The Rise of Regional Mexican Music

Photo by Los Muertos Crew:
Photo by Los Muertos Crew:

Regional Mexican music has undoubtedly been on the rise since the 2000s. As of 2022, Spanish music is the second most-listened-to language in music across the U.S. The surge in the popularity of music has not only made it mainstream but according to has also “opened new opportunities for many artists in the industry.”

During my childhood, my parents always played Spanish music – in the car, while cleaning, and practically everywhere else. Back then, I hated it and wanted to change the music to the top American pop artists of the time. However, over the years I have grown to appreciate the music. I don’t think I realized the diverse genres and artists in the Spanish music scene, and recently, I have been enjoying the regional Mexican music genre.

Regional Mexican music consists of many different popular sub-genres some including: 

  1. Corridos (Ballads) – Corridos have been around for the past century since the Mexican Revolution in 1910 throughout the southwestern American frontier. Both traditional and modern corridos allude to cartel figures. Corridos tumbados (trap music) became popular recently due to artists such as Natanael Cano and Junior H. Emerging most recently, corridos bélicos (war ballads) are songs that speak of characters whose victories are achieved through the use of weapons and violence. Some popular artists include Peso Pluma and Fuerza Regida (
  2. Norteña (Northern Region) – This originated in northern Mexico, or more specifically Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, and emerged in the early 20th century. It consists of basic instruments such as the guitar and the accordion. Some popular bands and artists include Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Los Tigres del Norte, and Edén Muñoz. There is a dance involved with this genre called norteñas which dates back centuries. The steps to the dance include forward step, side step, back step, and turn, and this type of dancing is popular in the United States ( 
  3. Banda (Band) – This type of music originated from Sinaloa in northwestern Mexico and consists of about 16 musicians playing the saxophone, bongos, trumpets, clarinets, and tuba. Some popular bandas include Grupo Firme, Banda MS, Banda El Recodo, and my favorite, Jenni Rivera who became the first woman to go big in the banda subgenre (
  4. Mariachi – This subgenre originated from west-central Mexico including Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Aguascalientes. This music combines brass and string instruments and made its way into US culture by the 20th century. Mariachi bands are known for their uniforms and some of the best bands are the most well-known in Mexico. Some of the biggest artists include Vicente Fernandez, Juan Gabriel, Luis Miguel, and Joan Sebastian (

Artists in Regional Mexican Music Subgenres

Corridos (Ballads)

Peso Pluma is arguably the fastest-rising star to hit the American pop mainstream this year. He sings in the corridos tumbados genre and began releasing music in 2020 at the age of 21. In 2023, he was featured on a song with Eslabon Armado called Ella Baila Sola (She Dances Alone) which now has over one billion listens on Spotify. His most recent album released this past year named ‘Génesis’ which debuted at #3 on the US Billboard, becoming the highest-charting regional Mexican album in the chart’s history (  His most popular song is called LADY GAGA with 500 million streams, and Peso Pluma performed it at the VMAs. My favorite song on the album was LUNA which is a collaboration with corrido tumbado (trap music) Junior H. The song is a ballad about their love for an unattainable woman which contrasts the beat and rhythm of other songs on his album such as VVS and LA PEOPLE. While I do like Peso Pluma’s corrido tumbados, it is nice to hear a romantic ballad every once in a while. 

Youtube: LUNA (Lyric Video) – Peso Pluma, Junior H

Norteña (Northern Region)

Los Primos del Este– This band is made up of three members and has been releasing music since 2019. Their first big breakthrough was in 2023 with the release of their album ‘Amor De Lejos’ (Love From Afar). The album included the song No Es Mentira (It Is Not A Lie) in which they later made a norteña version which is their most popular song with over 42 million streams on Spotify. They also released the song Poema which is their second most popular song at over 9 million streams. I like both versions of No Es Mentira, however, they contrast each other in many ways. The norteña version is upbeat and makes me want to dance in the middle of class while the normal version has a more melancholic beat. Their songs such as No Es Mentira (Version Norteña) and Poema can both be danced to, and this type of dancing is called norteñas which is danced at many social gatherings. It consists of basic steps usually with a partner including forward, side, back, and turn. As your partner takes a step back, you would take a step forward, and vice versa. Dancing norteñas is a great way to connect with others and have fun while doing so (

Banda (Band)

Grupo Firme– This band is based in Tijuana and was formed in 2013 with lead singer Eduin Cazares. In the beginning, the band was an “underground act,” or just a group of friends who improvised at get-togethers and posted videos to social media ( They began making their breakthrough in 2018 with many hit singles including Pídeme (Ask Me For) and El Roto (The Broken One). In 2021, the band released a song called Ya Supérame (Get Over Me Already) which is one of their top songs with over 315 million streams on Spotify. In recent years, however, they have collaborated with many other rising artists including Junior H and Grupo Frontera along with other more established bandas including Banda El Recodo and Los Tucanes De Tijuana. One of my favorite songs of theirs is called Qué Onda Perdida (What’s Up Lost One) which was a collaboration with Gerardo Coronel released this previous year. The song talks about reaching out to a past lover, hoping for a second chance. I love the song because of the way it is sung– both bold and vulnerable, as anyone would be when reconnecting with a past lover ( 

YouTube: Qué Onda Perdida – Grupo Firme Ft. Gerardo Coronel | LETRA – Musica De Banda: Tema

In all of these artists’ unique styles, Peso Pluma, Los Primos del Este, and Grupo Firme represent subgenres in the rising regional Mexican music genre.

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