Mexican Corrido music is evolving through continuing to infuse different sounds and methods into the genre. For many Millennials, Corrido music has long been synonymous with groups like Los Tigeres del Norte and Tucanes de Tijuana. However, as younger people continue to enter the genre the sounds are changing and reflecting more modern times.
History of Corrido Music
Corrido music rose in popularity during the time of the Mexican Revolution. The Mexican Revolution was a ten-year war that ended in the creation of the Constitutional Republic in 1920. Many of the leaders and soldiers that fought during this time are popular historical figures and mentions in Corrido music. Songs like El Grano de Oro and El Mayor de los Dorados tell the stories of war, valor, and loss. The storytelling aspects of Corrido music became both a celebration and a melancholy reminder of difficult times in Mexican history.
Mexico has 32 states and thus the music varies from region to region. However, some of the staple instruments across regions include guitars, violins, trumpets, and accordion. Today, younger generations are taking these elements and blending them with a variety of sounds and other genres like rap and electronic.
Modern Corrido Music
Inspired by rap and hip-hop artists, Corrido group, Arsenal Efectivo, classifies their sound as Trap Corrido. Leading vocalist Francisco Rodriguez told Billboard, “the main difference between narcocorridos and trap corridos is that unlike narcocorridos, which are songs about drug lords, trap corridos are dedicated to the people on the lower level of the business.” The groups single Lolo Felix speaks exactly to this. The song has the underpinnings of traditional Corrido melodies with the lyrics focus on the life of a California Chicano. Their sound and focus proved to be relatable to younger audiences because their debut studio album, En La Fuga, earned them a spot on Billboard’s Top 10 Regional Mexican Album charts.
Gera MX is another California based Corrido that is completely remixing the traditional genre. His flow, lyrics, and chill vibes create an almost Emo-California corrido all its own. By focusing on the darker aspects of life the sound is unlike traditional Corrido music however, it keeps the storytelling aspects that gave birth to the genre.
Corrido’s Changing Aesthetic
Electric and Eclectic Corrido
Solo artist, Raymix often uses electronic elements in his music with traditional instruments giving the genre a more modern and timeless feel at the same time. Raymix joined Super Lamas on the song Todo Lo Encuentro En Ti. His vocals add a pop element to the song giving the listener a different experience with Corrido music.
Los Angeles Azules often collaborate with other groups to create a mesh of genres. Using both Cumbia sounds and electronic elements, they are able to capture a range of audiences. In 2018 they went viral after a video was posted of their performance at Coachella with Justin Bieber dancing along. Coachella isn’t a place you would likely hear a Corrido but it was in 2018 and perhaps could continue to be.
One of the common things amongst all younger Corrido musicians is their way of dressing. While older groups dressed in suits and large hats, the younger generation is opting for street clothes that reflect their new blended sounds.
The changes in regional Mexican music is exciting to watch and proves that music and art are always changing, evolving, and kept alive by innovation.