On the latest episode of Billboard’s new series Cultura Clash, Colombian-American artist Kali Uchis, regional Mexican chart-topping artist Gerardo Ortiz and best new artist Latin Grammy nominee Paloma Mami come together for a candid conversation on collaborations.
More specifically, are collaborations between artists a must during these days? When is a collab simply clout-chasing and when should an artist turn down a collab? As ever, the three aforementioned artists are honest and transparent with their responses when talking about this complex topic.
“I didn’t ever wanna be known as that artist that is always collaborating and I feel like in the Latin industry, it was like popping off, that’s what everybody was doing,” says Paloma Mami, who — in a world where collaborations are a given in order to gain traction and streams — did not feature other artists on her debut album Sueños de Dali.
Adds Kali Uchis: “Sometimes it can be nice to learn from other people, but I started alone in my room so for me, I love working alone. If you’re super talented and have a song that’s really powerful, then you don’t need another person on the song for it to do well.”
Uchis scored her first No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart with ”Telepatía” back in May, becoming the first female soloist without an accompanied act to reach No. 1 since 2012.
When it comes to collaborating in the regional Mexican realm, “Our music is different,” says Ortiz, who has expanded his fanbase thanks to collabs with non-regional Mexican artists such as Gente de Zona, Darell and Prince Royce. “It’s difficult to connect with other sounds but now you have to mix with different genres and fans to grow.”
Billboard’s Cultura Clash premiered live during 2021 Latin Music Week, where artists Kany Garcia, Yotuel Romero, and Chocquibtown’s Goyo and Tostao, had a conversation about social justice.
Executive produced by Billboard’s Shira Brown, Lee Schneller and Leila Cobo, and produced by Jessica Roiz, Griselda Flores, Lesley Corral and Jordyn Rolling, Cultura Clash will include singers, songwriters, producers and actors as guests on the show and will feature Ally Brooke, Kali Uchis, Paloma Mami, Elena Rose, Jimmy Humilde, Ovy on the Drums, Banda MS manager and founder Sergio Lizárraga and more.