Welcome to LATINA’s weekly roundup of the best new music. This week’s list features the emergence of Dominican rapper J Noa and new music from Kali Uchis and Paopao.
Also on the list: Marianangela’s beautiful song “Espacial,” The Change’s duet with Loui Santana, and Rebecca Black’s ode to heartbreak. Plus, Itzza Primera releases a breakthrough song and Gloria Groove drops an epic collaboration with Anitta and Valesca Popozuda.
J Noa, “Betty”
J Noa is making a statement with her new single “Betty.” The rising Dominican rapper tackles life in the barrio of the Dominican Republic, where teens can find themselves caught up in drug use, unprotected sex, and unwanted pregnancy. With her fiery rap flow, J Noa shines light on these often-ignored topics that are often swept under the rug, and the socioeconomic factors that contribute to them. “Betty” is a powerful portrait of the pressures that teens face in low-income neighborhoods. On the song’s message, J Noa told LATINA, “Sharing ‘Betty’ with the world means a lot to me, because I have witnessed all those situations that I decry in my own neighborhood. My greatest wish is that someone who finds themself in any of these situations listens to my song and manages to get away from everything that doesn’t add to their personal growth.”
Kali Uchis, “I Wish You Roses”
Ahead of her performance at Coachella in April, Kali Uchis released her new single “I Wish You Roses.” In the sultry R&B track with a psychedelic touch, she sings about peacefully letting go of someone in her life. “This song is about being able to release people with love,” Uchis told LATINA. Further explaining the message behind the song, she added, “It could be a friend, a lover, or someone else, but the point is to celebrate releasing people from your life without being resentful or bitter.” The song will be included on Uchis’ upcoming album “Red Moon In Venus” that will be released this March.
Paopao, “N La Disco”
Paopao is an emerging alternative voice in reggaeton and Latin trap music. This week, the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter released a deluxe edition of her EP “Diamantes y Espinas” with two new songs. In the emotional track “N La Disco,” Paopao blends reggaeton with a bit of an electronic edge, and sings about trying to overcome heartache on the dance floor. There’s an atmospheric touch to her sultry Latin trap banger “Gatx.” In a two-can-play-at-that-game moment, she sings about a relationship where they both have someone on the side. On this new version of her EP, Paopao shines ever brighter.
Mariangela steps into the future with the music video for her single “Espacial.” The track is from the Mexican singer-songwriter’s “4+1” EP that was released last month. In the breathtaking ballad, Mariangela sings about a romance that feels out of this world. In the video, she brings that otherworldly element to life. “In the video I am a galactic woman trying to create my ideal partner, something you could only do in another world or another planet and that’s why there’s all the space aesthetics,” she told LATINA.
The Change and Loui Santana, “Vivo Pensando”
The Change continues to live up to her name, giving Latin music a soulful touch. The rising Dominican singer teamed up with Loui Santana, who is also from her country, for her new single “Vivo Pensando.” In the dreamy track with a dembow beat, The Change trades verses with Santana about lingering memories of a past relationship. Speaking on the song’s inspiration, she told LATINA, “‘Vivo Pensando’ is a song that talks about all those things that were never said in a relationship which, after it’s over, you continue to think about them.”
Rebecca Black, “Sick To My Stomach”
Rebecca Black gets vulnerable with her new single “Sick To My Stomach.” In the heartfelt synth-pop track, the Mexican-American singer finds it difficult to move on from a past relationship. “I wrote ‘Sick To My Stomach’ days after running into my ex for the first time in months and finding out she was seeing someone new,” she told LATINA. On the emotions behind the song, Black added, “The punch in the gut that comes with the revelation that you’re no longer the center of someone’s universe is forever one of the most painful blows, so this song is as petty as it is devastating.” Her debut album “Let Her Burn” will be released on Feb. 9.
Itzza Primera, “Me Confundí”
Itzza Primera is an artist on the rise from Venezuela. She recently signed with Duars Entertainment, the home of Rauw Alejandro. In her new single “Me Confundí,” Primera blends reggaeton with her own romantic touch. In the alluring track, she sings about a blossoming romance with mixed signals. On writing the song, Primera told LATINA, “It is very easy to confuse things with someone if there is a sexual connection and chemistry. That is what I wanted to talk about. While having a good time with someone, I realized that I was thinking more about that person than I should and I was crossing the limits that I had set myself.”
Gloria Groove, Anitta, and Valesca Popozuda, “Proibidona”
Gloria Groove has assembled a Brazilian collaboration of epic proportions. The drag pop superstar teamed up with her compatriots Anitta and Valesca Popozuda for her single “Proibidona.” Groove wanted to join forces with the women who have helped popularize funk carioca, or Brazilian funk music. “The song is mainly a celebration of the history of these women in funk and the aesthetics they helped to create,” she said in a statement. In the freaky funk banger, the three artists sing about living life fully without any limits.
LATINA’s New Music Picks are published every Monday.