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Two days before the twenty-fourth Latin Grammy Awards ceremony at the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones in Seville, the Latin Recording Academy has held three press conferences: one with Laura Pausini, who will be honored on November 15 with the Person of the Year award, another with the gala presenters (Sebastián Yatra, Danna Paola, Roselyn Sanchez and Paz Vega) and one with the Mexican-American Edgar Barrera, the top nominee of this edition, with 13 nominations, in categories as outstanding as Producer of the Year and Composer of the Year.

"I'm nervous, because I've never given a press conference before. I'm always producing for other artists and they're the ones giving these lectures, not me. But I am delighted to be able to address you on such an occasion as this brings us together. It's an honor to be nominated, again, for the Latin Grammys... And this makes this wheel a special moment... And new!" he commented, visibly trembling.


I wrote my first full song when I was 15 years old. It was for a rock band that I had with some friends, my cousin and my brother. But now I don't like to hear it. I'm a little embarrassed," she said, laughing. However, he couldn't be prouder of all that he has accomplished. "I see myself as a person who helps a lot of artists develop their careers. I'm not the protagonist. I'm not used to having the ego of singers, because I don't perform in big venues. I don't believe anything, but I know I've contributed," he said.

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According to Barrera, the greatest contribution of his music has been to open the doors to emerging talents and position genres that were forgotten. Like mariachi. "There was a time when the Latin Grammys thought about eliminating the Mariachi category, because they had no one to nominate. And now the category is oversaturated, because some composers have decided to bring back the tradition. This is no longer the music that parents or grandparents listen to, it's the music that we can all listen to," he explained.

"I started with this, because I felt that urban music lacked a human touch. That percussions, accordions were missing... I, for example, was embarrassed to go into music stores and not see the children playing with the instruments. When I was little, I spent hours trying out pianos, dreaming of buying a guitar... And when I realized this panorama, I thought it was time to bring all of that back. That's why I wrote songs like La bachata, by Manuel Turizo, and El jefe, by Shakira... And now we have kids who aspire to be musicians again," he said.

And where did Barrera's passion for traditional music come from? In his own words, from his father. "My dad is a musician. When I was little I had a whole room full of vinyl, which I had rescued from a store. So I grew up listening to vallenato and trova... And Los Panchos! I feel like I have an old soul, because I like old music. For example, that of Javier Solís, Juan Gabriel and Manzanero. And I have all that in my head when it comes to composing," he revealed.

During his conversation with the press, Barrera was extremely humble. However, he smiled every time a journalist reminded him that he has been one of the people responsible for revitalizing Mexican music. "It's fun to see how certain people perceive regional music as something new. Some think they're discovering the black thread! But no... For example, what Grupo Frontera does has always existed. In fact, I come from the same town as them and we have always listened to traditional music," he said.

About Grupo Frontera, Barrera speaks with special affection. And they are the interpreters of one of his most successful songs: a x100to, together with Bad Bunny. "I wanted to work with them because I had the dream of supporting local talent. In our town there was no profession of composer, and today we can show people that you can dedicate yourself to this," he said. But Edgar is not only dedicated to composition, but also to production. In fact, he has a new label, BorderKid Records. "I'm looking for new artists. I'm not so much one to work with big-name people," he said.

On the other hand, Edgar also talked about his best-known hits. "I can't pick my favorite songs, because they're like your kids. I don't have kids, but I guess you can't just pick a few. But I can say that there are songs that have marked me. Like Maluma's Hawaii and Bachata. I feel like they opened up a lot of paths and a lot of spaces," she confessed. Shakira's latest single, in which he participates not only as a composer, also spoke.

"I'm in the video because she asked me to... And you don't say no to Shakira! When we created the song, her team shot a video of some of the producers and when she started thinking about the video, she decided to recreate that moment and called us. It was fun," he said, before talking about another call he received from the Colombian singer. "When the Grammy nominations came out, Shakira contacted me and said, 'We're sharing a page in the New York Times.' Karol G also wrote to me. And that motivates me a lot. Having the support of artists is what moves me the most," she said.

Currently, Edgar Barrera is nominated for Composer of the Year at the American Grammys and is the only Latin to aspire to triumph in the general categories. A feat he has achieved with songs entirely in Spanish. "Receiving this news has been wonderful. I found out when I was driving in Madrid. I was talking to a friend and all of a sudden, my wife starts screaming. And I didn't know anything! But when I got to the hotel and saw the nominations myself, I was very surprised. I'm glad, because this means that Latinos are reaching all markets," he said.

To conclude, Barrera referred to the much-criticized artificial intelligence. "I think it's a worrisome issue, because you don't know what's real or not. For example, when I heard the viral song Mi primera chamba, I thought it was by Eladio Carrión, because it sounded exactly like him. The same thing happened to me with the song that circulates with Bad Bunny's voice... And yes, it confuses the listener. But I'm not afraid of AI, because I don't think a computer can create feelings. Technology is never going to be able to create songs with soul," he concluded.

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