Welcome to LATINA’s weekly roundup of the best new music. This week’s list includes the debut album from rising Puerto Rican star Villano Antillano and Latin alternative acts BRATTY and Mariangela.
Also on the list: Ely Blancarte shines with “Plástico,” Lupita Infante and ANGEL22 cover Christmas classics and Jota Rosa drops “Cucu,” a beat-shifting banger with Young Miko and Gotopo.
Villano Antillano, “La Sustancia X”
Villano Antillano just released her debut album “La Sustancia X.” The Puerto Rican rapper had a breakout year thanks to her feature on Bizarrap’s “BZRP Music Sessions #51” and a co-sign from Bad Bunny (watch him sing along on his Instagram Live). Antillano unloads her fierce flow across the 11-track LP while proudly representing her point of view as a femme and trans woman. In the booming “Hedonismo,” Antillano raps about living her best life in the club and the bedroom. In the empowering “Mujer,” Villano teamed up with Puerto Rican singer iLe. Both artists trade verses about being women in charge and not allowing anyone to dim their lights. The LP also features her perreo-ready banger “Cáscara De Coco” where she pays homage to La Delfi and Celia Cruz while embracing being a woman with tough skin. In “La Sustancia X,” Antillano’s takes reggaeton and Latin trap into the future while harnessing her power as a queer game-changer in Latin rap.
BRATTY and Hinds, “Y Cómo”
BRATTY is the alternative music project of Jenny Juárez. Since 2018, the singer from Culiacán, Sinaloa has put a refreshing surf rock touch on Latin music. For her new single “Y Cómo,” BRATTY teamed up with Spanish indie rock group Hinds. She told LATINA, that Hinds “added their garage style and ended up enchanting me. I’ve admired their group a lot since it is one of the few led by girls who play their own music.” On the all-women track, BRATTY channels her angst into a dreamy kiss-off anthem. BRATTY will release her EP “Es Mi Fiesta Y Si Quiero Hago Un” on Jan. 5, 2023 with features from Metronomy, Yawners, Depresión Sonora, Álvaro Díaz, NSQK y Méne, and Cariño.
ANGEL22 is a rising all-Latina girl group. The band features women with roots in different parts of Latin America like Brazil’s Sofia Oliveira, Colombia’s Laura Buitrago, Cuba’s Wendii Sarmiento, and Alondra Martinez, who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent. Now ANGEL22 is welcoming the holidays with the band’s cover of Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe.” Their soulful harmonies breathe new life into the Christmas track. The members also embrace their Latina heritage in the heartfelt ballad. “We wanted to do an interpretation of the song with our three languages, Portuguese, Spanish and English,” the group told LATINA, “so that each and every one of our fans feel more at home during this beautiful time.”
Ely Blancarte, “Plástico”
The Mexican-American singer Ely Blancarte is a rising star in the Latin music scene, who has previously collaborated with other artists like Kim Loaiza and Joana Santos. Blancarte’s music, in which a hip-hop influence meets reggaeton beats, reflects her bicultural background. That’s the perfect way to describe her new single “Plástico.” In the sexy club banger, she sings about shaking your booty on the dance floor. “It’s about having fun, spicing things up a little bit, and mostly bringing this new side of myself to the public,” Blancarte told LATINA about her song. She is currently hard at work on her debut album that will include music with hit-makers like Dre Harris, Saga WhiteBlack, and Paul “Echo” Irizarry.
Mariangela is making her debut with her very first EP “4+1.” The Mexican singer first made an impact this year with her breakthrough single “Soñarte” in which she blended Latin music with alternative influences. In October, Mariangela released a rock-infused version of Roberto Carlos’ classic “Cama y Mesa.” She continues to flex her alternative edge with her new single “Abril.” On the emo song’s inspiration, Mariangela told LATINA, “‘Abril’ is about the saddest and lowest moment of my life, I was in a very deep depression, and I was angry with God. I was living winter in April, in the middle of spring.” The music on her EP adds up to one of the year’s most angst-driven releases.
Lupita Infante, “Te Deseo Muy Felices Fiestas”
Lupita Infante is ringing in the holidays with “Te Deseo Muy Felices Fiestas,” covering the Christmas classic “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” in English and Spanish. Both versions feature this granddaughter of Pedro Infante putting a mariachi spin on the seasonal sounds. She delivers heartfelt performances while proudly embracing her Mexican roots. Speaking on her yuletide cheer, she told LATINA, “I love Christmas music because I think it’s an essential part of the holiday season. That’s why I decided to record this song, which is one of the most classic and famous Christmas songs. And of course, I had a blast creating my own versions infusing mariachi in both English and Spanish.”
Gotopo and Don Elektron, “Cucu”
Gotopo is shaking up Latin music with her new single “Cucu.” The Venezuelan singer-songwriter teamed up with Don Elektron, who is one of the top Latin EDM producers. Gotopo embraces her Afro-Latina heritage in her song, blending Afro-Indigenous rhythms with elements of electronica. In the spellbinding banger, she sings about a problem that women can face on the dance floor. “It’s about a beautiful woman who goes partying alone, and is inevitably hit on in ways she doesn’t welcome,” she tells LATINA. “In the song, the woman says, ‘Who told you you can touch?’. But the goal was to make it humorous and joyful.” The track will be included on her EP Sacúdete that will be released on March 31, 2023.
Jota Rosa, Young Miko, Kris Floyd, and Chanell, “De Pasajero”
Jota Rosa brought together all of Puerto Rico’s most promising and rising stars in his new single “De Pasajero.” The Boricua producer has worked under the wing of hit-maker Tainy and he’s also a member of Tainy’s NEON16 collective. Now Rosa is letting his innovative mind run wild in his collaboration with Young Miko, Kris Floyd, and Chanell. Rosa blends trap beats with a pulsating dance music edge. Young Miko seamlessly switches up her sassy flow to match the song’s beat change. Floyd flexes his sensual and swaggering vocals in his slick guest verse while Chanell rounds out the track and turns up the heat. The mind-blowing banger will be a part of Rosa’s upcoming “Club Dieciséis 2.”
LATINA New Music Picks are published every Monday.