K-pop superstars BTS wowed on Saturday Night Live in the same week that they shattered YouTube records with a new music video. Madonna’s first track in years is a reggaeton collaboration. Two of the most buzzworthy acts at Coachella this year were BLACKPINK and J Balvin.
Fuelled by streaming and the curiosity of a new generation of music lovers, mainstream pop is easing its boundaries and mixing it up with different genres from around the globe.
Audiences worldwide have long balanced an appetite for Western, English-language pop music with a love of local or regional musical genres. But now North American pop fans are waking up to music from abroad.
“We’re now beginning to appreciate music from other places, sung in their native tongue,” said Julien Christian Lutz, the Toronto music video producer better known as Director X.
Known for videos like Drake’s Hotline Bling and Rihanna’s Work, Lutz recently worked with Spanish pop star Rosalia and reggaeton artist J. Balvin on their track Con Altura, currently flying high with more than 71 million views on YouTube since its debut in late March.