Before Mexican songwriter-producer Edgar Barrera enters the room for him Hit Producer of the Month interview, a suite of 10-15 people precedes it. Logo sewn onto each of their matching jerseys Boundary Group — describes a few of these smiling faces as a Texas-based indie band whose catchy cumbia rhythms have become synonymous with the rise of Mexican music on both sides of the border.
Barrera says he likes to travel with a Norteño group of six. Together, Frontera and Barrera are behind several DSP favorites on both the US and Mexican charts with their newest. bad rabbit and “un x100to” for a Mexican music single by Frontera, which gave the top-streamed list on Apple Music on the first day.
The world’s most-streamed artist breaks away from his usual reggaeton vibe and sings on Frontera-style cumbia on “un x100to”, which comes just a few days later. “She Dances Alone” by Armed Link and Featherweight It became the first Mexican music song to hit the top 10 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart.
“Something great is being prepared here,” says Barrera. Variation. “All the best artists [in música Mexicana] they are not competing with each other at the moment… they have different voices; all very fresh. When I finish writing a song I know who to go to because it’s a song that fits featherweight It did not suit Grupo Frontera at all.”
Barrera first discovered Frontera at his friend’s tire shop opening—yes, you read that right—about 40 miles from his hometown of McAllen, Texas. The band was hired to perform at a concert. fried meat celebrates its opening day. While the attendees were enjoying their tacos, Barrera’s friend urged him to support the local band. “But it’s more than just knowing how to play,” he remembers saying. “It’s about writing songs, producing songs, having a voice.”
At that time, Frontera’s cover of Colombian folk-pop group Morat’s “No Se Va” was slowly starting to gain traction (“No Se Va” would later make Frontera’s Hot 100 debut). At his friend’s further urging, Barrera agreed to listen to more of Frontera’s catalog—many of which consisted of covers of old songs—and instantly developed a fascination. Their voices were different from the mariachi-infused compositions he did for Christian Nodal, and even different from the bands in their own band. Artists like Grupo Firme, with whom Barrera also collaborates, often combine traditional Mexican music with pop and urban elements, while Frontera Norteños (the name comes from Northern Mexico where the music was first played) shines through. vault.
“I asked them about their goals,” he says, “and they specifically wanted to record a collaboration with Mexican singer-songwriter and Barrera frequent collaborator Carin León. “[León] After listening to ‘No Se Va’ I was really open to him and I wrote ‘Que Vuelvas’””, released on December 29 via Sony Music Latin via Barrera’s BorderKid imprint.
With the success of “No Se Va”, Frontera was searching for offers from record companies that were promising significant advances. “I remember telling them directly, ‘I can’t give you money because I don’t have it. I can’t compete with big companies’,” says Barrera. “BorderKid was in early development and all I had to offer was my songs and links.”
After some thought, the band decided that at least they didn’t have a big tag deal on their card yet and a paycheck to match it. “They were afraid it had the potential to disrupt the group,” says Barrera. “Or slow down what motivated them to get there in the first place. Their intention was to work to earn every dollar and see results… our partnership started here. I love working with people on the rise; I love being a part of shaping the sound. Usually better when there is a project that inspires me. Currently, this is Frontera’s upcoming album.
Frontera’s new record is due out in May, and Barrera says its members have recorded low-pitched cumbias. tololocheAn instrumental variant of the European double bass, more like a farm The genre is widely regarded as Mexican country music. They’ve also been in the studio with Mexican-American band Eslabon Armado, the first group to hit the top 10 on the Billboard 200 with a regional Mexican music album (“Nostalgia” peaked at #9 last May).
“There is no one out there like Edgar,” adds lead singer Payo Solís. The group said, “We think he understands us more than any record label can. He is one of us… We are very lucky to work with him. He surprised us with Bad Bunny [feature] in a song… I don’t think anyone will get over it anytime soon.
Adds Barrera, “It’s always been a dream of mine to work with Bad Bunny, but because he’s so good at what he does, I never knew how I could contribute to something he was already doing incredibly well. I was really excited to add something to his career through regional Mexican music that is not yet in his repertoire.”
“Un x100to” is co-produced by Barrera and Bad Bunny hit producer MAG, the person the team gives credit for making collaboration possible. “The whole team treated us with great respect, humility and love, and we truly admire them.”
Prior to the success of “un x100to”, Frontera and Fuerza Regida’s song “Bebe Dame” was also performing extremely well on DSPs and radio. The song was recorded last November after Barrera and Jimmy Humilde decided to coordinate two collaborations between Frontera and Fuerza, “’911′ is Fuerza Regida style and ‘Bebe Dame’ is more cumbia, Grupo Frontera style,” says Barrera.
“We entered the studio around 4pm that afternoon and they were rehearsing ‘Bebe Dame’ with the cameras on. We were all dancing, having fun – I was eating some pizza, watching their rehearsals and [Jesús Ortiz Paz, Fuerza’s lead singer] It was like, ‘That’s it – that’s the music video’ And We recorded the song.’ ‘What?!’ I was like.”
As Mexican music continues to boom in the United States, Barrera’s keen ability to know exactly which pair of artists would be suitable for a chart-topping collaboration is catching the attention of all kinds of interested parties. In the past, he wrote songs for Marc Anthony and Daddy Yankee, Selena Gomez and Rauw Alejandro, and recently wrote “Chanel,” the first single from Becky G and Peso Pluma’s upcoming regional Mexican album from Becky.
“Women of the type are missing,” Barrera says. “I really like the fact that Becky embraces both sides of being Mexican-American, so I asked her if she wanted to do this album, and she was more than willing to do it.” She describes Becky’s first act as “more old-school sound with mariachi, more tape.” But today I suggested that the genre connect with its sound, and then Featherweight became the feature,” he says, making fun of the songs with Fuerza Regida, Yahritza y Su Esencia and Ivan Cornejo, who are on the way.
It’s also currently looking for songwriters, producers, and an artist to sign for the BorderKid series, and has recently added Colombian producer Casta (Manuel Turizo and Marshmello’s “El Merengue”, Karol G and Becky’s “Mamiii”) to the roster. So what does he look for in an artist?
“I wrote something recently and I knew it suited Eduin. [of Grupo Firme]and when I called him to see if he wanted it, I explained some of the title and lyrics and he had the whole song recorded the next day. If an artist is just as excited about the song as I am and as motivated to work with it as I am, these are best-case scenarios. So is Frontera… We make really honest music. All the artists I work with stay true to their voices and never look over their shoulders at what anyone else is doing. That doesn’t mean we don’t mix genres, but I think what makes them such great artists is how realistic their way of making music is.”