Did you know that some of the most popular Latin songs were written by women? Writers like Erika Ender who co-wrote the hit single “Despacito” or Elena Rose who brought us “Dollar” by Becky G. Here, we look to spotlight eight Latina songwriters who are responsible for some of our favorite jams and who are making a name for themselves in white, male-dominated industry. In a competitive industry where only 12 percent of songwriters are women, these Latinas are paving the way for aspiring female writers, selling records, and topping charts along the way.
Erika Ender co-wrote Luis Fonsi’s hit single “Despacito” and has worked with artists including Gloria Trevi (“Cinco Minutos”) and Los Tigres Del Norte (“Ataud”). The Panamanian songwriter ended up winning a Latin Grammy for Song of the Year for “Despacito” and was inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame shortly after. In an interview with Songwriter Universe, Ender’s advice to aspiring songwriters was to “have authenticity, to be as professional as possible, and to be as open as possible, because music keeps changing.”
Gloria Trevi, the “Mexican Madonna” as she’s known, has also released 13 albums and written over 400 songs. In an interview with Billboard, Trevi said “Dr. Psiquiatra,” “El Recuento de Los Danos,” “Como Nace El Universo,” “Todos Me Miran,” and “El Sabor de la Soledad” were her five most essentials songs she’s ever written. In 2018 she was inducted into the Latin Songwriter Hall of Fame and since then has collaborated with Latin artists such as Karol G (“Hijopu*#”) and Guaynaa (“Nos Volvimos Locos”).
Ale Alberti is a bilingual singer turned songwriter who has worked with artists like Lele Pons (“Celoso”), Becky G (“LBD”), and Anitta (“Get To Know Me”). She was born in Nashville to a Cuban father and a Mexican mother, and moved to Miami for a bit before relocating to Los Angeles. With over 800 million streams worldwide, Alberti’s advice to up and coming songwriters is to “be very patient and consistent” and not just “wait around for people to do things for you.”
Dani Blau, who is of Costa Rican descent, developed a passion for music at a very young age. Her Costa Rican roots and artistic family have influenced her career as a songwriter. She has written songs for artists like Danna Paola (“Me ,Myself”) and Paty Cantu (“La Mexican”). In her first couple of years as a songwriter she received two BMI Foundation Awards but in 2018, her song “Quiero Volver,” released by Tini and Sebastian Yatra, which is what opened up doors for her in the music industry. She credits most of her success to teamwork, telling Shoutout LA, “there’s no better feeling than reaching milestones with your teammates.”
Elena Rose is a Venezuelan singer/songwriter who has been putting in work in the industry since she was 11 years old. She is perhaps best known for writing Becky G’s “Dollar” which peaked at number 27 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs. “It was a song that changed my life in many ways,” she tells Billboard. These past couple of years, she’s seen tremendous success with “Pa Ti” by Jennifer Lopez, “De Vuelta Pa’ La Vuelta” by Daddy Yankee, and “De Yna Vez” by Selena Gomez. She recently showed off both her writing and vocal skills in “Quererte Bonito,” a love song with Sebastián Yatra.
Over the years, Erika Vidrio has written the words to some of the biggest hits in regional Mexican music. It’s amazing to think that a Latina has made a mark in such a male-dominated genre. Some of the hits she’s penned include Banda La Trakalosa’s “Borracho de Amor,” Christian Nodal’s “Quien Es Used?,” and Conjunto Primavera’s “Senti.” The Mexican native told Billboard that she grew up listening to mariachi and rancheras. “This type of music was in my veins since I was little,” she said. The five time BMI Latina Awards winner continues to pave a path for females in the industry and now records her own music as well.
Gale made a name for herself with the track “Levantate,” which became the official song of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. The Puerto Rico native told Billboard that her inspirations have always been Shakira and Avril Lavigne. After writing a hit single for Lele Pons (“Se Te Nota”), she’s now riding high after collaborating with Christina Aguilera and Ozuna on “Santo,” which debuted at number 24 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs.
With six Latin Grammys and four top 40 singles on the Billboard Latin tracks, Kany Garcia is one of the most talented songwriters working today and clearly the busiest. Garcia initially started her career writing music for other artists but she soon found her success on stage with five studio albums under her belt. Some of the songs she’s worked on include Jennifer Lopez and Roberto Carlos’ “Chegaste,” Pedro Capo’s “Si Tu Me Lo Pides,” and Chayanne’s “De Todas.”