Del Records recording artists Regulo Caro and Luis Coronel are putting regional Mexican music on the U.S. map.
You probably don’t know the names. You may not know the music. But that would only put you in an ever-shrinking minority. Take it from me. I got to see firsthand a phenomenon as organic as the Beatles, as real and as terrifying right up close when I went to interview two rising stars who are carving a niche and making money in music at a time when many are saying it can’t be done.
Regulo Caro and Luis Coronel, two artists on one of the biggest emerging record labels in regional Mexican and Hispanic music and entertainment, Del Records, were meeting me in my hometown (and Caro’s) of Long Beach at the Queen Mary for tea and to tape a TV segment at Chill, the seasonal ice rink next to the ship. I hopped on a pre-production 2015 Indian Scout motorcycle and pulled up to the now-80-year-old landmark right on time with heads turning. (The bike is a real show stopper.)
I first met Luis Coronel, with publicist Justino Aguila and management, aboard the ship at he Promenade Cafe. After lunch we were walking to Chill so he could skate for a Telemundo TV segment about the holidays. Well, in today’s connected world, people on the Queen Mary had heard somehow he was aboard. Suddenly, young girls and their moms were coming up begging for pictures. One was crying so hard she dropped her phone and Coronel had to hug her so she would stop. Twenty feet further along: more photos, people getting out of tour groups, coming from downstairs, the help stopping, taking photos.
As this was going on, Aguila recounted an appearance for label mate Regulo Caro the night before. It seems he was at an autograph signing in Inglewood, California. Over 300 women rushed him at once, and he had to be ushered away or be crushed.
Caro had yet to arrive, and it was probably a good thing. We might have had to call actual security if it got worse. As we strolled and chatted, there wasn’t two minutes of solace without someone asking for a photo. And word seemed to be spreading.
“How are you handling this?” I asked Coronel. He’s remarkably young (well, when you’re 52, who isn’t? But I digress); at a mere 18, this Arizona native is a sensation. And he has the swagger and smile to prove it. Hell, he charmed the heck out of me, to the point where I wanted a photo within minutes.
“It’s all so great; not one moment of it isn’t wonderful,” he commented as we sat down so he could put on ice skates for the next interview. “It’s happening so fast and getting so big so quickly that I just have to keep up and keep focused.”
Focused indeed. While Aguila and I earlier sat talking aboard the ship at the Promenade Cafe with Coronel and others, he was singing repeatedly in to his iPhone.
“I have an…