In the nascent days of 2019, a transformative wave of música mexicana was underfoot. Spearheaded by the rebellious strains of corridos tumbados, pioneered by Natanael Cano, this regional style began to take over the internet, and by the end of that year, the Billboard charts. Amid this burgeoning movement, a poignant counterpart emerged: sad sierreño. As música mexicana evolves, it continues to unfold into new and captivating configurations.
The latest installment of SoundCloud’s SCENES documentary series, titled SCENES: Música Mexicana and released today (Feb. 7), captures that essence. Presented by Toyota and directed by Elías López-Julián Burgueño, it features Ivan Cornejo, DannyLux, Xavi, and Conexión Divina — some of the artists at the forefront of this new revolution. Each, in their own way, encapsulates the spirit of música mexicana, a scene that has grown exponentially since 2019.
As a Mexican-American journalist from the border who once played in a mariachi band, witnessing and helping document this cultural evolution feels deeply personal. Just as the new regional Mexican movement was emerging, I had started a role leading Latin music curation at SoundCloud. So I happily accepted when the platform invited me to participate and narrate this installment of SCENES.
Cornejo — who graced the cover of Billboard in January — is the embodiment of this new era taking shape. As a young trailblazer who has infused sierreño music with emo-like lyrics and an electric guitar, he leads an evolving soundscape, heralding a chapter where tradition meets contemporary soul.
DannyLux, whose streams surged sevenfold following his breakout album, Las Dos Caras del Amor (2021), according to SoundCloud, represents the transformative power of sierreño music. Conexión Divina shatters traditional barriers as a pioneering queer female group in the genre, representing a shift towards inclusivity and diversity. Xavi, Billboard’s January Latin Artist on the Rise, whose single “La Diabla” continues to dominate the Hot Latin Songs chart, further showcases the global appeal of regional Mexican music with his own strain of tumbados románticos.
Behind this seismic shift is SoundCloud, a platform where these artists first found their voice and audience. “We’re thrilled to elevate Mexican-American artists who are proud of their culture and are deeply impacting communities worldwide,” says U.S. brand partnerships director at SoundCloud, Andrea Ropp. “This partnership is a testament to SoundCloud and Toyota’s shared vision of empowering artists whose passion for their community and determination to push boundaries are leading them to new heights.”
Echoing this sentiment, Alex Chau, brand media manager at Toyota Motor North America, shares, “The creation of this first Latino-focused docuseries with SoundCloud aligns organically with Toyota’s commitment to supporting emerging artists and championing music discovery. These artists are taking the genre to new heights, elevating Latino culture and their community through their sounds.”
“Entire scenes and genres of music have been birthed on our platform, and tastemakers within the industry continue to look to SoundCloud to identify what’s next in music,” adds SoundCloud’s CEO, Eliah Seton. “The regional Mexican music scene is another case study on why tomorrow’s mainstream music trends are emerging first on SoundCloud. We’ve been following RMX (regional Mexican) for years and we’re thrilled to continue propelling the artists and scene into the limelight.”
Whether a lifelong fan of música mexicana or newly curious, there’s something profoundly moving in witnessing the growth of a genre that’s as dynamic as the people it represents. The artists’ stories, as showcased in the docuseries, testify the power of passion, community, and innovation.
As Billboard has been reporting, regional Mexican music isn’t having a moment, it’s been a movement.
Watch the full documentary above.
Past SCENES include SoCal Soul, plugg, PC Music, East African Underground and more.
Powered by Billboard.