Working in the Latin entertainment industry, specifically the music scene, for the last 11 years, has given me the opportunity to attend my fair share of concerts; most of them being of the Urban/Reggaeton genre. During the time that I lived in Los Angeles and worked with Latin Urban Artists Wisin y Yandel, I also had the opportunity to tour with them a few times along the West Coast as well as Mexico and Puerto Rico, yet never really made it out to the East Coast or Miami for that matter. Attending their LA concerts as well as concerts by other Urban artists always left me with one question time after time, again and again. What was so important about the LA audience that made these artists so thankful? Unfortunately, last year I left Los Angeles without that question being answered.
When I moved to Miami from LA, I obviously started attending concerts in this city with the Urban/Reggaeton genre still being my favorite. Reason why when the Daddy Yankee vs Don Omar tour was set to hit the city, I immediately made plans to attend. I also made plans to attend their concert in LA since coincidentally I would be in LA for the same date. Since most Miamians hail from the Caribbean just like the majority of the Urban artists, I assumed that the Miami audience would be just as a fan of Reggaeton or more than LA was. I would later learn this wasn’t the case.
THE MIAMI EXPERIENCE
When it came to their concert in Miami, the premise of it was that both artists would be singing their classics as well as their new hits. First up was Daddy Yankee. Daddy Yankee’s repertoire consisted of many of his classics that were huge hits as well as some of his newer songs. While the audience enjoyed his show, which by the way was longer than Don Omar’s show, he never really riled up the audience in comparison to Don Omar. Yes, the audience enjoyed it but the reaction was completely different to when Don Omar sang his set. Don Omar’s repertoire included many more classic hits than Daddy Yankee’s and I assumed that was the reason why his set dominated more. Hands down by the reaction of the audience, Don Omar dominated that concert and was declared the “winner” that day. I left the concert thinking that unfortunately as much as I loved Daddy Yankee, in a battle of songs, Don Omar had won fair and square.
THE LOS ANGELES EXPERIENCE
Come the LA concert. Even though I knew the concert would be the same because it was part of the same tour, I was still excited to see two of my favorite Urban artists sing in none other than my home city of LA. I had told my friends back in LA about the Miami show and what to expect. However, when it came to the concert, they kept looking at me confused because what I had told them about the concert in Miami didn’t match what was going on in LA.
I have never, up until that moment, experienced the same concert with a different audience reaction. The concert was the same, the artists were the same, and the songs were the same yet the public’s reaction was completely different. In Miami, Don Omar had dominated the concert yet in LA, Daddy Yankee was the king. I kept asking myself if this was the exact same concert, why was the reaction so different? During this whole time, I thought that maybe it just meant one artist was better than the other, but when I saw the opposite reaction in LA to the same exact concert, it hit me. The artists were the same and both of them were good, but the audience was a different audience. It was also in that moment that I realized that contrary to what I had believed up until then, LA was definitely more of a Urban/Reggaeton city music wise compared to Miami. That’s also the moment I realized why LA is such an important market to an urban artist.
I learned that while Los Angeles might not dictate which artist is better than the other, the city’s audience does have a great amount of say in how successful that artist will be. That’s when my question had finally been answered. This is why an Urban artist will always be so thankful once they’ve been accepted by LA’s audience. The irony about all of this is that I didn’t realize this during the time that I lived in LA but rather when I moved cross country to Miami and went back to LA for a concert. This isn’t to say Miami isn’t an important market in the Latin Music Industry, it just means, in my opinion, that when it comes to the Reggaeton and Urban genre, Los Angeles has the final say.