Loud and Live founder and CEO Nelson Albareda has always carried tropical music in general and salsa in particular, deep inside him. A die-hard fan of Cuban salsero Willy Chirino, he also worked closely with salsa queen Celia Cruz and, through Loud and Live, represents the Celia Cruz estate today.
Now, Albareda is on a quest to elevate and grow the music with which he started his career. As he’s been saying for months, tropical music is having a moment. This week, via his powerhouse promotion and entertainment company, Albareda put his money where his mouth is and signed an exclusive booking agreement with developing salsa star Christian Alicea.
Loud and Live already books major tropical music names like Carlos Vives and Juan Luis Guerra. But the Alicea deal is different in that in addition to booking Alicea’s concerts, Loud and Live will also work in partnership with his management team to support marketing and promotional endeavors surrounding the artist and his music.
Although Alicea has just one album under his belt — Yo, released this past May — he has already placed two tracks in the Top 25 of Billboard’s Tropical Airplay chart. This week, a third single, “Aroma,” is at No. 15 on the list.
“Christian is an exceptionally talented young man who, because of his humility, charisma and spectacular and unique voice, we are confident that he will conquer and lead the tropical genre worldwide for many years to come,” said Albareda in a statement.
The partnership, says Alicea’s producer, Urales ‘Dj Buddha’ Vargas, is “the icing on the cake. For us, having someone like Nelson see the vision and the potential of Christian means a lot.”
As Latin music’s focus has slowly shifted from solely reggaetón in the past year, other genres are beginning to rise on the charts. While regional Mexican music undoubtedly leads the fray, pop is also seeing a resurgence, and tropical music — long focused on legacy acts — is finally seeing a smattering of new names, including Luis Figueroa, teenager Luis Vazquez, and, of course, Alicea.