You don’t need to speak Spanish to understand that Luis Del Villar is building an empire. His label and management firm Gerencia 360 is discovering and developing some of music’s biggest stars. Don’t believe me? Ask Billboard Magazine. They recently named him one of the new “starmakers” alongside Noah Assad (manager to Bad Bunny) and Vicente Saavedra (manager to Ozuna). Just in case you’ve been living under a rock lately, Bad Bunny and Ozuna are some of the biggest names in the business, selling out arenas worldwide, and it’s no doubt that artists like Adriel Favela, Omar Ruiz, Jonatan Sanchez and Cornelio Vega, who are signed to Gerencia 360, are building a fan-base just as big.
I caught up with Luis Del Villar in Las Vegas during Billboard’s Latin Music Week to ask him a few questions on how he got started, how he felt about the direction in which the genre was moving, and most importantly, the question every fan wants to know… Why he decided to branch off on his own. I was extremely nervous to ask him this and probably rehearsed it and re-wrote the question at least 20 times and here’s why… If you’re unfamiliar with Banda music, Luis Del Villar is former managing partner and brother to Angel Del Villar who owns Del Records, and is home to artists who are just as popular as the guys over at Gerencia 360. To give you a better idea, it’s basically the equivalent to what it would be like if Slim of Cash Money would have split and created another label during the height of their reign in the Rap music game. Most of these guys are friends, do songs together and often book the same shows (think Birdman and Lil Wayne and the whole Cash Money/YMCMB artist affiliation) so as much as I didn’t want to ask the question to avoid any possible conflict of interest, I knew it was something people wanted to know and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have sat down with him for a few minutes because he is definitely full of gems for anybody wanting to build a business or come up in the music industry.
“Spotify, Pandora, and Youtube, are serving as our guides in today’s music,” he said during his panel at Latin Music Week. “Because through the numbers, we can see what’s working and not working and where it’s working… I can have more of a realistic idea of what’s going to work whether I’m a producer or a booking agent.”
He went on to further validate his point by briefly explaining what’s going on in the genre he represents…
“Regional Mexican music isn’t just expanding in Mexico, it’s expanding in the United States, Latin American and Europe. It’s not just “our” regional music anymore, it’s simply just becoming Mexican music.”
We spoke a little bit on his panel and the panel that two of his artists, Adriel Favela and Cornelio Vega, sat on titled “Mexillenials: Millenials who are changing the game in regional Mexican music”.
Check out the impromptu interview here: