Published June 14, 2012
Discovering new Latino musical talent is one of the chief concerns of the industry, which consequently reaches out to the very young by means of contests on different platforms.
One such project is a new contest that seeks promising talent via an online platform that will take the winner to Los Angeles for recording sessions with Sebastian Krys, a producer who has worked with renowned artists like Shakira, Ricky Martin and Carlos Vives.
To produce that competition, Tr3s, an affiliate channel of MTV, struck up an association with Ourstage.com, a site with more than 17 million users, to launch the contest "Dame un Break" (Give Me a Break).
Contestants upload their music videos to Ourstage.com, while fans visiting the site begin to vote for their favorites.
"We're very excited about taking part in discovering and grooming new talent. Music is in our DNA, and we've had a great run discovering talent, from Juanes to Prince Royce," Jose Tillan, executive vice president of Tr3s, told Efe.
The public can cast their votes up to June 25 to choose the top 40, after which the winner will be announced in late July.
The contest winner will fly to Los Angeles to work with Krys, winner of four Grammys and nine Latin Grammys, on the original song and music video to be aired on Tr3s.
As the Hispanic population has grown and put down roots, contests seeking new Latino talent have proliferated.
One of them is "¡Q'Viva! The Chosen," for which Jennifer Lopez and ex-husband Marc Anthony teamed up with "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller to develop a contest in Spanish, an open door to new talent from across Latin America.
Also on the hunt for talent is the online contest www.atreveteytriunfa.com, created by Los Angeles-based music entrepreneur German Gonzalez, though it hasn't the platform or finances for a professional launch.
Krys has been involved in other contests but told Efe he particularly likes his new project, "Dame un Break," because it is "focused on young, Latino talent in the United States."
Even though technology and the new media make it easier to find an opening in the music industry, the Argentine producer and recording engineer said that "a lot of mediocre work also gets produced."
So what is good about contests like this, he said, is that they "help filter out" the humdrum to come up with real talent.
The most interesting thing about the platforms, he said, "is that you can be in contact with people all over the world, and when it comes time to seek talent, not only singers but also musicians, composers, producers, engineers...it's interesting to see how far you can go - you used to be limited by geography to what you had at hand."