The Santa Fe Klan (real name: Ángel Quezada) was 15 when it first tasted virality. With his early recordings, such as “El Niño”, “Los De Siempre” and “Somos de la Calle”, the Guanajato-born artist was able to monetize his music and earn around 10,000 Mexican pesos (about $500) each month. .
“As a teenager who recorded his own music, filmed his own music videos, and did his own marketing, getting millions of views on a song was a big deal for me,” he said. Billboard. “I had nothing. All I had was YouTube and SoundCloud. »
But his plan was never to download music from the Internet; instead, he wanted to entertain his family and friends at gatherings.
“I started doing hip-hop in the neighborhood between 12 and 13 years old. My neighborhood taught me what hip-hop and rap music is. That’s when I started writing my own music,” he says. Overall, he credits his father for instilling a love of music from an early age. “He discovered my talent when I was little. He bought me a lot of toy instruments and I played toy drums with the pots and pans.
His artist name is also an ode to his neighborhood. “During rap battles, my friends and I were known as the Santa Fe Clan — but I’m the only one who still uses that name,” he says. “The word ‘clan’ also represents my fans, my producers and my entire team.”
Inspired by artists such as Cartel de Santa, C-Kan, Gera MX and MC Davo, Santa Fe’s real, ultra-personal and raw lyricism eventually earned him collaborations with artists such as Snoop Dogg, Lupillo Rivera, Caliber 50 and Piso. 21, spotlighting him as one of Mexico’s greatest rappers. His first entry on Billboardit is Hot Latin Songs arrived this year in April with “Mar y Tierra”, part of their fifth studio album World. Her single, “Asi Soy,” then debuted and peaked at No. 8 on the Latin Digital Song Sales chart on August 6.
“My songs are emotions and feelings that I’m writing right now,” he notes. “Eres” is dedicated to his late mother and “Luka” is a letter to his newborn son, for example. “I’ve been through a lot, good and bad, I’ve done a lot and I finally feel like I’ve found my way. I know where I stand and where I’m going. Writing for me has been very simple because it is my truth.
Below, learn more about this month Billboard Rising Latin Artist:
Last name: Angel Quezada
Recommended song: “Se Acabo”, because we’re all in trouble right now, but this song is about leaving your pride behind and reconnecting with your loved ones – because life is one [time].”
Major Achievement: In 2021, the artist signed his first-ever exclusive agency deal with 33 & West for exclusive representation for US and Canadian territories. This year, he won the Premios Juventud 2022 award for Mexico’s new regional generation. But for Santa Fe, touring the United States has been a career dream come true.
What is one thing you wish we knew about the Mexican rap scene? “Every day we learn more and more about the industry and every day we have more and more talented artists. There is a lot of talent in Mexico. We are all proud to be Mexicans and we are all authentic. For my part, I teach many talented children in my neighborhood the different paths to music. This new generation of Mexican artists learns and grows every day.
And after: “We are working on a documentary about my life to show fans my reality. I’m working on an album with different genres including banda, corridos, mariachi. There are lots of upcoming projects, including new music every month.