Have you ever wondered what happens behind-the-scenes in the Latin music business? Yo tambien. Grasping a little day-by-day and super curious about how it all works, I luckily had the chance to connect with Carolina Arenas, director of BMI’s Latin Writer Relations, to get an insider peek into several aspects of the evolving Latin entertainment industry. Protecting the performing rights of over 600,000 songwriters and millions of compositions, Carolina’s role within BMI provides lots of face-time with these critical creators that deliver the coveted content, and as she points out “everything starts with the song”, that drives it all. Her valuable and rewarding vantage point, advocating for these artists, is priceless.
Getting her first intro to the music biz from her musician/producer padre, this Cali,Colombia native’s done a lot since arriving in Miami in 1997. She received her start, working for world renowned Cuban writer and composer Rudy Pérez, who’s produced for Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony, Luis Miguel and Beyoncé, becoming his “right hand man” and handled press activities. She then switched to the record label side, working for Universal Music Latino and Machete Music, a Latin label launched under this umbrella, holding several positions in Artist and Repertoire (A & R), marketing and production, getting crucial experience dealing with all the creative aspects of the artists- media budgets, video shoots, CD masters, campaigns and more. A stint with the Latin Recording Academy and owning her own marketing and management company came next for this ambitious Latina, leading up to her current position with BMI.
Today, she relishes being able to interact with commercial (Shakira, Juan Luis Guerra, Pitbull, Santana) and rising artists on the NY scene and looks for new songwriter talent that “can really move people, deliver powerful messages and connect with the audience”. She takes pride in watching her artists progress and isn’t afraid to do “the dirty work”. She explained, “You want to see good people succeed and make sure they get what they deserve”. As I’m learning, it truly takes stamina and dedication and it’s nice to know que hay inspiring Latinas como Carolina that really care.