Warner Chappell executives, country and South American performers, discuss collaborations, hit song potential, more
Country music’s acknowledgment of its Latin roots often doesn’t extend past Mexico’s southern borders with Belize and Guatemala. Moreover, the genre’s desire to see clean-shaven charro suit and sombrero-wearing ranchera vocalists like Vincente Fernandez or smiling, blue-collar appealing countrypolitan balladeers like Freddy Fender meet, but never entirely exceed, a half-century of expectations.
However, recent evolutions show this notion — on Music Row, of all places — is changing rapidly.
Mexico is one country with a population of roughly 125 million people. But Central and South America are a 20-country region comprised of nearly 700 million people. Therefore, it is vital to consider how country music will satisfy a need and want to impact six times more people than its stereotypical expectation.
Pop act Piso 21’s Pablo “Pablito” Mejia is a native of Medellin, Colombia sitting in a large entertainment suite at Warner Chappell’s year-old renovated Music Row offices. His neon chartreuse-dyed, close-cropped hair and baggy hip-hop gear would traditionally feel out of place in this downtown Music City square.