Manuel Turizo Reflects on How He Built His Career ‘Little By Little’ at Latin Music Week

Manuel Turizo has had an extraordinary year; his Marshmello collaboration “El Merengue” received a Latin Grammy nomination, and his list of collaborators was expanded thanks to hit songs like “Copa Vacía” with Shakira, “Vagabundo” with Sebastián Yatra and Beele, “De Lunes a Lunes” with Grupo Frontera and “Los Cachos” with Piso 21.

It’s a musically eclectic and prolific path that the 23-year-old Colombian star began at the age of 16, when he uploaded “Una Lady Como Tú” — a song he co-wrote with his brother — to streaming services. “Lady” quickly became the song that put him on the map and changed his life.

“At first you have no idea about anything,” Turizo recalled on Wednesday (Oct. 4) at Billboard Latin Music Week, where he participated in the Rising Star Q&A panel presented by Delta Air Lines and moderated by Jessica Roiz, assistant editor, Latin at Billboard. “When we wrote it, we were trying to figure out how the hell to upload a song to Spotify. I asked my cousin, who was better off financially, for his credit card. It cost $9 to upload each song,” he added.

On how he seized the momentum to not remain a “one hit wonder,” he said “that is done by getting into the studio and making music all the time, building a path little by little.”

Known for not pigeonholing himself into any particular genre, the “La Bachata” performer enjoys exploring new music styles and challenging himself. It’s something his own team didn’t understand at first; in fact, Turizo said they initially advised him not to release a bachata, because it was a Dominican genre and not Colombian.

Ultimately, though, he decided to follow his gut. “It is important to listen to your team, but I have the last word, I say what I want to record,” he said. “Today, they get my vision.”

Celebrated for more than 30 years, the 2023 edition of Latin Music Week includes a Superstar Q&A with Shakira; the Legends on Legends chat with Chencho Corleone and Vico C; Making the Hit Live! with Carin León and Pedro Capó; a panel with RBD’s Christian Chávez, Christopher von Uckermann, and Maite Perroni; Superstar Songwriter discussion with Edgar Barrera and Keityn, and, among many other sessions, Q&As and workshops. See the ultimate Latin Music Week guide here.

Official partners of the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Week, taking place Oct. 2-6, include AT&T, Cheetos, CN Bank, Delta Air Lines, Lexus, Netflix, Michelob ULTRA and Smirnoff.

Latin Music Week coincides with the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards ceremony, which will broadcast live from the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla., on Thursday (Oct. 5) and will air on Telemundo. It will also broadcast simultaneously on Universo, Peacock, the Telemundo App, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean on Telemundo Internacional.

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