Insight Tr3s: The Sound of Música, Key Element in Young Latinos’ Lives

Erica Saylor by Erica Saylor, Tr3s

Cyndi Lauper from the "I Want My MTV" campaign

Music is one of the most important elements of life for Latinos. Along with family and food, it’s part of the cultural trinity of things they say make them feel most “Latino.” Music’s appeal crosses generations, with the ability to touch the hearts of recent immigrants, US-born children of foreign-born parents, as well as those whose grandparents made the original journey here. It also plays a key role in day-to-day life, as something they believe keeps them sane, safe, and happy.

Tr3s recently did an analysis of Latin music listeners, “Hispanic Young Adults Today: Exploring Latinicity through Music,” which draws from numerous quantitative and qualitative studies commissioned by Tr3s, as well as Experian Simmons and Latino Intelligence. Here are key findings from that report:

Music is universally important in the lives of young Latinos.  Aside from language, there is no common cultural thread that binds the heart and soul more than music. Some consider it a link to the past, as well as a window into the future. It’s also a social currency – given the importance of social sharing, it’s cool to be ahead of the curve when it comes to musical taste.

Young Hispanics believe that music is where Latinos’ influence on U.S. culture is greatest. With many Latin artists topping the U.S. music charts and working outside traditional Latin music genres, Hispanics are perceived as having more influence in this area than in any other. For many young Latinos, seeing Latin artists having such an impact on American culture in this way is a point of pride.

Music is the #1 online escape for young Hispanics. When they’re on the internet and looking to escape from the stresses of everyday life, music is by far the main type of content they turn to. At 38%, music is a much more common escape than TV shows/movies (14%); connecting with others via email, social media, Skype, or chat (14%); or “pretending I’m rich” (surfing first-class vacations, high-end retail, or mansion real estate, 14%). Music helps young Latinos relax and helps them cope with hectic schedules. Some said “it’s what keeps me in a peaceful state;” others say “music helps me get through the day.”

Source: Tr3s Ipsos/OTX Tracking Study (2007-2013); Experian Simmons NHCS (Fall 2012); Latino Intelligence (2008); “Cooltura” Panel (2007-2013); Music Focus Groups (2010); Tr3s Hispanic Digital Study (2010); Tr3s Hispanic Millennial Study (2010-2012)

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