Music

Between Tumbados and Romances, Xavi is Overcoming Challenges and Making his Mark

“These are real life situations,” Xavi tells Billboard Español, reflecting on the inspiration behind his gut-wrenching and fiery chart-topper “La Victima.” “I feel like we all go through obstacles or things like that in life. Sometimes you have to make songs out of that.”

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In the booming landscape of música mexicana, Xavi, a 19-year-old Phoenix native, has rapidly emerged as a force to be reckoned with. His 2024 breakout, with the viral hits “La Diabla” and “La Víctima,” marks not just a high point in his career, but also a redefinition of genre boundaries.

Yet his story is one of triumph over adversity, marked by a life-altering accident and a bicultural upbringing that has influenced his musical craft. 

His musical journey began in the church pews, watching his grandfather sing with a passion that ignited his own love for music. “Since we were little, we used to go to church with my grandparents,” he says. “Just seeing my grandpa playing with so much passion — and the truth is that when he sang, he sang with feeling, he sang with love and he did it for God. I remember that day I fell in love with music.”

This early exposure, coupled with influences from Mexican crooner bands like Camila and Sin Bandera and global pop icons like Justin Bieber, shaped his diverse musical palette. Despite a challenging childhood marked by his parents’ separation and living between Phoenix and Sonora, Mexico, Xavi found solace and expression in music.

A pivotal moment in Xavi’s life came with a near-fatal car accident at the age of 16. This harrowing experience, which resulted in a cracked skull and changed facial structure, could have been a setback. Instead, it became a source of inspiration.

“God gave me a second chance to go on and try harder,” he shares. “I saw it initially as a negative, but it ultimately changed my mindset. Now, I’m grateful for every moment I have.”

Videos of Xavi, bandaged and playing guitar while recovering, went viral on TikTok, deepening his connection with fans and marking the beginning of his rise as a tumbados románticos pioneer, inspired by Natanael Cano’s groundbreaking corridos tumbados which Xavi discovered on SoundCloud a few years ago. With his riveting blend of rebellious guitar-driven corridos infused with romantic lyrics, Xavi is not just riding the wave of Latin music; he is crafting his own niche.

The teen signed with Interscope Records in 2021 and began releasing a string of singles that showcase his unique subgenre that blends corridos tumbados with a poignant emotional depth.

His 2023 summer EP, My Mom’s Playlist — a tribute to his mother which features renditions of Latin pop and rock en español classics she loved — reflects his deep-rooted family values, and the support he receives from the. Meanwhile, his chart-topping singles testify to his no-holds-barred lyrical prowess and bewitching vocals, leading to his Billboard chart breakthrough.

At the end of December, Xavi debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with not one but two entries: “La Diabla” and “La Víctima,” which have since reached peaks of No. 22 and No. 55, respectively. His global appeal is further evidenced by his presence on the Billboard Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. charts, with “La Diabla” reaching the top five on both.

Backed by management that aligns with his vision, Xavi’s future in the industry looks bright. As he gears up for an upcoming tour and continues to release new music, his philosophy remains grounded: “I live each day as if it’s my last, as tomorrow is never promised,” he asserts.

An extended version of this interview was published Jan. 29.

Name: Joshua Xavier Gutiérrez

Age: 19

Recommended Song: “Right now I like them all. But the one you really have to listen to is “La Diabla” because we made it with a lot of love for you.”

Major Accomplishment: “Since we were kids, my brother [Fabio Capri] and I used to make music. There came a time when we stopped and thank God music reconnected us.”

What’s Next? “We’re going to be releasing surprises on our platform soon. There will be a lot of new stuff coming out for you to listen to.”

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