Urban music is constantly changing, always looking for new versions of itself. Different genres blend together, creating new fixations for thousands of artists. And of course, every year a good part of the different genres that dominate the market go up and down like in the stock market: either they become fashionable due to the influence of an important artist or they go down in popularity due to the push of other concepts that have led to a better artist-consumer artistic transmission.
I’ve been producing bases for companies, independent artists and radio media for a few years now, and every year I see how my customers have different fixations, new fetishes and genres to get their teeth into. From their requests we can extract a casuistry that reflects in a certain way the genres that are “the hottest”, and many of the artists I work with ask me for a certain genre because it is starting to become popular in Spain or it is working very well in other countries.
What genres are currently dominating independent urban music in Spain? As I said, today I will talk about the genres that predominate in Spanish urban music based on the different types of personalised bases that my clients have asked me for throughout the year (Top 10 in order of relevance ?).
Genres on the rise (Top 10)
Some artists ask me for personalised instrumentals of pop with a flamenco touch on the guitar but sweetened by the harmonic formulas of pop, and usually with a dembow rhythm. This style is mainly what Bisbal works with in songs like Perdón or A partir de hoy, but as an example I prefer to leave you with a song by Antonio José, who, although this one in particular doesn’t have a dembow rhythm when it comes to production, has become a reference for me.
Another constant this 2020 is flamenco reggaeton or, as many call it, “flamencotón”. Similar to the previous category, unlike this one it is not necessary to use guitars; the flamenco touch can be provided by synthesis (digital sounds) or vocals (strummed and with flamenco ornaments). Here is a track by Maka, who is the artist most often used as an example to ask me for tracks.
This year many customers have also asked me to do electrolatino, but not as it was done in 2012, but with a more modern facelift. A good example of this use of the modern style in electrolatino would be Daviles de Novelda, a relatively recent artist who is becoming the visible face of the genre in Spain.
4.- Anglo-Saxon pop
Many artists have a special predilection for what is worked outside the country and their idea is precisely to bring it here (which is a guaranteed success, by the way). That’s why I’m often asked for emotional pop ballad-type songs, but done “Anglo-Saxon style”. I’ll leave you with an example that I think illustrates this perfectly: a Sam Smith song that is also a standard for me when it comes to inspiration for the production.
And of course, the dembow is always present. Nowadays, cumbia, reggaeton, bachata, merengue, reggae, rap, etc., are all mixed up within this eclectic genre that more and more musicians ask me for. Here is an example that illustrates well the “global count” of requests in relation to this genre. Sech ft Bad Bunny, two artists who work this style in a very fresh way.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the blog and in the first positions of the top, some artists need genres that result from the mixture of two (which, by the way, each of the two genres are in turn a mixture of others ?). In this case it is very typical to ask for tracks with this kind of mix, and the reason is very simple: rhythmic contrast. By contrasting parts of dembow with parts of trap it gives a lot of dynamism to the song, which makes you want to listen to it until the end. Because dembow can often be boring if you listen to it all the time in one track. That’s why when I work on dembow I do a lot of cuts, breaks, breakdowns in the percussion… to add dynamism through other skills. I’ll leave you with another example of this style, but in this case I’m more like putting together the percussion of the two genres.
This year I have also found some customers interested in dembow type music but with a dancehall type vocal melody mixed with Gyptian style pop to convey a sensual/sexual mood in their tracks. The accompaniment is usually something “Caribbean” and calm, as in this example here, a track by Dalex that has turned out to be a standard for me when producing this genre.
8.-Synth pop tipo Billie Eilish
Here the name of the author has to appear directly because this style is as concrete as it is unique. One thing is synth pop and another thing is Billie Eilish. This year several clients have come to me asking for a very energetic and at the same time smooth pop, seemingly empty of elements. Their example has been Billie Eilish, who has revolutionised pop music this year. Here is one of her songs that is representative of what customers are demanding.
For some time now, certain artists have been fixated on the “French style” when looking to buy rap bases. This style is basically a cross between debow, afro beat and rap with powerful electronic sounds and a lot of bass. Here’s an example of a track that one of my artists used as a reference (the rapper is called Soolking, and he’s doing very well in France at the moment).
The last position (unfortunately -_-) goes to cinematic music. It’s the genre I’ve been asked for the least, although fortunately I’m getting more and more requests for it, especially for covers. It’s pop music with orchestra (string sounds and orchestral timbre effects) and percussion, like a classic Hollywood BSO, but with a modern pop touch. Here is an example of the style.
These are the genres on the rise in 2020 in Spain according to the requests of the artists I work with on a daily basis. Possibly next year I will have to replace some of them and change the order of the others, because as I say, urban music is renewed every day (that’s what makes it a challenge).
Anyway, I’ll say goodbye for today, next week I’ll be back with another blog. As always, I leave you some links to blogs related to this one and, I wish you the best music!
Remember that you can buy rap, trap, drill, pop, reggaeton, r&b, dembow… instrumentals, etc! A la carte.