Forget the show Narcos. My current obsession from Colombia is the music! There has been a recent wave of artists breaking into the US-Latino market that is bringing new life to my ears. I came across these artists through a few Latino playlists on Spotify and I can’t stop putting the playlists on repeat.
For those who don’t know me, I like several genres of music. SEVERAL. My iTunes is a smorgasbord of artists both in English and Spanish. Lately though, the two genres that I’m hooked on are Spanish Pop and Reggaeton, so the artists that I’m going to gush about fall within these two genres.
Maluma (Juan Luis Arias) has been around for over a year now in the US but I’m just now getting onboard with him. Born in Medellin, Maluma’s fame in Colombia quickly grew around the time of his first album in 2012, Magia, and even more after being a coach on the Colombian version of The Voice Kids.
With the help of some collaborations with artists like Farruko, Arcangel and Leslie Grace, his sophomore album, Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy, gained him US attention and the attention of other artists. For me, it was his collaboration with Thalia on her song “Desde Esa Noche” that got my attention.
What I like about him is the sound of his music. Unlike the aggressive style of earlier reggaeton music, Maluma’s songs have a softer vibe with smooth transitioning beats. I also like the instrumental sounds that are incorporated throughout his songs.
He recently worked with Shakira on a song titled “Chantaje”, so he’s starting to work some big-namers. I’m curious to see who he works with next. Hmm, an English collaboration?
Reggaeton is a male-dominated genre, so it’s no surprise that we don’t see as many women rising to the same levels of fame as men. I believe the last time we had a major Reggaetonera was Ivy Queen back in the late 2000’s, but I know there are several new ladies busting their a**es off right now to get to that level.
One lady I’m rooting for is Karol G (Carolina Giraldo Navarro). Hailing from Medellin, Karol G began her music career signing pop, but her true calling is Reggaeton and she’s doing an amazing job breaking into the US market. My current favorites are “Hello” and “Casi Nada”.
She’s also been known to rap in some of her songs (“Muñeco De Lego”), so she’s building up a good set of talents. I look forward to seeing what she has up her sleeve next. OMG, a Shakira collaboration would be awesome… how can we make this happen?!
This guy is out of this world! His voice. His looks. I’m totally crushing on this guy. If winning two Latin Grammys (Best New Artist and Best Singer-Songwriter Album) isn’t enough to convince you of how talented he is, I don’t know what will.
Manuel’s story is an interesting one. When he flunked a grade in high school, his parents “punished” him by giving him a guitar. It was then that he began to write songs and began performing at local bars in Bogota. It’s been a slow rise for him, but slow and steady sure won him the race.
I would describe his sound as ‘soulful pop’. He writes these beautiful love songs that just make you swoon. My two favorite songs on repeat right now are “Una y Otra Vez” and “Afuera del Planeta”.
My budget won’t allow for me to travel to Colombia right now to see him live, so his team needs to hurry up and get a world tour started! First stop San Diego.
Ok, I’ll settle for Los Angeles.