Welcome to LATINA’s weekly round-up of the best new music. This week’s list features women on the rise in Latin music. Puerto Rican singer-songwriter GALE debuts with her single “Inmadura,” and Veronique Medrano pushes the boundaries of regional Mexican music in “Mal Ojo.” Puerto Rican rapper Villano Antillano comes through with the fierce anthem “Vocales,” and Mexican singer Immasoul blossoms with “Florecer.”
Among the men featured this week are two of Colombia’s brightest stars. Sebastián Yatra celebrated his Academy Awards performance with a new version of “Tacones Rojos,” and Maluma expanded his brand with the “Mojando Asientos” video. Puerto Rican icon Residente’s powerful music video for “This Is Not America,” and Daddy Yankee’s duet with Bad Bunny round out the list. Check it out below.
GALE is known for co-writing hits for artists like Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Anitta, and Cardi B. “It’s been amazing and so inspiring,” the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter told LATINA. “Each of them are so different and empowering. I enjoy being in the room with them the most. This helps me be more assertive and purposeful in writing what they want to convey in their next song. I love feeding off each other’s energy.” Now GALE is making her debut as an artist with her single “Inmadura.” The song is a unique blend of reggaeton beats with pop-rock elements. In an angst-driven performance, GALE vows to move on from the messiness of a breakup. She is ready to make her mark with this kiss-off anthem. “I’ve always wanted to create the music I’m creating now, and write the songs I’m writing for my project, which are honest, vulnerable and unfiltered,” she adds. This is only the beginning of GALE’s burgeoning music career.
Veronique Medrano, DJ Kane & El Dusty, “Mal Ojo”
Veronique Medrano is leading the new wave of Tejano music stars. The Mexican American singer-songwriter teamed up with two icons in the Texas music scene, DJ Kane from Kumbia Kings and El Dusty. She collaborated with them on her new single “Mal Ojo.” In the trap cumbia banger, Medrano reclaims her space as a woman in the genre. “In this very male-dominated space of the Mexican Regional (Tejano) genre, I was never Mexican or Tejano enough for their liking because I didn’t fit a particular image of what they felt best represented one,” she told LATINA. “Mal Ojo is a common phrase that is rooted in Latino and Mexican culture that is best explained as others putting bad juju on you based on their perceptions of you and what they covet of yours.” The song will be included on her upcoming album “Mexi-Americana.” She added, “[This project] has allowed me to take stock in my power and my identity as both a Mexican (Latinx) and an American. In that duality there is strength.”
Residente and Ibeyi, “This Is Not America”
Residente has one of the biggest songs in the world right now. His collaboration with Argentine producer Bizarrap has over 76 million views on YouTube. “BZRP Music Session #49” is Residente’s polarizing tiraera against J Balvin. In those bars, the Puerto Rican icon spit poignant rhymes about how Afro-Latinos don’t get the recognition they deserve in reggaeton, a style rooted in Black music. With all eyes on him, Residente followed up with his powerful new single “This is Not America,” teaming up with the Afro-French Cuban sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz who form the duo Ibeyi. Residente spits more poignant bars about the bloody history of imperialism in the Americas and how that’s especially affected Indigenous and Black communities. “Here we are, so that you remember if you want it, my machete bites,” Ibeyi sings in Spanish. The music video is striking with historical moments of resistance against imperialism and colonization revisited. Residente continues to use his art and platform to address important societal issues.
Villano Antillano, “Vocales”
Villano Antillano is one of the fiercest rappers in Latin music right now. She is also paving the way for the LGBTQ+ community in reggaeton and Latin trap as a transwoman and non-binary artist. Antillano dropped banger after banger last year, and she keeps the fire coming with her new single “Vocales.” In the sexy trap track, she spits rhymes about taking control and being vocal in the bedroom. “‘Vocales’ narrates a daily affirmation about the power that women have to act in sex in the same way as men do,” Villano told LATINA. “It introduces us to a liberated woman who refuses to be ashamed of her sexuality and, on the contrary, shows it off on a platter to anyone who wants to sculpt her.” Earlier this month, she collaborated with Paopao, La Gabi, Aria Vega, and Cami Da Baby for the all-women EP “Hembrismo.” Villano is currently hard at work on her highly-anticipated debut album “Sustancia X.”
Immasoul is a rising star in the Latin R&B movement. Since the release of her debut EP last year, the Mexican singer-songwriter has been making her mark in the genre, continuing to push it to new places. With her most recent single “Florecer,” Immasoul dabbles in elements of reggaeton music for the first time. In her soulful voice, she sings about the strength of finding self-love after a breakup. “This song is inspired by the close relationship of a person I love,” she tells LATINA. “It hurt me too much to see [my best friend’s] heart so big to feel so weak, so alone, and so sad. I thought about the flowers in spring that are always born with all the hope and love of starting a new cycle of life. I saw that in her and I couldn’t help but think of myself after my own inner duel.” The dreamy and empowering anthem follows Immasoul’s previous single “Secreto” with Sobrino.
Maluma and Feid, “Mojando Asientos”
Maluma is a musical empire now. The Colombian superstar directed and produced the music video for his new single “Mojando Asientos” under his Royalty Films group, teaming up with Colombian singer Feid for the bedroom banger. In the sensual reggaeton track, Maluma and Feid trade verses about longing for another night of messy romance with their lovers. In the music video, the guys ride around in the cars where the trysts took place. “I am happy to launch my own production house Royalty Films that will create videos for my music and my foundation as well as other projects, including those of fellow artists,” Maluma said in a statement. “Royalty Films has been a dream that we wanted to accomplish and now we have the expertise and in-house talent and I am happy to collaborate with TES and PHRAA who know me so well and believe in my vision.” Earlier this month, Maluma released his fragrance line Royalty by Maluma. Today he also launched a clothing line under the same name with Macy’s.
Sebastián Yatra and John Legend, “Tacones Rojos”
Sebastián Yatra is in the best moment of his career right now. Thanks to Oscar nomination for his performance of “Dos Oruguitas” in Disney’s “Encanto,” he performed the song at the awards ceremony last Sunday, March 27. Now the Colombian heartthrob has teamed up with John Legend for a new version of his hit single “Tacones Rojos.” In the sunny and sexy song from Yatra’s “Dharma” album, Legend translates the loving lyrics into English. “I’m in heaven when I watch you dance to reggaeton with your red heels high,” Legends sings. “Creating this version together with John has been a beautiful experience,” Yatra said in a statement. “He is one of the most talented musicians. Him singing a song that I wrote, these melodies and this message of love, makes me quite happy and rewarding both personally and professionally.” Yatra also currently stars in the Netflix series “Érase Una Vez… Pero Ya No” where he sings the pop-punk theme song.
Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny, “X Última Vez”
Daddy Yankee recently broke the Latinx Internet with his retirement announcement. The Puerto Rican superstar will officially retire from music after his upcoming La Última Vuelta Tour concludes. As a gift to fans, he released his last album “Legendaddy.” “I’m announcing my retirement from music by giving you my best production and concert tour,” Daddy Yankee said in a statement. “I will say goodbye celebrating these 32 years of experience with this new collector’s item, my album ‘Legendaddy.’ I’m going to give you all the styles that have defined me in one single album.” He was true to his word with the 19-track LP that features reggaeton stars like Rauw Alejandro, Sech, Myke Towers, Natti Natasha, and Becky G. The centerpiece of the album is the Big Boss’ duet with Boricua superstar Bad Bunny; they teamed up for the angst-driven banger “X Última Vez.” This duo is a match made in perreo heaven.