HITS Daily Double


Música Mexicana breakout Carin León occupies his own lane. The Hermosillo, Sonora, native embarked on his biggest trek yet in 2023, selling out arenas across the U.S. on a tour named for the most successful album of his career, Colmillo de Leche.

The range León showcases on Colmillo De Leche incorporates sierreño and banda, while staying true to his norteño roots. But it’s the combination of light rock, soul and R&B with León’s powerful vocals that lift the project to a unique experience. One could easily imagine “Primera Cita,” which took off at DSPs, as a Spanish-language Chris Stapleton song—there’s a reason why León is the only Latin artist booked at Stagecoach in 2024.

We caught up with León to chat about his ascension in the U.S. this year and the creation and impact of Colmillo De Leche.

You’ve been vocal about Mexican music being elevated from regional to global. What changes did you notice in your audience on your latest Colmillo De Leche U.S. tour?

We noticed how diverse the audience was on the U.S. tour—people from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and of course Anglos from the U.S. have all been supporting. The combination of the Latin explosion and this current Mexican wave has created a big appetite for all things Latin, whether it's urbano, pop or folk.

Why do you think “Primera Cita” from Colmillo De Leche resonated with fans and had such an impact on the socials and streaming services?

There’s a lack of this kind of music in our culture and genre. Northern Mexico has lots of influence from rock, soul and blues, which have historically played a role in mariachi and sierreño. All of these genres played a role in my upbringing—my father listened to everything.

Are you excited for Stagecoach? How much common ground is there between música Mexicana and country?

It’s unbelievable to be on the country lineup. I’m a big fan of country music and U.S. folk music. It’s very similar to Mexican music—there are very logical commonalities within the music, their audience and the moment. The timing is perfect.

Across all genres, what artists have influenced you the most as a singer-songwriter?

First would be Alejandro Sanz, the biggest influence on me. Also Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs—they all inspire me. I’m very proud of what we’re doing and the music we create. I have a lot of admiration for Luke Combs in particular. Like myself, he just focuses on the music, not the fame or the numbers.

What comes to mind when you think of the U.S. Grammys? What do they represent to you?

It’s incredible. You see all the legends and idols—they dream about the Grammys and it’s part of my dreams as well. It’s what you aim for as an artist. If it happens then I can die happy.

Photo (bottom): Jesus Fernandez Espinoza