Jorge Drexler: “Reggaeton Isn’t J Balvin or Maluma’s, It’s From Africa and It’s Wonderful”
It’s been a full two weeks because the 19th annual Latin Grammy Awards hit Las Vegas, however the dialog on the ceremony and its winners continues to be surging. After Colombian pop star J Balvin was unexpectedly snubbed within the Record of the Year and Album of the Year classes – the previous of which was awarded to Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler for “Telefonía”– the well-worn dialog on the Recording Academy’s desire for pop and extra conventional genres over urbano sounds has re-emerged.
Since the November 15 ceremony, detractors of reggaeton have hailed Drexler’s win as a victory – one which symbolizes the triumph of “respectable” music and poses a problem to reggaeton’s domination within the Spanish-language music business. The Latin Grammys have a protracted historical past of awarding statues to extra pop-leaning and acoustic artists, which many see as a neglect for urbano and a mark of prejudice amongst voting members within the Recording Academy.
In a number of interviews, Drexler has asserted that his successes shouldn’t be used to uphold elitism or prejudice in opposition to the style. As he informed Rolling Stone in a latest interview, “I’ve witnessed prejudice in opposition to many genres. When I used to be a teen, it was disco. It was rock. I like reggaeton — I like to bop to reggaeton. There’s a sensuality to it that I like. It makes me unhappy that anybody thinks that I’m an instance of mental superiority [over reggaeton].” In a dialog on Spanish radio program La Ventana, he echoed this assertion: “Reggaeton will not be my enemy.”
Drexler has additionally asserted that reggaeton is a component of a bigger cultural contribution to Latin American music. In an interview with La Tercera he stated, “Qué viva el reggaetón, la cumbia, Pessoa, Borges, Carmen Miranda…let’s take pleasure in what now we have. We simply began to take discover. Latin America has a really promising future,” he stated, happening to focus on the style’s afro-diasporic origins. According to him, reggaeton isn’t “J Balvin’s or Maluma’s, it’s a rhythm from Africa, from the North, and it’s great. If we don’t like a sure sort of a tune, let’s write higher songs, however let’s not blame the genres [themselves].”