3 Takeaways From the Power Players Panel at 2021 Latin Music Week

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Latin Music Week kicked off in full force Tuesday (Sept. 21) with a morning motivational speech by writer Daniel Habif.

“Being here today together is a privilege. Thank you for being here,” Habif said. “This week is a great advance, voices that are beyond our time. Friends and colleagues from our industry. Let’s remember that now more than ever, we have to cooperate instead of competing … let’s remember we are a collective.”

Then things began in earnest with the annual Power Players panel, moderated by Billboard’s Leila Cobo and presented by City National Bank, featuring executives Rebeca Léon (manager to artists such as Rosalía and Lunay), Walter Kolm (manager to artists such as Maluma and Carlos Vives) and Henry Cárdenas (CEO/founder of Cárdenas Marketing Network).

The panelists touched on returning to touring, whether or not there is a saturation of new releases and maintaining a healthy, respectful friendship with each other.

Below are takeaways from the Power Players panel:

What the Pandemic Taught You

Henry Cárdenas: “I’ve learned to appreciate the people that work with me. I have the ones that need to be there with me. It’s the people I need next to me at all times and I appreciate. That’s the biggest lesson for me.”

Whether There’s a Saturation of New Releases

Rebeca León: “At the end of the day, everyone has their own plan and objectives. I’m the type that thinks less is more and we have to let fans digest and embrace the songs. But that’s just me. Everyone is different. Some look for numbers while others want to develop an artist — there are different approaches and both work. But as a manager, one has to be aligned with their artist. For example, Rosalía is the type to be very judicious with what she releases. She’s a writer-producer, so she pays attention to every single detail. She’s not the type to write a song in a day.”

On Building Long-Lasting Friendships 

Walter Kolm: “We respect each other. That’s the most important thing. That doesn’t mean we always see eye to eye, we disagree on many things and we can even fight at that moment, but there’s an understanding that there’s mutual respect. Like with Henry, he’s the type of guy who believes and bets on artists because he is passionate about the artist’s craft. He goes beyond the business.”

The star-studded 2021 Latin Music Week lineup — headlined by Daddy Yankee, Karol G and Nicky Jam — also includes participation by Anitta, Elena Rose, Natti Natasha, Jhay Cortez, Kany García and Tainy.

Under the slogan “The Beat of Latin Music,” making its mark as the longest running and biggest Latin music industry gathering in the world, this year’s event will continue through the end of the week as Billboard launches its En Vivo concert series in partnership with Samsung, Amazon Music and Bacardí.

The 2021 Latin Music Week takes place from Sept. 20 to 25 at the Faena Forum in Miami, and coincides with the 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards broadcasting live via Telemundo on Sept. 23. See the list of finalists here.

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