Latin Grammys: Meet the Underdogs

PHOTO: Gaby Amarantos

It's Latin Grammys week and we've already touched down in Las Vegas for a whirlwind of live music, red carpets, swag suites, and, of course, catching up with your favorite artists – the usual suspects like Juanes, Alejandro Sanz and Pitbull.

See Also: 10 Nominated Artists Who Rule On Social Media.

Still, one of the most exciting parts about this week is discovering new talent – those guys and girls who will be stars tomorrow. Take Best New Artist nominee Juan Magan, whose monster single "Bailando Por Ahi" was impossible to ignore this year. Or Michel Telo, the wunderkind behind "Ai Si Eu Te Pego," who received a Best Brazilian Song nod.

The boys of 3BallMTY aren't far behind, having created a whole movement out of Monterrey, Mexico and a big following on social media. Erick Rincon, Sheeqo Beat, and DJ Otto, who collectively make up 3BallMTY, are also nominated in the Best New Artist category along with Magan.

Along with those now-familiar names here are some others you should meet, before they blow up.

Gaby Amarantos

Nomination: Best New Artist

Meet Gaby Amarantos, 34, at the forefront of the movement they call "tecno brega," or unapologetic cheesy techno. It's no wonder Gaby knows how to shake it and wears the occasional glittery and feathered get-up. The girl comes from a family of samba dancers. We dare you not to get up off your seat when watching the video for "Ela Ta Beba Doida" (She's Crazy Drunk), off her latest album, Treme. She's technically been around since the early 2000s, but Brazil is like its own continent so it's taken her this long to garner a Latin Grammy nod and gain global attention. Hey, when the BBC is on to you, it's fair to say that you're on your way.

Ulises Hadjis

Nomination: Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album, Cosas Perdidas

One of the most buzzed about singer-songwriters since he released his debut Presente in 2008, Venezuelan Ulises Hadjis followed up with an excellent sophomore set Cosas Perdidas. The video for its lead single "Donde Va" shows him having fun in an artsy and psychedelic environment.

Caseroloops

Nomination: Best Tropical Fusion Album, Afronauta

This cool electro-tropical group from Venezuela is definitely the underdog in this category, where familiar names like Prince Royce, Juan Magan, and Fonseca pop up. But Caseroloops manage to infuse tropical genre with some fresh energy - check out their video for "Conexion" - much like Amigos Invisibles did back in the day.

Pamela Rodriguez

Nomination: Best Contemporary Vocal Album, Reconocer

Who said this was a boy's game? Uber-cool chick Pamela Rodriguez from Peru, who was a Best New Artist nominee at the 2006 Latin Grammys thanks to her impressive debut album, Peru Blue, has us pleasantly hallucinating off her new video for "Ligera Love." The always fashionable songstress makes the kind of indie-pop that, as Guanabee put it, makes us think of "vintage children's books and lollipops."

J. Alvarez & Farruko

Nominations: Best Urban Music Album, Otro Nivel De Musica Reloaded and The Most Powerful Rookie, respectively

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