Meet Your Next Favorite Latin Music Artists
Words by Alejandra Ximena
Art by Peppi Escasa
Latin artists are widely-known for adding passion and flavor to every song. It starts with a soft nod and before you even realize, your body is already moving to the beat and the melody. And who can forget those heart-wrenching ballads that make you emotional? (I’m talking to you, “A puro dolor”).
In 2017, the world witnessed the explosion of “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber. It garnered various “Song of the Year” awards, topped the charts in several countries, and became the first mostly Spanish-language song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since the popular remixed version of “Macarena” in 1996! In the following years, “RITMO” by the Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin, “Tusa” by Karol G and Nicki Minaj, and “I like it” by Cardi B, J Balvin and Bad Bunny also landed prestigious spots on international charts.
Although concerts and massive events are on hold until further notice, the global pandemic and the quarantine haven’t stopped music artists from creating and putting out new material. Today, I’ll take you on a quick trip through Latin America and introduce you to the latest full-Spanish bops from some rising artists:
Photo: Instagram / Dana Paola
If you’ve watched the teen drama series “Elite” on Netflix, Danna Paola may be a familiar face. She’s a 24-year-old Mexican actress and singer with several projects under her belt. At four years old, Paola started her career with small appearances on the children’s TV series “Plaza Sésamo”, the Mexican version of “Sesame Street”. Nothing has stopped her since then.
As a singer, she released more than ten albums including soundtracks from musical telenovelas. “Contigo” (With You) is her latest quarantine-inspired single. With lyrics that go: “I stay locked up, if it’s with you, with you, with you. What I want to do is dance again with you, with you, with you” plus her mezzo-soprano voice, you’ll definitely be surprised by how catchy this song is. Another track from her that you shouldn’t miss out is “Mala Fama” (Bad Fame). In the song, she classily responds to all the tabloid gossip around her private life. By releasing this smash hit, she’s making it clear that her private life is none of their business.
Ventino is a Colombian girl group composed of Natalia, Olga, Makis, and Camila. They all used to perform in several high school plays and musicals before taking part in a viral mash- up of “Disney Princess” songs which amassed a million views in just one month. Now, the Sony-signed quartet has two pop albums and is still making music up to this day.
The girls recently released the song “Vente Conmigo” (Come with Me), with lines like “You don’t know what happens when I look at you, I can’t ignore you, I’m not that strong anymore” or “I don’t know why I like you so much, I don’t wanna wait anymore, so baby come with me, come with me”. These are probably not the kind of lyrics you’d expect hearing from a girl group, and that’s exactly why it is so good. Ventino defines “Vente Conmigo” as an empowering track which seems like the route that they want to take with their upcoming releases.
But if you’re more into slow melodies, check out “¿Por Qué Te Vas?” (Why do you leave?), a powerful pop ballad that showcases the best qualities of their incredible vocal ranges.
Photo: Twitter/ CamiloMusica
Camilo is a 26-year-old Colombian singer-songwriter who gained recognition in his country back in 2007, after winning the reality show “El Factor Xs”, a Colombian equivalent of “The X Factor” for kids.
Throughout the years, he has penned songs for Latin artists like Becky G, Juanes, Bad Bunny, Prince Royce, and Sebastián Yatra, among others. However, the tipping point in his career was his 2019 smash hit “TuTu”.
This urban pop song has put Camilo’s name on the charts and opened the door for many collaborations. In fact, Shakira posted a video on her Instagram singing to “TuTu” and asked Camilo if she could hop on a remix for the song (Spoiler Alert: It sounds fantastic!).
In another song, “El mismo aire” (The Same Air), Camilo sings, “Light up a fire with my letters and see if you can turn on what I couldn’t with the kisses and hugs I never knew how to give you”. For this moving track, the artist teamed up with Spanish singer Pablo Alborán.
Final stop: Chile. Camila Gallardo, artistically known as CAMI, started her music career just five years ago, but her powerhouse voice has already serenaded sold-out arenas. The Chilean singer is popular for her folk-pop songs and her unique blending of different
“Tell me, who do you want to save? No one asked you to do it. Tell me, who brings flowers to his own funeral? Don’t you see love is dead and we’re about to bury it?” says the lyrics from her latest Cumbia single “Funeral”, featuring the Argentinian rapper Wos. As you can see (and hear), CAMI is not afraid of trying new things when it comes to expressing her honest and raw artistry. Still got time for one more song? “Aquí Estoy” (Here I am) is truly a gem.
Photo: Instagram | cami
Today, music streaming services and cross-cultural collaborations are opening the world to a pool of fresh Latin voices that go way beyond the all-time classics. This new generation of Spanish-language singers has grown up listening to artists like Ricky Martin, Thalia, Shakira, and Enrique Iglesias - even before they were international household names. Now, it’s their time to bring their own stories and their culture through their own style, to a world that keeps proving that music is borderless.
AUGUST 06, 2020