How This Latin Star Became A Successful Crossover Artist

A lot of artists are looking for something to give them an edge. Though it’s not new to the music industry, crossing over to different music genres and audiences has become more popular. Selena, Shakira, and Ricky Martin have all entertained Latin and North American audiences, but Romeo Santos has been one of the most successful Latin crossover artists.

Here’s how he does it.

1. Develop a strong following in one genre.

Before Romeo Santos was a solo artist, he was a part of a band called Aventura. From the band to his solo career, he has been making well-known bachata hits. After a whole decade in the music industry, he is well aware of who is his audience.

Pictured below is Romeo at his last performance with Marc Anthony.

It's always a pleasure & honor sharing the stage with big Bro @marcanthony // ???? @ernd0gz

A photo posted by Romeo Santos (@romeosantos) on

2. Start to diversify the current sound slightly.

There are hundreds of different types of Latin music. By inviting other Latin artists to work on a song together, Romeo Santos was able to show the record companies that he was able to work outside of what he thought was familiar.

Romeo Santos enjoys bringing other artists in the studio. Here he is with friends in the studio.

Noches inolvidables, preparandoles #GOLDEN.

A photo posted by Romeo Santos (@romeosantos) on

3. Carefully pick the artists you collaborate with.

During his time in Aventura and even now, Romeo Santos has only worked with artists whom he admires. The passion he has for music and the respect he has for other artists enhances the songs they create together. If he worked with an artist he didn’t care for, then the music would reflect that.

He decided to join three other artists, who have spent years producing bachata hits, in “Debate de 4.”

4. Incorporate pop artists for more exposure.

For his second album, Formula II, Romeo decided to incorporate as many artists as possible. Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Marc Anthony were a few artists included on the album. People around the world fell in love with these tracks because it was familiar music and the unfamiliar blended well.

Drake and Romeo Santos are in sync in their song “Odio.”

5. Never isolate one audience to favor another.

Crossing over in musical genres is about inclusion and education. Romeo Santos ensures the perfect blend of English and Spanish when recording or performing to avoid making any of his fans feel alienated. His most memorable crossover song is “Promise.”

Romeo’s Latin fusion and Usher’s smooth vocals showed the two artists’ real talent.

The world is waiting on more music from Romeo Santos, but there is over a decade’s worth of hits to enjoy for now. Any crossover artists should remember a few things from Romeo’s successful. Stay true to who you are, embrace your culture and heritage, and do what you do best.

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Tia Burton studies Communications, Spanish, and Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. She enjoys watching movies and travelling and will be spending a semester abroad in Argentina.