Music is a universal language. It is perhaps the most effective way to communicate your emotions to someone without the aid of any specific language. For hundreds of years, every nation has had its unique way of producing music. Mexican music is among one of the oldest ones. Mexico has a diversified and talented music industry with countless talented artists over the years.
What is Mexican music?
Mexican music is a blend of sounds, musical genres, and performance styles that come from Mexico’s rich heritage. Music from the indigenous tribes of Mexico and Europe has had the biggest influence on the country’s music.
Originally, the people that lived on Mexican land, used basic instruments like drums, flutes, and rattles to create music. This old way of making music is still used in many parts of Mexico. However, a lot of the Mexican music we see today was created after the Spanish colonial period. Ancient instruments are still given a major value in Mexican music culture mainly because of their cultural significance. An example of one such instrument is the Mexican Vihuela which is used in Mariachi Music.
Mexican music took another boost when themes of patriotism and protest against invaders were introduced into it. During the French Intervention of Mexico, Maximillian of Habsburg established the National Conservatory of Music in 1866. This was an important step in the preservation of the industry and musical heritage of the country. Since then, there have been countless popular music artists from Mexico.
What Are the Most Popular Music Artists From Mexico?
Vincente Fernandez was born on the 17th of February, the year 1970. He is one of the top Mexican singers of the century and has been given a variety of titles. Some of these are “El Charro de Huentitán”, which translates to the “Charro from Huentitan”, “El Ídolo de México”, which means the “Idol of Mexico”, and “El Rey de la Música Ranchera” or “The King of Ranchera Music”.
He is considered a cultural icon in Mexico and has released more than 50 albums to date most of which have hit records and been a huge success globally. Vincente Fernandez is also credited with contributing to about 30 films. He makes Ranchera and Mexican Classic music. Ranchera music draws an image of Mexican ranch life and displays its simplicity to the world. It also has various tones of patriotism, drama, and passion.
Vincente rose to fame after the death of the famous Mexican singer, Javier Solís. Fernandez only sings live and has a mariachi band accompanying him. However, he is not a mariachi musician himself. Through his hard work, and the admiration of his fans, he has won over three Grammy awards. He also has 8 Latin Grammy awards under his name. You can get an idea of Vincent Fernandez’s popularity from the fact that he has sold over 50 million copies of his albums worldwide. He truly is one of the best Mexican music artists.
Even though he retired from live performances in 2016, he is still one of the best-selling Mexican artists of all time. Fernandez’s biography is available in 26 different languages. Many people still remember Fernandez’s time as an era and a remarkable legacy that was left behind and might not come again.
Jorge Negrete was born in the city of Guanajuato, on 30 November 1911. He lived with his father and siblings in Mexico City throughout his childhood. At the age of 13, he was enrolled in the military and soon graduated as a superintendent. Military training was crucial in the development of his music career but the young lad seemed to have high passion. Not only did he develop a passion for music when in the army but his training also gave him a charm he would later benefit from as a musician.
Negrete learned singing under a singing professor by the name José Pierson. Jose’ helped Negrete hone his talent for opera and it was under his guidance that Jorge started singing for Radio XETR, at 20 years of age. He adopted the stage name Alberto Moreno and recorded several albums in the United States.
To further polish his singing career, he signed a contract with NBC television in 1936. This is considered to be one of the major steps which helped him become a huge Mexican star, ultimately. He also met cinematographer Ramón Peón, who went on to cast Jorge Negrete in his film. The film was named La Madrina del Diablo (1937) and would mark the start of Jorge’s acting career.
While acting, Jorge made himself a reputation by singing in the Ranchera genre of Mexican Music. He collaborated with the trio “Los Tres Calaveras”, on tours over America. He was a founding member of the Mexican Actors Association.
Jorge Negrete had hepatic cirrhosis since 1937. The complications of this disease became the cause of his death in 1953. Even though Negrete passed in Los Angeles, he was flown back to Mexico to be buried. According to his will, he was laid to rest in Mexico City. Historians still remember the legendary singer who had one of the most important roles in promoting Mexican music to other parts of the world.
Javier Solis was born on 1st September 1931 in Mexico City. His given name was Gabriel Siria Levario and he adopted the name Javier Solis for his music career. He was introduced to singing when he started to participate in singing competitions under the name Javier Luquín. He was stopped from participating soon because he always won. This was one of the earliest indications that Solis would go on to become one of the most popular Mexican musicians.
Through this, Solis was working as a butcher. He got his chance to professionally pursue music when his boss got impressed by hearing him sing. Javier’s boss recommended Noé Quintero to him as a vocal coach and even paid for his lessons. Solis got his big break when Julito Rodríguez and Alfredo Gil of “Los Panchos” discovered him. They took him with them to audition at CBS records. Solis was 18 at the time.
Two years later he released his first hit song Llorarás. After the success of his song, Felipe Valdes Leal, his producer, gave him the name “Javier Solis”. Over the years, he introduced the singing style now known as “bolero-ranchera” to the world.
Apart from singing, Solis was also an accomplished actor. He started his acting career in 1959 and had done more than 20 films throughout his life. He died on 19 April 1966, due to complications from gallbladder surgery. He is buried in Mexico City. Being one of the youngest stars in the Mexican music industry, his success was exceptional as people still listen to him.
Pedro Infante, born on 18, November 1917 was one of the most famous Mexican singers of all time. He sang in the Ranchera genre of Mexican music for almost 2 decades. Apart from singing, Infante was also an accomplished actor.
Pedro had held small singing jobs over his life, however, his primary occupation was being a carpenter. At the age of 21, in 1938, he auctioned at Radio Station XEB. He was hired to sing three times a week on the station. Although he was not making much from this job and it wasn’t even a proper singing job either, yet, this was the first step towards his long and highly successful career.
His first musical recording was “El Soldado Raso (The Private)”, recorded on 19 November 1943, for the Peerless Records Company. Pedro’s first acting job was as an extra in the film “En un “Burro Tres Baturros” (Three Men from Aragon on a Donkey). His first leading role was in “La Feria de Las Flores” (The Fair of Flowers) in 1943.
Throughout his career, Infante recorded about 350 songs. He also starred in over 60 films. Pedro died in a plane crash on 15 April 1957. He was co-piloting the plane under the pseudonym “Captain Cruz”. He is buried in Mexico City.
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Over the years, there have been numerous popular musicians from Mexico. While the names mentioned above are the most popular, there are countless other artists immensely successful in the country. Some of these artists are Thalia, Juan Gabriel, Jose Jose, Carlos Santana, and Luis Miguel. Mexican music continues to rise in various parts of the world with newer music producers targeting music voices from Mexico.