Music

Kenia OS: From Social Media Stardom to the Billboard Charts

Since debuting with her single “Por Siempre” in 2018, Kenia OS has been making a name for herself in the music industry, via Billboard-charting hits like “Mi Salida Contigo” with Ha*Ash and “Malas Decisiones.”

The Mexican singer-songwriter, who became known as a content creator on her YouTube channel (where she has 12 million subscribers) and later on TikTok (where 18.9 million users follow her), says that the desire to dedicate herself to music did not arrive at a specific moment, but it was developed over time.

“It was something that I liked to do, like recording videos, being in front of the cameras… and little by little I feel that it became my job and something more tangible,” she tells Billboard Español. “And things started to happen faster and I think it was like a roller coaster that I went on and it has never ended.”

Although she defines herself as a person who is clear about what works for her and what she likes, at first she had a hard time finding her musical style. The battle in her mind between taking the path of the most popular genres of the moment and her own tastes was soon resolved when she released the pop single “Malas Decisiones,” which has 170 million streams on Spotify. “When ‘Malas Decisiones’ was released and exploded on social media … I realized that people liked pop, and the pop that I was doing. It’s when I realized it was the path I wanted to take,” she says.

Kenia OS considers herself a disciplined and responsible artist with her work. Her years as an influencer have also been key to gaining confidence and familiarity in front of the public. “I do a lot of things with love, with a lot of passion for my fans, and I think that is reflected [in my music],” she says. “And I help people heal through my art — or well, that’s what they tell me.”

On Aug. 2, the artist renewed her contract with Sony Music Mexico and 5020 Records, with whom she worked with for her two 2022 albums, Cambios de Luna and K23, and on this year’s short film Universo K23 — in which she presents the journeys of her alter ego, K23. In addition, she has collaborated with artists like Thalia, with whom she recently released a new version of “Para No Verte Más”.

“Mi Salida Contigo” peaked at No. 16 on Billboard‘s Latin Pop Airplay in March, while “Malas Decisiones” entered the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. (No. 94) and the Billboard Global 200 (No. 176) that same month. The singer is currently on the road with her K23 Tour, which includes stops in various cities in Mexico and Central America. This year, she also won three Premios Juventud awards: The New Female Generation, Best Fandom and I Want More.

Kenia OS is clear about how she sees herself in a few years: “In the future, I think I see myself as a 360 artist doing different projects. As much as acting, music, my brands, I also see myself with a solid career, with a solid name,” she says. “In my personal life, I don’t know. I’ll go with the flow.”

Below, learn more about August’s Latin Artist on the Rise.

Name: Kenia Guadalupe Flores Osuna

Age: 24 years

Recommended Song: “Lovelove U.” “After ‘Malas Decisiones’ which is totally pop, I realized — because I was a little not reluctant but confused, since reggaetón, urban, all of these are so popular right now, and I never felt 100% comfortable doing them,” she explains. “When ‘Malas Decisiones’ emerged and exploded on social media, I realized that people liked the pop and the pop that I was doing. I realized that it was the path I wanted to take, and ‘Lovelove U’ started from that, from continuing to do pop and staying true to myself.”

Major Accomplishment: “My biggest achievement right now I think has been… Eh, I have several. [Laughs.] But I think it’s the K23 Tour. Also, the K23 short film that was awarded [at the Cannes World Film Festival and at the Berlin Indie Film Festival], and the Premios Juventud that I won this year”.

What’s Next: “With my music, new releases are coming. I don’t know if collaborations, to be honest, but my releases, yes.”

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