Nuevo Culture

This Mexican-American Could Win Grammy for Songwriter of the Year

If you check out the songwriting credits for many of today’s big hits in música mexicana, there’s a big chance you’ll see Edgar Barrera’s name. In addition to writing for Grupo Frontera, Christian Nodal, and Grupo Firme, the Mexican-American hit-maker has also worked with stars like Karol G, Bad Bunny, and Shakira. Barrera is making history at the 2024 Grammy Awards thanks to his nomination for Songwriter of the Year. He is the first-ever nominee in that category from the Latine music world. The ceremony will take place on Feb. 4 in Los Angeles, CA. 

“It’s so crazy that this happened to me,” Barrera exclusively tells Remezcla about his nomination. “I’ve always been around música mexicana since the very beginning. It’s not something that I just started doing months ago when this blew up. It’s been constant work and a long journey.” 

Not only is Barrera representing música mexicana in the Songwriter of the Year category, but also music written in Spanish. Barrera’s competition includes Jessie Jo Dillon, Shane McAnally, Theron Thomas, and Justin Tranter, all of whom write their songs in English. Whether or not Barrera wins in the category this Sunday, his historic nomination is a game-changer for the recognition of Latine music and Latine songwriters on a global level.

Before becoming a top Grammy nominee, Barrera was born in McAllen, TX, while he also spent his formative years in Tamaulipas, Mexico. When he later became a producer and songwriter, Barrera had an ear for how to make música mexicana that could resonate with listeners in Mexico, the U.S., and now around the world. 

Barrera is now at the forefront of the música mexicana explosion. Barrera co-wrote Christian Nodal and Gera MX’s “Botella Tras Botella,” which became the first música mexicana song to appear on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2021. He scored further hits as a songwriter with Grupo Frontera’s “Ya Supérame” and Fuerza Regida and Grupo Frontera’s “Bebe Dame.”

He also brought together Grupo Frontera and Bad Bunny for last year’s global smash “Un 100xto.” Shakira later tapped him for her first corrido “El Jefe,” and Karol G looked to him for Tejano authenticity to create the Selena-inspired “Mi Ex Tenía Razón.” Becky G also enlisted Barrera for her música mexicana album Esquinas

The 2024 Grammy Awards will air live this Sunday on CBS.