Best Quotes From Mala Rodríguez, Yotuel & More at Billboard’s Spanish-Language Music Forum in Madrid

Artist managers, record label executives and music artists participated in the first Forum on Spanish-Language Music in Madrid, held at the WiZink Center, on Tuesday (March 19). The one-day, invite-only event, headlined by Argentine trap star Nicki Nicole with a Q&A and showcase performance, was presented by the Community of Madrid and powered by Billboard.

One of the panels of the evening, Entre Artistas (Between Artists), moderated by Billboard Espanol‘s social media manager Ingrid Fajardo, featured some of the most influential artists in the music industry in Spain — Mala Rodríguez, Paula Cendejas, Yotuel, and Maikel Delacalle — who discussed topics such as the latest trends and the digital world.

Below, read the best quotes from the Entre Artistas conversation:

Youtel on the Power of Music

“With ‘Patria y Vida,’ we took a million Cubans out into the streets singing ‘Patria y Vida’ to defend the people’s freedom. Let’s remember that music is powerful. Let’s not look at music as if it were just something festive or sublime. Music is powerful.”

Paula Cendejas on Going Against the Current

“I believe that you have to be a bit rebellious and go against the current,” she said when referring to of the speed that new music is being released. “I think we have to re-educate the listener, because as artists, we have found a pattern, and in the end, we make empty music [with no context] and then we do it all over again. That was not the driving force [when creating music].”

Mala Rodríguez on Being a Female Rapper in Spain

“Twenty years ago, I wanted to move my music forward, and the truth is that people in my neighborhood thought it was strange. The ear was not prepared to listen to what a girl had to say. So, it was a little different, and it took me a little while to accept myself and fight for them to accept me, too. I remember that when Yotuel arrived in Spain, it was like, ‘Wow, but what is this?’ Orishas’ proposal was something like hip-hop but with a Latin flavor. It was super cool.”

Maikel DelaCalle on His Musical Influences

“When I was a kid, I used to walk out on the street with a walkman listening to Mala Rodríguez and Orishas. ​​I think what artists like them have done has opened doors [for artists] everywhere. In my case, especially in the Canary Islands, I was greatly influenced by Celia Cruz. When she did her first tour here in Spain, where do you think she went? The Canary Islands. Don Omar? To the Canary Islands. We in the Canary Islands have had an incredible influence in Latin music.”

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