Not Your Abuela's Music: A Deep Dive Into Mexican Regional Music : Alt.Latino The music of your parents and grandparents is now part of a music industry trend that may soon overtake the popularity of reggaetón.

Not Your Abuela's Music: A Deep Dive Into Mexican Regional Music

Not Your Abuela's Music: A Deep Dive Into Mexican Regional Music

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Legendary Mexican Regional band Los Tigres del Norte keeping it real at Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx. John Reilly/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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John Reilly/Courtesy of the artist

Legendary Mexican Regional band Los Tigres del Norte keeping it real at Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx.

John Reilly/Courtesy of the artist

When I was a teenager, I spent a summer playing drums with my uncle's accordion conjunto, a small group of guitar, bass, drums and, of course, an accordion. We played standard Mexican bar music: cumbias, boleros and corridos.... lots of corridos.

Nowadays the record industry would refer to my uncle's band as "Regional Mexican Music": it has its own Grammy and Latin Grammy categories; there is an entire radio industry built around the music; Regional Mexican Music is quickly outpacing reggaetón as the most streamed genre of Spanish-language music; and yet, it is barely noticed outside of millions of fans — largely millennials and Gen Z listeners who have their eyes and ears on the future while reaching back to the traditions of their parents and abuelitos.

What's important to remember is that "Mexican Regional" is a catch-all term. Historically, accordions have been king as these styles travelled north and south, so most of the conversations around this music are dominated by corridos and boleros performed in the norteño style. But a closer look at the Billboard charts and streaming numbers show a curious mix of corridos and trap music rising from the streets of major metropolitan areas with large Latinx and African American populations — looking at you, SoCal and Houston!

So if you thought Mexican Regional was the sound of your grandparents, tune in this week to see how your abuela may be the hippest member of your familia.