By: Sergio Garcia Hernandez
Diana Rodríguez, the CEO and founder of the Criteria Entertainment agency, which among its functions promotes the career of musicians, granted an interview to Anadolu Agency in which she spoke about Latin American music, the promotion of artists, the future of the sector and the meeting of the BIME music industry that takes place in Bogotá from this Wednesday and of which she is one of its most renowned participants.
Rodríguez referred during the conversation to the present of Latin music and its impact on the various markets. He explained that, although he loves the explosion that the urban genre or reggaeton has had, the sector must work to “not let other genres suffocate” especially because of the variety that Latin America has musically.
“There is a lot of interest in urban Latin music, which is fine, and it should be the tool, as Carlos Vives’ La Gota Fría was at the time, for people to discover all the nuances, sounds and cultural richness of Latin America,” described the businesswoman
La Gota Fría was a song that, according to the CEO of Criteria Entertainment, made the world music industry turn to see what was happening in Colombia and Latin America. In this way, genres such as regional Mexican music, tango, cumbia or vallenato began to spread.
For Rodríguez, the urban genre, having a great reception in various places, can be the Cold Drop of our times and help other types of music to reach the most prestigious markets on the planet. “Being able to maintain visibility spaces for genres that suddenly do not have as much penetration in commercial radio is very important at the media level,” he considered.
“I think we are in a great moment of talent. Our countries have had an impressive cultural and musical wealth and it is important to know how to maintain these spaces in all areas so that our artists continue to grow and continue exporting”, he stated.
The BIME participant, which runs until next Saturday, also referred to this musical meeting, which she said has been a professional and artistic benchmark. “Not only do I hear resonance in what happens at BIME in Colombia but also in the United States, Mexico and Argentina.”
See also: The international congress of the music industry BIME announces Bogotá as its venue in 2022
“I believe that the festival offers new artists a platform for position and knowledge that is very important in any career and in fact in any business sector,” said Rodríguez about BIME.
For the businesswoman, the musical meeting can be defined as a recognition for Bogotá and Colombia. “It is a festival that comes at a good time not only for me but also for Francisca Valenzuela, who is one of the talents that we represent within the area of ’management’ of a developing artist. It is also a privilege to participate with Draco Rosa as an established artist”, she detailed.
Regarding the challenge of promoting an artist, Diana Rodríguez spoke about the process she has had with the Colombian band Diamante Eléctrico, which she has accompanied in recent years in a relationship that has brought great joy, such as the participation of this group in the Coachella festival in California, United States, and his multiple nominations for the Latin and Anglo Grammys.
For the businesswoman, the relationship with Diamante Eléctrico was the result of a connection she had when she met its music and its members, which she defined as fundamental in the development of a career.
For Diana, that connection is key because she is convinced that “the worst thing you can have is a player on the pitch who doesn’t believe in you.” “The best thing is an artist who believes in you against all odds, and with each of the talents we have worked with there is a musical connection,” she described.
“It is a relationship of mutual respect, communication, agreements. It ends up being this like a marriage. You have to be ready for the good and the bad. It’s very nice when you’re nominated, but it’s also very hard when things don’t go the way you want, when for example you expect 1,000 people at a concert and two arrive, ”she stressed.
The businesswoman mentioned that she does not believe “in assembly, promotion and marketing plans” and that she thinks that each artist has their moment and a unique path. “Many times my role is to connect the dots, that tailor job. We forget that the artist is not a product that we paint but that they are dreams, illusions and talent”, she recounted.
Referring to the possibility of an artist’s success, Rodríguez mentioned that the “perfect storm” must occur or what he calls the x factor, which is a moment of connection between the artist and the audience.
It is not easy, however, to achieve the recognition of new talents because, particularly in Colombia, it is a job that requires patience because it is a market that initially, according to the businesswoman, “is hard on its artists.”
Rodríguez explains that while in other countries fans quickly identify with their artists, which is reflected even in the so-called ‘merchadising’, with the use of t-shirts, for example, in Colombia it is not the same.
“It is very rare to go to Colombia and see people wearing Diamante Eléctrico, Bomba Stereo or Carlos Vives himself t-shirts,” he explained.
During the interview, Rodríguez, who was the first woman to head a record company in the United States (Capitol Latin), referred to gender equality within the industry and mentioned that it is an issue that has improved.
“When I go up on stage and see engineers or producers, it seems incredible to me. I feel that we lack presence in higher-ranking positions”, said the Colombian who also considered that salaries still need to be more equitable between men and women.
Speaking about the future of the industry, he assured that what has been called the metaverse must be taken into account, which are scenarios in which human beings interact as avatars.
“Music is never going to die, what changes is the format and as an industry we have to be very flexible to understand the changes in the market,” he stressed.
See also: The music industry in Colombia: indebted to women?
The talented businesswoman also specified that the new generations “come with other chips and other formats.” “I am clear that you have to be part of what is a large part of the youth market,” she concluded.
The BIME, which traditionally takes place in Bilbao, Spain, is currently experiencing its first edition in a Latin American venue in an attempt to multiply artistic and professional flows between Latin America and Europe.
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