Gloria Estefan is a Cuban American singer and songwriter. She was born in Havana, Cuba, and at the age of 16 months, she moved with her mother to Miami, Florida, following the Cuban Revolution. Named the "Queen of Latin Pop", she is in or near the top 100 of best selling music artists with over 90 million albums sold worldwide. With five Grammy Awards and several number one hits she is the most successful crossover performer in Latin music to date. In addition to her music career, Estefan has appeared in two movies, Music of the Heart (1999) and For Love or Country.
Question: How has the Internet changed the music industry?
Gloria Estefan: The internet has changed the game in so many ways. I mean, first of all, now you have the opportunity to hear a lot of world music. That just wasn’t possible before. You would hear whatever your radio station and your local station wanted to play on the radio. And when we first broke through with Conga years ago, we had to convince a lot of people to just try the song because they thought that their audience was not going to get it; and, on the contrary, the places where they thought the song wouldn’t work at all is where it worked big.
I think you are going to create stars on their own. If you are an artist you have a venue now to be able to reach people, sure you have to find your way through it because it is massive, but you have an opportunity. I also think it is much more fragmentation going on, you will get heard but you will get heard by fewer people. I think that is just the nature of the beast, we have got so many opportunities with so many different entertainment modes that it is just going to get smaller, but it does give more freedom to the artist himself. Before, very few got to the top; now a lot more may get there but the top is going to be a little different than it has been for many, many decades.
May 2, 2008