WIN in Mexico: a trip into the local independent community

In March 2023, WIN held a workshop on association building in Mexico City with a delegation led by CEO Noemí Planas. This was a key step in a process that would last almost a year and culminate in the presentation of ADMI, the new association of Mexican independent record labels, in Guadalajara in March 2024.

FIM GDL is the most important music industry conference in the region. WIN partnered with the event to organize a series of activities, including a panel to discuss the latest developments in generative AI and music, a face-to-face meeting of the LatAm Network, and a WINHUB social event. WIN members A2IM, CIMA and IMICHILE traveled with official delegations and members of AMI Paraguay, ASIAr, UFi, and IMPALA were also in attendance. Below is an overview of a great trip into the Mexican independent community.

Day 1: Discussing industry issues including AI challenges and opportunities

WIN’s program at FIM GDL kicked off on Wednesday, February 27 with a panel discussion on the rise of generative AI and its impact on the record industry. CEO Noemí Planas, Chair Zena White (Partisan Records) and board member Mark Kitcatt (Everlasting Records) addressed how the use of AI can benefit and impact the music industry, as well as current legislative developments in North America and Europe.

The panel concluded with a case study of IDLES’ new music video, which features Chris Martin singing the Bristol band’s new single Grace in an AI recreation of Coldplay’s 2000 Yellow video. This production created 17 unique jobs, demonstrating how the ethical use of AI can generate new opportunities.

The conference opening cocktail party was the perfect opportunity to join our colleagues from the WIN associations and meet local industry representatives. After a fantastic lunch where we experienced the rich gastronomy of the city of Guadalajara, the afternoon continued with a networking event hosted by Spanish export initiative Sounds from Spain on the stunning terrace of Fábrica Morelos, followed by an evening of Canadian talent at the C3 stage presented by CIMA’s Canada House.

Day 2: Advancing the Latin American region agenda

Thursday began with a meeting of our working group in the region, the LatAm Network. Representatives from six Ibero-American countries (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, and Spain) came together to discuss the present and future of the independent sector in Latin America. We covered fundamental topics such as association building in the region, streaming reform and new remuneration models, artificial intelligence, and cultural policies.

Later in the morning, ASIAr board member Tweety González spoke on the panel “What’s Happening on the Street? Nomadic Chronicles of Latin Rock”. Afterwards, we headed to the Chilemúsica showcases and enjoyed Chilean wine and pisco.

The afternoon brought more networking opportunities on the Rey Gallo terrace, where delegates from Australia, Canada and the USA met with the local industry to the beat of the best cumbia rebajada, a musical subgenre derived from Colombian and Mexican cumbias that originated in the city of Monterrey, in northern Mexico. The night ended with a showcase presented by Sounds from Spain on the C3 stage.

Day 3: Presenting the new association of Mexican independent record labels

The new Mexican independent record labels association, Asociación de Discográficas Mexicanas Independientes (ADMI), was introduced on Friday, March 1. Our CEO, Noemí Planas, together with Mark Meyer, Vice President of AMI Paraguay, and Fran Sandoval, General Manager of IMICHILE, joined on stage two of the promoters of this initiative, Zorry Sedano (Grupo Anónimos) and Laura García (Sympathy for the Lawyer). They discussed the process of launching a trade association and its importance in strengthening the local industry and answered questions from the audience. With a full house and members of other international WIN associations in attendance, the presentation was a major milestone towards the establishment of a new trade body in Mexico that will unite the independent music community.

The WIN delegation then enjoyed fish tacos with the association’s promoters and continued the conversation about next steps, goals, and intentions. Another productive networking opportunity organized by A2IM followed with local food and drinks on the terrace of Fábrica Morelos.

Day 4: Bringing together the international indie community

After the three-day conference, we hosted our own WINHUB x FIM GDL networking event on Saturday at Casa Aguafuerte, a wonderful multicultural space with art galleries, a café, and cozy terrace. Professionals from Australia, Canada, Chile, Spain, and the USA mingled with professionals from Mexico and the Latin American region in a casual atmosphere. In a fun game, they competed to complete a bingo card demonstrating connections with delegates from all countries, with the lucky winners taking home gifts provided by our partners.

On our last evening, we attended the Portamérica Latitudes festival where Mexican monsters of the marimba Son Rompe Pera perfectly rounded off these four days of sharing knowledge and new encounters packed with energy and unity for the independent music community in Mexico.

The visit of WIN delegates from Spain in Mexico was supported by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).

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