Guillermo Morejon, middle, alongside music duo Gente de Zona.
To date, Gente de Zona is one of the most popular Latin music acts for many reasons: unique talent, contagious music, hands down prolific collaboration with Spanish stud Enrique Iglesias in their hit single “Bailando,” creativity with Venezuelan duo Chino & Nacho in “Tu Me Quemas” and musical labor with none other than Cuban-American artist Pitbull.
Nevertheless, their manager Guillermo Morejon has had his share in the duo’s climb to mainstream fame.
Although Gente de Zona’s known as a duo thanks to singers Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom, there is also a third person involved in producer Frank Palacios. The three of them, alongside Morejon, have personally contributed over the years.
Delgado founded Gente de Zona 15 years ago (in 2000). Morejon took the role of manager in 2005.
“What a manager does is manage the career of an artist for his own good: taking steps to a successful way or what could be a successful way,” says Morejon during an exclusive phone interview with Living Out Loud LA. “We arrange everything so that the artist does not have any problems: seek work for them in the industry and find the juiciest and most interesting career contracts ever.”
Gente de Zona has released three total studio albums: Lo Mejor Que Suena Ahora (2007), A Full (2010) and Oro: Lo Nuevo y Lo Mejor (2012).
Oftentimes, the majority of the fans only see the artist’s work. But, in reality, there’s lots that goes on in formulating an album, going on tour, and working together with other singers or songwriters, among many other things. That’s where management comes in. And a manager’s strategic plan for an artist could very well succeed or fail.
Morejon mentions that even though there are several undeniable music talents out there, some simply don’t reach their top level or lose ground because of poor managerial decisions from their respective managers.
“Some artists are very talented but haven’t had the proper guidance and get [professionally] lost, or go in directions that are more difficult. And then the artist retires early,” says Morejon. “Essentially, we advise artists and seek as much possible work for them. A good artist without a manager has trouble succeeding, and a good manager must have a good artist.”
Morejon began his work in the music industry in the mid 1990s, but soon went on his own. According to him, he and Gente de Zona arrived to the U.S. via Cuba in 2010 with the obvious vision to triumph.
“Five years ago, I prepared the first tour in the U.S.,” he says. “From there, we began to see Gente de Zona’s end product and the public’s acceptance. Most of the people here in South Florida are Cuban, so we decided to focus in this city [of Miami] because here is where the heart of Latin music is.”
Morejon utilized his charisma and strategies in pairing Enrique Iglesias with Gente de Zona in “Bailando.” The track turned out to be a massive hit worldwide, offering versions in Spanish, English and Portuguese.
What a lot of people don’t know is that Cuban singer, songwriter and producer Descemer Bueno scripted the song “Bailando” from scratch. Interestingly enough, Descemer Bueno carried a desire to join forces with Gente de Zona en route to jointly working on the tune. But Morejon had even bigger goal: to get Enrique Iglesias involved.
Morejon and Enrique Iglesias have always had a mutual friend, and this friend took charge in coordinating a meeting. They met, talked and agreed on many things. And the end result, as we now perceive it, is legendary.
As of now, the Spanish video version of “Bailando” is close to reaching 800 million views on YouTube. That in itself is an almost incomparable accomplishment.
Gente de Zona, who fuse merengue, reggaeton and other Latin urban sounds, recently went on a U.S. tour with Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, J Balvin and Descemer Bueno. The tour, which was promoted by different music promoters in different places (AEG Live organized and promoted the shows at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and other SoCal venues), experienced numerous sellouts.
One of the future goals Morejon has in mind for Gente de Zona is to continue touring in places they’ve yet to performed, given that the U.S., México, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Perú have all been reached.
For Morejon, everything’s at a family state of mind right now.
“Sure, everything really depends on the trust that the artist has with his/her manager,” he says. “In this case Alexander and I are like family. We respect each other. He is a hard worker and in everything he does, he asks for opinions and that is very important in the work we do.”
Morejon adds, “It all becomes very difficult if your artist does not have trust in you or does not communicate things with you…[Gente de Zona] is very passionate about what it does; we are the perfect team.”