We’re always going to stand for young, up-and-coming Latinx talent, and that means that when one of ours gets the gig, we support them, we cheer them on and we spread the word. So as we approach the new year, we want to take some time to highlight some of the very promising Latinx musicians and actors that are working to make a name for themselves in the entertainment industry. More representation is so crucial for our community, and we’re so excited to see all of these ultra-talented artists on-screen and on-stage. Check them out here, so you can show your support too.
Alaina Castillo is a 22-year-old budding pop star from Houston. She burst onto the scene via YouTube, posting covers of various songs and ASMR videos. In just three years, she’s amassed 856,000 followers, making her a bonafide influencer. She’s even been written up in Rolling Stone. She’s now released two EP and her debut album, “Parallel Universe Pt.1,” and is currently in the midst of a U.S. tour.
Nezza is a half Dominican, half Colombian singer with super-soulful voice, who performs in both English and Spanish. Originally from California, she also used YouTube to launch her music career, and has now released multiple EPs. The 26-year-old has more than 346,000 YouTube subscribers and more than 300,000 followers on Instagram, and is currently promoting her single, “Club Solita.”
It’s impossible not to dance to the sounds of Cimafunk, who blends classic Latin rhythms and sounds with modern beats. The Afro-Cuban artist has a distinct style vocally and visually, and has released two albums, the most recent of which is El Alimento. The 29-year-old has been working on his music career for nearly a decade, but his latest single, “Te Quema la Bemba,” has been garnering a lot of mainstream attention from media outlets like NPR and Rolling Stone.
You might recognize 30-year-old actor Carmela Zumbado’s face, even if you don’t know her name. The Miami native, who is of Cuban and Colombian descent, played Delilah Alves on the hit Netflix original series, You. But she’s been working in TV for years, appearing on shows like iCarly, Rosewood and NCIS: New Orleans. Carmela also uses her platform on Instagram, where she has over 400,000 followers, to promote social justice.
At just 15 years old, Mexican actor Eduardo Minette hit it big when he was cast in the 2021 film Cry Macho with Clint Eastwood. He’s been in several Mexican TV shows as well, but Eduardo is also a musician and is currently sponsored by Gibson guitars, which is a big deal considering they are one of the world top guitar manufacturers. Thanks to his stellar performances in Cry Macho though, many believe he’s poised for a U.S. crossover over the next few years.
The 34-year-old actor Daniella Pineda has quietly been working her way up the ranks in Hollywood for years. Originally from California, the Mexicana, has enjoyed recurring roles on popular shows including, The Originals, The Detour and American Odyssey, and recently nabbed a spot on the highly anticipated, Netflix-produced live-action adaptation of the popular anime series, Cowboy Bebop.
Colombian rapper, Mabiland, is breaking all kinds of barriers. She is Black and queer, dominating in what has traditionally been a very cis male dominated genre. And not only that, but she’s also making music that’s quite unique, and much softer in sound than many of us are used to from Latin hip hop artists, in large part due to the tone of her voice, but also because she uses a lot of soul beats, that totally transform her music.
Frankie A. Rodriguez
Actor Frankie A. Rodriguez is also doing his part to break barriers in the entertainment industry. He currently plays the first openly gay character in the High School Musical franchise, in High School Musical: The Series on Disney+, and is now responsible for performing Disney’s first gay love song. Previously, the 22-year-old has appeared on shows including Will & Grace and Modern Family.
Madison Taylor Baez
Madison Taylor Baez is a name you shouldn’t soon forget. The 10-year-old is best known for playing “Young Selena,” on the Netflix original, Selena: The Series, and her incredible performances of the U.S. national anthem. Her voice is jaw dropping, and she is incredibly dedicated to her craft. There is no doubt in our minds that she has a huge career ahead of her.
Eight-year-old Summer Castillo hit it big in 2021, when she landed the lead role on the brand-new PBS Kids animated show Alma’s Way, which was created by Sesame Street icon Sonia Manzano. Summer is a Boricua from the Bronx, with big ambitions for a career in entertainment, and a hugely supportive family to help her get there. Up next, Summer is set to star in the Latina-directed film, Brownsville Bred.
Dominicana actor Coral Peña has been in TV and the movies for years, and has enjoyed recurring roles on various popular TV shows. Her first acting credit was on Blue Bloods, and then she nabbed recurring roles on shows like 24: Legacy, The Enemy Within and most recently, For All Mankind. Perhaps her most career-shifting role though, was her part in the 2017 Meryl Streep film, The Post.
We’ve gotta admit, we’re pretty obsessed with Cobra Kai‘s Xolo Maridueña. The 20-year-old actor is from Los Angeles, and is of Mexican, Ecuadorian and Cuban descent, and he had a recurring role on the long-running series Parenthood, when he was a kid. Netflix’s Karate Kid spin-off series has really been a breakout role for him. Next up, he’ll be starring in the DC Film Blue Beetle, which is being touted as the first Latino superhero movie.
Netflix’s On My Block may be over, but Diego Tinoco’s career is really just starting to take off. The 24-year-old Mexican-American actor has two movies up the pike, the fantasy film, Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac, which he’s currently filming and is set to come out in 2023, and Mourning War, which is in the pre-production phase.