Jhayco is a modern day rock star. While redefining the sound of reggaeton, the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter has amassed multiple global hits. Following his monster smash “Holanda” and to close out the summer, Jhayco celebrated the release of his new single “Ex-Special” featuring Peso Pluma with CÎROC Vodka Spritz. He is truly living in his “Vida Rockstar” era.
“Just being here, doing my work, doing the best I can, and killing it for me is so rock star,” Jhayco tells LATINA. “[‘Vida Rockstar’] is my lifestyle. There’s nothing more rock star than having fun with what I love to do.”
Courtesy of Loamis Media
Before becoming one of the biggest artists in Latin music, Jhayco was born Jesús Manuel Nieves Cortés in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He grew up on the music of reggaeton pioneers like Daddy Yankee, Tego Calderón, and Don Omar. With dreams of breaking into the industry himself, Jhayco first got his foot in the door as a songwriter. His writing credits include Ozuna and Natti Natasha’s “Criminal” and Cardi B’s “I Like It” with J Balvin and Bad Bunny.
“Being an artist is always something I wanted to do, so being able to really achieve it, it’s proof of my hard work and everything I’ve put into it,” Jhayco says. “It’s so hard for writers to switch to being an artist, so it’s a blessing for me.”
Jhayco has maintained close ties with his collaborators — J Balvin and Bad Bunny jumped on the remix of his breakthrough hit “No Me Conoce” in 2019, which launched the song into the stratosphere. A year later, Jhayco scored another global hit when he teamed up with Bad Bunny for “Dákiti.” Since then, he’s used the momentum to not only move his career forward, but the sound of reggaeton as well. Jhayco pushed classic Puerto Rican perreo into the future in his songs like “Christian Dior” and “Sensual Bebé.”
“For a creator, a producer, and a writer, not only to be able to make music, but to change it, to start new waves, and do new stuff, and not just what everybody else is doing, for me there’s nothing better than that,” he says.
Another major co-sign Jhayco received is from Puerto Rican hit-maker Tainy. The producer behind all the reggaeton stars enlisted Jhayco to work on two songs from his debut album “Data,” which dropped in June. Jhayco featured on “Fantasma | AVC” and the star-studded “Pasiempre.”
“Working with Tainy is always amazing,” Jhayco says. “It’s just like going to play Playstation with your best friend. Instead you’re making stuff that changes people’s lives, so it’s always a great experience. He’s somebody I’ve looked up to forever and he’s like my brother. I respect him. I love him a lot.”
Now at the top of his game, Jhayco is calling this period in his career “Vida Rockstar.” He recently scored one of his biggest hits with “Holanda.” The hypnotic reggaeton track currently sits at No. 39 on Spotify’s Top 50 Global chart. In the dark music video, he channels Bruce Wayne from the Batman series.
“It’s just a fun song,” Jhayco says. “It’s so different. It’s also my essence of reggaeton. I’m just singing what everyone wants to sing or I’m just saying things everybody wants to say. I’m just making the music everybody really wants to dance to.”
Jhayco is continuing to take reggaeton music to new places with his new single “Ex-Special.” He blends the genre with elements of corridos tumbados alongside Mexican superstar Peso Pluma. Two different cultures collide in the game-changing club banger. The collaboration is expected to be included on Jhayco’s upcoming album.
“[Peso Pluma] is a really humble and great person,” Jhayco says. “Obviously what he’s doing for his culture is amazing. It’s going to be a really impactful album. It’s going to change the sound of how people are making music, just like we did with ‘Famouz’ and ‘Timelezz.’ We’re going to do it again, but way better. I would say this is my best album so far.”
Next up, Jhayco will kick off the U.S. leg of his Vida Rockstar Tour on September 28 in Boston. A few of his fans got a special sneak peek of what to expect during a private party in Miami with CÎROC on Aug. 31. He sees his partnership with the top alcohol brand as the next big step in his career.
“To be coming from Puerto Rico, such a small island, and be given the opportunity to partner up with such a big brand for me is amazing,” he says. “I want people to really dream big, to try to achieve their dreams every single day, and take a CÎROC Vodka Spritz to go.”
Lucas Villa is a freelance music contributor for LATINA. His work is also featured in Rolling Stone, Billboard, Teen Vogue, MTV News and W Magazine.