I started out day 2 of Los Dells Fest not even knowing how I was going to make every set time and press room that I had circled on my schedule. Between Banda Los Sebastianes (who happen to have one of the biggest Spanish hits out right now) and all of my favorite Urban Latin artists performing on the same day, on different stages, within minutes of each other, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to navigate through.
I figured I would start with Banda Los Sebastianes, a popular band out of Sinaloa, Mexico who has been dominating the Música Regional Mexicana charts with their rendition of A Través del Vaso, and whose YouTube views for the song have surpassed 150 million. I walked up just in time to catch them singing and dancing in sync to their rehearsed moves in their shiny, silver matching suits. Their energy was high and I finally understood why they’ve been able to maintain their popularity on today’s Banda scene as festival-goers danced along according to their respected bailes regionales whether it be from Michoacan, or Durango, or Zacatecas.
Up next on the Woodside Stage was Lunay, whose song Soltera gained so much traction in dance clubs across the world that superstars Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny hopped on the remix earlier this year. The video has reached 350 million Youtube views since May. As badly as I wanted to catch the 18-year old’s set, I had to rush back to the media tent to catch DaniLeigh’s press room and set on the Toyota Latino stage that had been announced just about a week prior to the festival.
photo credit: @guillermovisuals
If you’re unfamiliar with the 24-year-old Dominicana from South Florida who was once given complete creative directorial control from her late mentor Prince, all you need to know is that she is a triple-threat. Signed to DefJam, DaniLeigh started her career as a dancer/choreographer and shyly began recording YouTube covers that would help her later on as a singer/songwriter. “I did some stuff with Prince Royce,” she told me. “That song should be out soon… Oh and ASAP Ferg, too.” The remix to her song Easy ft Chris Brown became a radio favorite this summer.
Her older brother Brandon Bill$ who is also a singer/songwriter and is often found performing alongside Dani is another rising star whose music is landing amongst the industry’s heavyweights. He recently performed on the same stage with Da Baby and has a collaboration with G Eazy in the works. She mentioned to me how vital having her brother’s aid during her songwriting process and stage performances has been but also understands he is carving out his own path in music.
We ran into Jhay Cortez backstage who had just finished his Toyota Latino set and whose meet and greet line of young girls squealing with excitement to meet the entertainer was the longest I had seen at the festival. Cortez is another relatively new artist from Puerto Rico who at 26 years old has exploded onto the Urban Latin scene. His his song No Me Conoce gave him his first Billboard top 10 on the Hot Latin charts and found its way into the hands of both Bad Bunny and J Balvin for the remix. He’s expected to be seen more frequently on the charts with new music as he quickly rises in popularity amongst Latin Trap fans.
We wrapped up Dani’s show and I had about five minutes to rush over to the Woodside stage for Farruko’s set. I never realized how many radio hits the Puerto Rican star had until I saw him perform for the first time at Los Dells. He slowly walked out onto the stage with his carefree limp, attracting the biggest audience I had seen at the two day festival so far. He opened his set with his most popular song to date in collaboration with Myke Towers, Si Se Da. He followed that with Delincuente and kept the GangaLee vibes coming with the Jamaican-rooted Reggaeton style he has become known for.
Up next was the superstar that everybody was there to see… Ozuna. Affectionately known as el negrito ojos claros, he had obviously attracted nearly every attendee who could make their way to the Dells Stage. One of today’s most famous entertainers worldwide, Ozuna recently received four Guinness World Record titles. According to Billboard, the Puerto Rican singer has been “recognized with the Guinness World Records title for artist with the most videos to reach one billion views on YouTube (7) in Feb. 2019, the most Billboard Latin Music Award nominations for a single artist in a single year (23) on Feb. 12, 2019, and most Billboard Latin Music Award wins for a single artist in a single year (11) on April 25, 2019.”
Ozuna, who was set to open at 9:15 and close out the festival, was a bit delayed as security teams double and triple-checked barricades. The crowd was becoming restless, doing their best to keep the energy going as the DJ played the latest in Reggaeton dance hits. By 10 PM, Ozuna hit the stage and the crowd turned into one big Urban Latin musical. If you’ve ever been to a Drake concert, you most likely have sang every single lyric, word for word, song for song. Ozuna’s show is no different. He has proved to be a hitmaker over the past couple of years, attracting fans from every country who speak every language.
He started his show with China, a song whose popularity has soared most likely because of his collaboration with Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G and J Balvin. As he ran through his hits, Única, Criminal, Te Soñe de Nuevo, etc., it became obvious to me why, like Drake, Ozuna is one of the biggest artists in the world. Not only is his humility as a person apparent throughout his on-stage performances as he made sure to continuously thank fans for coming to see him, but his artistry as an entertainer was the perfect choice for festival producers to close out Los Dells Tres.