento and American Idol. Most recently, she graduated from the Berklee College of Music. Her had work has paid off: The pop artist, who has an impressive vocal range, signed with indie label PJ Records (founded by duo Periko & Jessi León) last year. With synth-pop as her canvas, Aguirre’s mature and deep vocals take centerstage expressing a sense of urgency to get a message across in each of her songs. Her latest single “Contravía” is no exception: In it, the Miami-based singer-songwriter sings about giving it all in a relationship where the other person was not reciprocal. — GRISELDA FLORES

Song For Your Playlist: “Contravía”

Artist: La Mau

Country: Venezuela

Venezuelan indie artist La Mau brings a sweet take to urban pop, with clean, romantic lyrics that nevertheless have personality. Signed to Swag Records and distributed by Glad Empire, La Mau sometimes is reminiscent of Karol G in sound and charm, but veers more romantic. With her girl-next door looks and disarming, down to earth videos, she is immediately relatable. — L.C.

Song For Your Playlist: “Solo Tú”

Artist: Marcelo Rubio

Country: Venezuela

Why They Should Be On Your Radar: Venezuelan singer-songwriter Marcelo Rubio brings back that Latin singer-songwriter vibe of the likes of Ricardo Arjona and Alejandro Sanz, but with a contemporary lexicón that is delightful to listen to. In breakout track “Conversación Con Mi Ex,” a brooding, mid-tempo pop jam set over synth and keyboards, he chats with an ex girlfriend with earnest, beautiful language that also incorporates pop culture references seamlessly, and makes you sit up and listen. This is very impressive stuff for a 20-year-old — and labels agree; Rubio just inked a deal with Sony Music Latin. — LEILA COBO

Song For Your Playlist: “Conversación Con Mi Ex”

Artist: Noreh

Country: Venezuela

Why They Should Be On Your Radar: This 26-year-old singer and songwriter is already a rising star in his native Venezuela, but he’s an emerging artist beyond his hometown. In the albums he’s relesaed so far — including his debut LP Asocial (2020), the live album Nada Íntimo (2021)and Mucho TXT (2023) — he offers an eclectic taste that ranges from urbano music and ballads to bolero, salsa and bossa nova. Noreh has collaborated with established names such as Jay Wheeler, Nacho, CNCO, and Servando & Florentino, and is now starting his path to an international career. In mid-February he gave his first U.S. concert, in Miami, with fellow Venezuelans Joaquina and Ricky Montaner (from Mau y Ricky) among the attendees. On March 7 he’ll release BALADAS TATUADAS VOL. 1, an EP with songs that combine romantic and urban music, while he plans his next shows in the U.S. — SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS

Song for Your Playlist: “El Día Que Me Odies”

Artist: Reyna Tropical

Country: Mexico

Why They Should Be On Your Radar: Dripping with succulent electronic textures, carefully plucked guitar, and hushed vocals, Reyna Tropical emerges as the project of guitarist, producer and singer-songwriter Fabi Reyna. Recent singles “Conocerla” and “Cartagena” serve as captivating harbingers of the project’s studio album debut, Malegría, out March 29 on Psychic Hotline. This title, a poignant blend of “mal” (sorrow) and “alegría” (joy), expresses the complex emotions of celebrating life amidst mourning the death of band member Nectali Díaz, known as Sumo.

Initially a collaboration between the two Mexican expats since 2018, the act has transitioned into one-woman endeavor. Rooted in the “duality between bad and good, bitter and sweet, grief and love, and death and rebirth,” like the press release says, Malegría claims a modern homage to diverse cultural legacies; weaving themes of queer identity, sensuality and love with Congolese, Peruvian, and Colombian rhythms. Drawing inspiration from Chavela Vargas and Manu Chao, Reyna’s artistry shines through her recent work. Earlier this year, the artist signed with WME for global representation in all areas. — ISABELA RAYGOZA

Song For Your Playlist: “Conocerla”


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