Ocesa director on what’s next for Latin America
Ocesa festival director Leizer Guss has spoken to IQ about the explosive growth of Latin music in 2022 and what’s next for the genre.
Recent news of Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny becoming the highest-grossing touring artist in a calendar year was the cherry on top of a year that has seen Latin stars break records across the board but as Guss points out, none of it happened overnight.
“I think it’s just the product of all the hard work all of the teams and artists have put in over the years,” he tells IQ. “It’s definitely not an overnight success, it’s just a matter of working effectively on the songs, live shows, albums and concepts and connecting with people.”
Though Bad Bunny has undoubtedly stolen the show in 2022, there are a number of Latin artists that are hot on his heels.
Karol G, Tiago PZK, Quevedo and Eladio Carrion are all contenders to be Latin America’s next superstar, according to the likes of Bruce Moran (Live Nation Latin America) and Phil Rodriguez (Move Concerts) and Guss has his own opinions.
“If I had to speculate I would say Rauw Alejandro. He has a unique energy, voice, vibe and an amazing team around him. We started working with him at Coca-Cola Flow Fest many years and are very excited and happy about the way he has grown as a live performer and artist.”
“I think there will at least be another wave of headliners that grow before the sound plateaus”
Coca-Cola Flow Fest takes place annually in Mexico City and is Ocesa’s flagship festival for the Latin urban sound. The last edition took place in November with headliners J Balvin, Anuel AA, Don Omar and Nicky Jam but it’s the artists slightly lower on the bill that Guss is excited about.
“Our Coca-Cola Flow Fest properties still have a very strong middle line and I think there will at least be another wave of headliners that grow before the sound plateaus,” he says.
“And I think the bonafide artists that come from the scene will keep pushing boundaries, exploring new sounds and recruiting new fans. I think it’s truly remarkable how most of the scene sticks together as if they truly understand that someone else’s success will pave the way for their own through collaborations and features.”
Alongside Coca-Cola Flow Fest, Ocesa’s festival portfolio includes Corona Capital, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Mexico, Live Latino, Imperial GNP and new festival The World Is A Vampire.
“Almost all of my festivals on sale are well and healthy… for now it looks like 2023 will be a good year,” says Guss. “The business grew in 2022 and I think 2023 will bring an opportunity to consolidate festival fans and try to convince them to mix their musical taste and try new things.”
As for the challenges that lie ahead, Guss says that Live Nation-owned Ocesa, which also owns Ticketmaster Mexico, is prepared for what’s in store.
“2022 was a record year because of the high amount of acts that hadn’t toured and the ‘thirst’ the fans had for gathering, celebrating and enjoying life,” he says. “As the industry levels again we will find where new consumption trends, the economy and the supply of touring artists leave us. We’re up to the challenge for sure.”
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