Amid the launch of its revamped YouTube Music service, the video giant continues to promote emerging artists with its Artist Spotlight Story anthology series.
The most recent episode of the series, which turns a lens on emerging artists who have made a unique mark on YouTube, is titled Redefining Mainstream, and features the Colombian singer J Balvin. To fete its release on Wednesday evening, Balvin appeared at YouTube Space New York for a livestreamed Q&A alongside noted streetwear influencer Upscale Vandal. The Andy Hines-directed short tracks Balvin’s humble beginnings to his rise as one of the world’s top Reggaeton stars — as well as the role that YouTube has played in his success.
“I’m a YouTube artist — that’s how I started going to different places,” says Balvin. Early in his career, he explains, “I didn’t have a label — everything was independent — so YouTube helped me a lot. My first concert out of my country was Romania, and it was thanks to YouTube.”
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Balvin has been at the top of YouTube’s new Top Artists chart globally for the past four weeks, and is one of just eight artists to have released four videos that have surpassed 1 billion views. The video for “Mi Gente,” for instance, is the fourth fastest video in YouTube history to reach the milestone.
Previous Artist Spotlight Stories have featured Camila Cabello and G-Eazy. Check out Redefining Mainstream in full below: