In this post I will mention Latin music artists that inspired me to learn Spanish through music as well as ways to use music to learn Spanish.
Learning Spanish in the classroom setting can be an excellent foundation for your language acquisition journey. Still, there is nothing like finding a resource that inspires and drives you to fall in love with the language.
Behind travel, music was a huge influence in my Spanish language journey.
Latin music was my Pringles back in the early 2000s. Once I began with Latin pop, I just couldn’t stop!
It started with a small (maybe huge) obsession with Enrique Iglesias and then became a full-fledged Latin music fever.
I wanted to know all the music from all the genres, bachata, merengue, vallanata, reggaeton, cumbia, punta, forró and more!
My ears were so submerged in Latin music that, fast-forward 15 years later, I barely know any contemporary American artists!
I want to pass my Latin fever on to you today and ignite your Spanish learning flame through music!
Today, I am going to start with only a handful of artists that I FIRST began listening to when I started my Spanish studies. After I mention the artists, I will go into ways to use music to learn Spanish, and follow up with a list of other artists that inspired some of my friends and followers that learn Spanish too!
Keep reading to see a list of Latin artists that helped me learn Spanish through music! If you like what you see in this post, I am going to go into each Latin genre. So make sure you let me know your thoughts and/or favorite Latin genre at the end of this post.
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*The source for all of the information regarding the following artists is Apple Music.
Artists that inspired me to learn Spanish through their music
Below you can find a list of artists that I loved when I first started learning Spanish.
Since I was just starting out with learning Spanish, I took a preference towards slower ballads so that I could make out what was being said in each song.
Enjoy this list, and at the end of this post you can find more Latin Artists recommendations from other people have learned Spanish with music as well as how to learn Spanish through music.
Reik is a Mexican pop-rock band from Mexicali, Baja California. They formed in 2003. Since their first five albums, their music has evolved from pop-rock to urban Latin music.
I highly recommend listening to their first few albums, especially Un día más.
If you are a hopeless romantic, this band is for you! Their songs hold a special place in my heart, that’s for sure!
In fact, Reik is the first band that I endlessly listened to when I first started learning Spanish.
Their song, Noviembre sin ti is the first song in Spanish that I learned by heart!
Also, their song Llegó tu amor is the song I dedicated to my amorzote the day I knew he was the one.
I learned SO MANY new vocabulary words from this song, such as aguja (needle) and pajar (haystack).
To this day, I still think about this song when I hear those words and it brings a beautiful, nostalgic feeling to mi corazón.
Sin Bandera is a romantic ballads duo formed by Mexican singer-songwriter and guitarist Leonel Garcia and Argentine singer-songwriter and pianist Noel Schajris.
Together, this dynamic duo has scored 12 top ten singles across their four first albums.
Their slow love songs are beautiful to listen to, and they are great to follow along with the lyrics and learn new Spanish vocabulary!
My favorite song by Sin Bandera is Que lloro.
This Mexican quartet from Quadalajara has transcended their county’s rock scene.
Than began in the late 80s, capitalizing on the Spanish Rock trend, but have since evolved over the decades to incorporate sounds from all of Latin America such as Cumbia, Merengue, bachata.
I am OBSESSED with Maná.
In fact, I am listening to them right now as I type! Their songs are so darn catchy, that even if you don’t know a lick of Spanish, you will be singing your own rendition all day long!
Juanes is the stage name for award-winning Colombian singer-songwriter Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vázquez.
He has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide! Holy moly!
He started his music career in a Colombian Metal Band but made his solo debut in 2000 with his album Fijate bien.
I fell in love with his music after I heard his song La historia de Juan.
Enrique Iglesias is not a Latin Artist per se, but he has become the king of Latin pop!
His romantic music will leave you breathless and will probably have you spinning circles singing the Spanish C (th)! Ay mi corathón 🙂
I used to be so obsessed with Enrique Iglesias! I’ll never forget in 2006 when I went to his concert and pushed my way to the front of the stage to touch his beautiful hand. ¡Ay Díos mío!
Carlos Vives is the Colombian Vallenato king!
Vallenato is a popular folk music genre of Colombia, primarily from Colombia’s Carribbean region. The three traditional instruments used in Vallenato are the caja vallenata, a small drum held with the knees and played with bare hands, the guacharaca a wooden, ribbed stick, and the accordion.
Over the decades, Carlos Vives music has evolved to incorporate more urban influence.
His songs are so catchy, I just need to know all of the lyrics. I also love mimicking his Colombian accent, an accent that I have forever been trying to perfect!
One of my favorite Carlos Vives’ songs is Al filo de tu amor, featuring Wisin. Whenever I hear the word tizón my brain starts to play this song. This just shows the impact music can have on memory and language learning.
Jesse & Joy
Jesse & Joy is a Mexican pop-rock duo composed of two siblings! The two siblings were raised bilingually with a Mexican father and an American mother.
Their bicultural upbringing influenced their folksy pop-rock style, and their music has hit many top charts, with their first big hit being Espacio sideral.
Their music is catchy and will have you singing at the top of your lungs.
La oreja de Van Gogh
La Oreja de Van Gogh is one of the most successful Spanish pop groups of the 21st century, having sold more than eight million albums worldwide.
I remember loving how different their music is, and how badly I wanted to dominate the Spanish accent.
My favorite song by them is Rosas. I’ll never forget the word empapada thanks to this song!
How to use music to learn Spanish
- First, find songs that inspire you.
It might be that you LOVE the melody and have a burning desire to know what words are behind that melody.
Or, you might understand part of the song and want to know what the rest says.
- Write down words you don’t know
Listen to the song repeatedly and keep a running list of words that you do not know. Before looking it up, try to figure out what the word means in the context of the sentence. If you cannot figure it out, look the word up and WRITE IT DOWN. Writing things down is highly beneficial for memorization!
If you want to be even nerdier like me, take verbs that you pull out of songs and conjugate them into every form possible!
- Print of the lyrics
Print off the lyrics and translate! Before you do, highlight words that you don’t know. Then, again, try to figure out what that word might mean before looking them up. Then confirm if your guess what right or wrong!
I’m telling you, this all might seem very tedious, but it works!
- Sing and then sing again, my friend.
After doing one or more of the previous tips above, sing your song! Sing it in the shower, in front of the mirror. Dance and sing your song. All you gotta do is sing, sing, sing. You will be surprised how much your Spanish will start transforming after doing this with many songs.
You will no longer be trying to translate from English into Spanish. Instead, you will start thinking in Spanish syntax.
Adjectives after nouns and gender agreements will start feeling more comfortable.
You will start to conceptualize the differences between le, les, lo, se, los and las.
It will open your world to a whole new view of Spanish, trust me, and then in a few years, you will be dancing to merengue, and vallenata on the daily like me!!!
Stay tuned for future music posts as I dive deeper into different Latin American genres!
Which artists inspired these Spanish learns to learn Spanish through music?
Lauren from Bilingual Together
- Marta Gomez
- Linda Rondstat
- Luis Miguel
“The first CD I ever owned was Maná, and to this day I can sing every word on it.”
Jenna from Bilingual Balance
- Alvaro Soler
- Julieta Venegas
- Chino & Nacho
Did Latin music help you learn Spanish? If so, let me know which ones in the comments below to add your recommendations to this list too!
Thank you for reading thus far. I hope this post has been helpful! Stay tuned for future posts about Latin music soon!