The last time Chilean singer Mon Laferte was set to play in Miami, she was forced to cancel her show at the Fillmore Miami Beach after coming down with a bout of bronchitis. The acute condition had been exacerbated by weeks of nonstop touring. That was June 2017, but her breakneck schedule hasn't changed much since then. Laferte will wrap up a solo tour of South America this week and immediately jump into North American dates as a supporting act for Latin-music superstar Juanes. After last year's cancellation, she will finally make her Miami debut in the second show of his Amarte Tour at the 21,000-seat American Airlines Arena — almost ten times the audience she would have played before last summer.
Laferte's stateside notoriety has escalated dramatically since her cancelled appearance. Though she began making music as a preteen and is well-known enough in Chile to have been a judge on the South American nation's version of the The X Factor, U.S. audiences and critics have only recently come to know her songwriting talent, which is sometimes compared to that of other successful singer-songwriters such as Natalia Lafourcade and Laferte's tour mate, Juanes. In 2017, Laferte earned her first Latin Grammy for the pair's collaboration "Amárrame," off her critically acclaimed album La Trenza.
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"In the past, I was asked if there was anyone I'd like to sing with, and I gave his name," Laferte says. "But I never knew Juanes would meet me or listen to my music." She says the Colombian singer-songwriter was enthusiastic when they finally met, and the two hit it off immediately. "I went to his house to get to know him. We became friends instantly; we clicked instantly. We got along. There are people you only need to speak to briefly and you're understood. I think after this month or so that we spend on tour together, we'll become even better friends."
Miami has been a second home to Latin-music artists for decades, but much of the rest of the United States is only beginning to learn about the sounds bursting from South and Central America and the Caribbean. Even then, it can take some digging to find artists such as Laferte, who makes Latin alternative music and also dabbles in traditional styles such as bolero.
"I think that the power that one song has is infinite," she says. "We will die and people will continue to listen to boleros. Lyrics are infinite." Though she says she is a fan of the Latin music that has taken over the airwaves in recent years, Laferte is not interested in chasing trends. "Today's numbers don't matter. Time will be on our side."
Mon Laferte. With Juanes on the Amarte Tour. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-777-1000. Tickets cost $25.95 to $346 via ticketmaster.com.