The 2021 Premios Juventud returned with a live audience for its 18th annual ceremony on Thursday night, taking place at Miami’s Watsco Center. Top winners included Karol G, Bad Bunny and Grupo Firme, to name a few. “This is for all of you. We’re building an incredible empire and we’re all part of the game,” Karol, who swept six awards, said. “They respect us and we contribute.”
While performances from Tini, Farruko and an emotional Chino y Nacho aired on television, Billboard was backstage catching up with some of Latin music’s biggest names of the moment.
Below, check out seven things you didn’t see on TV:
Becky G not only walked away winning awards for two of her three nominations, but also performed her latest single “Fulanito” with El Alfa. Backstage, she opened up about her new stage as a businesswoman. “I’m exercising my entrepreneurship as a young businesswoman,” she said. “I just launched my own makeup company. It’s all about representing the Latinx community in a more authentic and genuine way.” She also revealed that new music is on the way.
Eslabon Armado, nominated two times at this year’s Premios Juventud, expressed how they feel about recently earning their fourth No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Albums chart with Tu Veneno Normal, Vol. 2, all in less than 13 months. “We’re grateful,” they said. “It’s thanks to our audience who support us with every album we release.” On that streak, the boys revealed more albums are in the works. “We’re creating a mega-album with a lot of artists that I can’t name right now.”
Yotuel & Gente de Zona
Before their powerful performance of “Patria y Vida” — which followed a speech by Pitbull and Emilio Estefan and a performance by Cuban artists Joncien, Lena, Malena Burke and Yailenys Pérez — Gente de Zona and Yotuel talked to Billboard about the #SOSCuba movement.
“The youth is the one who changes things and moves the masses,” Yotuel said. “The Cuban youth took to the streets to say ‘enough’ and that’s the Cuba we’re representing to the whole world.” “This song has become a revolution anthem,” Randy of Gente de Zona said of their protest song “Patria y Vida.” “This song was created so that we can raise our voices for the more than 11 million Cubans who are repressed without human rights.”
Justin Quiles closed Premios Juventud with his summer anthem “Loco” in collaboration with Zion y Lennox and Chimbala, but first, he talked to Billboard on the carpet, revealing his next single. “This is nonstop,” he says. “I already have my next single ready. It’s a romantic reggaeton with Maluma, baby,” he fessed up exclusively. The upcoming track would mark the seventh collaborative effort between the Puerto Rican and Colombian artists.
Brazilian superstar Anitta, a two-time nominee at Premios Juventud, took center stage to perform alongside Lunay on his “Todo o Nada” track. Backstage, she expressed that she can’t wait for fans to see the official music video but it all depends on when Lunay will release it. She also revealed exciting news for her loyal fandom, saying that a “powerful” song is coming soon following “Girl From Rio” and that her album will also drop this year. “My album is coming around October. It’s ready!” As for her return to touring? Anitta revealed that currently she’s enjoying life and she hopes to hit the road soon.
Two-time nominee Sofia Reyes is currently making the rounds with her Pedro Capo-assisted track “Casualidad,” saying it’s her favorite release and that she loves sharing this experience with Capo. Up next? A major collaboration. “They just gave me the news and it makes me want to cry every time I think about it,” she said. “Next week, on [July 30], I’ll be part of a new song with Sia and Yandel. This is very powerful and I’m very excited.” The Mexican pop artist also revealed that she’s finishing her album.
El Fantasma & Los Dos Carnales
Sweeping two of their nine nominations, it was an exciting night for Los Dos Carnales at Premios Juventud. They revealed they’re touring Colombia for the first time with El Fantasma. “He’s a key part in everything that’s happening with the group, we’re very happy,” the brothers expressed. During their Cabrones y Vagos tour, the boys will perform in Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Cúcuta. “We want to explore everything!” El Fantasma noted, “the food, the fans who support us and then paradise.”