MiamiBash Was a Glimpse Into the Future of Reggaeton

At the American Airlines Arena last weekend, some of the biggest reggae ton stars in the world launched the next generation of hit makers


While most of the attention in the music world was focused on Beyoncé’s return to the Coachella scene, Miami hosted its party. MiamiBash, now in its fifth year at the AAA, has built a reputation for boosting the careers of rising Latin music stars. Previous artists included J Balvin and Maluma, whose careers have skyrocketed since their appearance at the opening night in 2014.

It will make the headlines next month. J Balvin performed at the festival last April before releasing his world hit “My People” later this summer. The song arrived on Barack Obama’s year-end playlist and got a remix from Queen Bey herself. When J Balvin returned to MiamiBash last night, he was like the star of the festival.

The programming, organized by DJ and rising Latin music star Alex Sensation, started with J Alvarez, who was already a big name when he played at MiamiBash in 2015. He recently saw more success with his latest song, “Esa Boquita” The Puerto Rican duo Jowell & Randy followed with “Dandole” and “No Te Veo”.

Before the OG Pitbulls, Luis Fonsi, J Balvin, and Daddy Yankee went on stage, they made room for the Brazilian singer Anitta. His performance was a shocking contrast to that of his most successful peers in the world. Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, and J Balvin can gallant on stage while relying on the infectious rhythms that drive their punches, but Anitta is less known in the United States and had to seduce the crowd of nearly 18,000 people, all singing in Portuguese no less. And she matched her backup dancers beat by beat. The moment J Balvin brought him in for their collaboration, “Machika”, the reaction of the crowd let him know that she had gained thousands of new fans.

Although Alex Sensation, Pitbull and Daddy Yankee followed, Luis Fonsi was by far the most convincing performer on the MiamiBash scene. He opened in collaboration with Demi Lovato “Echame la Culpa”, only two weeks after making a surprise appearance to perform the song with Lovato on the same stage, and sang a fairly faithful interpretation of the “Message in a bottle” of the police before to finish with “Despacito”.

MiamiBash has decided to cement its future as the main Latin music festival, attracting the biggest superstars of its genre in its fifth year. But while established artists like Daddy Yankee are the main draw for the public, the ability of their organizers to recruit newcomers will keep the festival interesting for years to come.

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