Sacramento, California has a new wave of Latin pop music that is redefining the genre. This seismic shift in sound has been ignited by 17-year-old Mexican singer/songwriter, Jay Ulloa.
Coined by Nylon Magazine as ‘the Future of Latin Pop,’ Jay first entered the Latin music scene at 14-years-old as one of the youngest contestants on Ricky Martin’s La Banda, a singing competition show on Univision. After his television debut, Jay Ulloa moved back to Sacramento and continued to hone his craft. In 2017, he teamed up with “Despacito” producer Andres Torres to release his first single, “El No Te Conoce Como Yo,” which was quickly followed up by the hit “Lastimarte”. His unique blend of English and Spanish pop was a recipe for success online. In 2018 alone, this independent artist accumulated over 3 million streams in addition to landing a feature in Toyota Latino’s International 2018 Camry campaign.
In addition to taking the music world by storm, Jay Ulloa is a budding actor and thriving student. As an actor, Jay secured a lead role on the popular YouTube Brat series CHICKEN GIRLS and this past May, graduated high school at the top of his class!
We had the opportunity to interview Jay Ulloa to take a deeper look into his life as an independent artist and learn more about his new single “Perdóname”. Here’s what he had to say:
What motivated you to pursue a career in music?
What motivated me to pursue my career in music was the passion I had for music, every time I got told that I couldn’t do it, it gave me the hunger to want it more.
Who has been your biggest influence?
My parents have been my biggest influence. They sacrificed everything and migrated to this country from Mexico to give me and my siblings a better life.
At only 14 years old, you got your industry debut as a semi-finalist on the hit Univision music competition show La Banda. What was this experience like?
This experience introduced me and showed me the foundation of the music industry. Although I didn’t win, it gave me that push and exposure I needed to continue my career.
How did it shape your approach to music?
I worked so hard to perfect and distribute my craft after I got eliminated. I knew this is what I was destined to do, it gave me the motivation to do anything and everything to succeed in music.
Since La Banda you have shown no signs of slowing down. In less than 2 years you’ve successfully released your debut EP, Malas Noticias, and have amassed a social following over 288K followers on Instagram. What would you say is the biggest factor contributing to this rapid rise?
My team and I have been working non stop to perfect this project. We want to be able to connect with the people and have an everlasting effect.
Your unique fusion of Latin and pop music has notable publications like Nylon Magazine referring to you as ‘the Future of Latin Pop’. How would you describe your sound and what makes it stand out?
Our generation has been more unified between Latin and US culture. I feel like my music binds them both and connects with them.
Most recently, you released the hit single Perdóname, that landed you the cover of Amazon Music’s Introducing Latin playlist. What was the inspiration behind this track?
The inspiration behind this track was this girl I met. We were really good friends but.. She wanted to be like #couplegoals and all that haha. So I ended up ending things, but later on, I started missing all the memories we made.
What else can fans expect from you this year?
I have 3 singles and a couple of music videos that I’ve been working day and night on to perfect coming this year. We are also going to be hitting the road which I can’t wait to meet and sing for you guys.
In addition to dropping “Perdóname” you also recently graduated high school at the top of your class. How did you balance going to school and launching your career as an independent artist?
It’s been a struggle managing school and my music career. Time management and setting my priorities have been keeping me up to date and helping me balance school and my career.
How has Vydia empowered you as an independent artist?
I’ve been able to record and release music that defines me.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received as an independent artist?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was, “This doesn’t happen overnight, hard work and passion is the key to success.”
What is a fun fact no one knows about you?
I had a friend, he was blind and had no arms, who could play the guitar with his feet. I took a few lessons trying to learn how to play the guitar with my feet.
To ensure you don’t miss out on Jay Ulloa’s next move, follow him on social media and subscribe to his YouTube channel. Don’t forget to check our weekly blogs to see who will be featured as our next spotlight!