Merengue & Bachata, two great musical genres born in one island

There is no doubt that in music, Dominican Republic has the best bachata representatives. But now, what is the rank of our dear merengue in the world market? Before bachata becomes the main course of many big shows, we made ourselves known by güira and tambora.

61qdn2ZTZRL._SX425_Vargas 1Johnny Ventura, Wilfrido Vargas, Fernando Villalona, El Conjunto Quisqueya, The Rosario Brothers and many other “merengueros” made the rhythm travel in foreign lands during what they call “The golden years of the merengue”, the 1980s. Today, things have changed ; music has evolved. Miriam Cross, Eddy Herrera, Milly Quezada, Héctor Acosta “El Torito”, are the few “merengueros” who represent the Dominican Republic off the island with this musical genre. On this subject, the Dominican successful journalist, José Antonio Aybar, editor-in-chief of the section “Qué pasa” in the newspaper El Nacional and producer of the radio programme “El Vacilón de la Tarde”, gave his opinion. “Dominican Republic has become the only country in the world that exports two musical genres abroad successfully : bachata and merengue, being positioned as a musical power through renown figures”, explained the producer.

Juan Luis Guerra

Juan Luis Guerra, the multi-award-winning

Aybar also indicated that during some international prize award ceremonies, as the Grammy, the Puerto Ricans distinguish themselves more with merengue and he said that this derives from a matter of votes : the Boricuas (Puerto Ricans) have a major representation than the Dominicans. And, in spite of the fact that in the Dominican Republic the first native musical genre is merengue – and with this one we became famous at the international level – in recent years, we more distinguished ourselves on international stages by bachata, and this, some artists – such as Juan Luis Guerra, the former singer Aventura, Romeo Santos, Prince Royce, Toby Love, Frank Reyes and the former duet Monchy and Alexandra who are working now on independent projects – demostrated this. The latter and other artists have ensured that the Dominican Republic is not absent in the Latin-American prize award ceremonies.

Now, we have to talk about the internationalization of Dominican music, it is inevitable to begin without mentioning Dominican singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra. With his “Bachata Rosa”, the multi-award-winning artist brought our music to the most hidden places, on major stages.

Aventura photo 1

The bachatera revolution

With more than 30 years of successful career, the performer of Ojalá que llueva café is considered as one of the most important Latin-American artists of these times, and the great number of recognitions and prizes that won proves it.
Juan Luis collaborated with remarkable artists, like for example American singer Tony Bennett, Mexican group Maná, Diego Torres, Nelly Furtado, Enrique Iglesias, Miguel Bosé, Juanes, Milly Quezada.
In fact, Dominican music had a before and after, following the “bachatera revolution”. In 2002, a group made up of four young men – Anthony, Lenny, Max and Henry – did not imagine the boom that they would cause when they recorded the bachata Obsesión. With this song, these boys became famous all over the world. These Dominican boys called their band“Aventura”. Though many people doubted that the mixture of bachata, hip hop and R&B, and above all that by singing in spanglish would give result, the latter proved the contrary with their potential and their talent. The group parted in 2011, after a successful period. After this breakup Romeo Santos, “The King” of the Bachata”, decided to build his project to become a soloist.

Romeo Santos

Romeo Santos, The King

At the present time, Romeo has a successfully career. For his first album as soloist, “Fórmula I”, he won four prizes Billboard of Latin Music : La Antorcha and La Gaviota in gold and silver that the public awards in the Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar and three Soberano prizes.
Because of his charisma and the characteristic way he translates into words the bitterness and the feeling of bachata, this famous singer become one of the most important representatives of the fashionable musical genre in the world. “The King” won the Songwriter of the Year Award, ASCAP 2013. Another success story that the singer of “You” acheived, until now he was the only one who made the American Usher sing and dance bachata, to the song “Promise” ; it gave undoubtedly another turn to Romeo’s career.

Several artists were seduced by the the bitterness genre and wanted to record with our artists.
If there is a king, logically, there should be a prince and this place is taken by “Babyface” Prince Royce, “The Prince of Bachata”. Despite his young age and short career, this boy who grew up in New York stole the heart of thousands of fans all over the world.
So, as the latter, other talented Dominican artists contributed to turn us into what today we are, exporters of quality music.