Geography

Title

Dónde esta 'Mi Gente?' An Analysis of Spanish-Language Music Awareness Using Tweets in the United States

Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geography

Department

Geography

First Advisor

John Rogan

Second Advisor

Luis Alvarezl León

Third Advisor

Arthur Elmes

Abstract

In 2017, two Spanish language songs ranked in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's 'Despacito' and J Balvin and Willy William's 'Mi Gente' both reached the top ten with the help of English-language remixes featuring Justin Bieber and Beyonce respectively. However, several disruptions within mainstream music have "set the stage" for Spanish-only songs to reach mainstream success. This study defines the Mainstream Shift Model to explain those disruptions. In order to test this model, this study examines the impact of these remixes on the demography and linguistics of the audience for 'Mi Gente' using Twitter data. The aim of this study is to explore the potential change in the demographics and linguistics of the awareness of Spanish Language music within New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami, before and after the release of the English language remix featuring singer Beyonce. Using spatial and sentiment analysis, this study explores the demographics of and reception to 'Mi Gente' music across a 40 day study period in regards to the English remix. The study found that among regions where 'Mi Gente' was already popular among mainstream radio, the demographics and linguistics of those tweeting about it did not change significantly. Further, sentiment toward the remix was highly dependent upon the language of the user, as Spanish language tweets exhibited decreasing sentiment following the remix. This study concludes that adoption of Spanish-only songs among the mainstream is occurring, however future research is need to test the methods of the Mainstream Shift Model using other Spanish language songs and provide validation to this claim.

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