Welcome to LATINA’s weekly round-up of the best new music. This week is marked by a few highly-anticipated comebacks. Mexican singer Julieta Venegas has returned with the groovy “Mismo Amor” and sister duo Ha*Ash embrace their country roots in “Lo Que Un Hombre Debería Saber.”
The rising stars are proudly representing their countries. Venezuelan singer Andrekza brings attention to her country’s contradictions in the powerful “Oro Negro” while Kiko El Crazy continues to globalize Dominican dembow with his debut album. Then there’s Puerto Rican singer Jhay Cortez pushing reggaeton to exciting places in “Sensual Bebé” and Mexican-American artist Blue Rojo living his truth in “No Te Kiero Olvidar.” Check out our complete list below.
Julieta Venegas, “Mismo Amor”
Last week Julieta Venegas got fans excited when she announced that she was working on new music with Álex Anwandter. “Mismo Amor” is the first single from Venegas’ upcoming album of the same name. Anwandter produced her gloriously disco-pop return to music. Backed by glittering and funky beats, Venegas sings about encountering mixed signals in a relationship. Like Gloria Gaynor, she will survive with this irresistible dance anthem. “Along with [Alex], I have seen how the songs we’ve done together have grown until they became a dreamy collection,” Venegas tells LATINA about her new album. “He has worked with his whole heart, professionalism, emotion and all of that is so beautiful. I’m telling you, finding the right partner, friends, and coworkers in life is key to making beautiful things.” Her “Mismo Amor” album is due out later this year. In December, Venegas will perform at the Besame Mucho Festival at Dodgers Stadium.
Andrekza, “Oro Negro”
Andrekza became the first female artist to sign with Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak En Fuego record label in 2020. Since then, she’s dropped multiple genre-bending bangers. With her new single “Oro Negro,” she reflects on the social and economic struggles of her country Venezuela. Backed by reggaeton beats with an electronic edge, Andrekza contrasts Venezuela’s oil-rich land with the financial difficulties her compatriots are facing. “I love my country but I don’t love who governs it,” she tells LATINA. “Venezuela entered into an economic crisis in 2013 due to the drop in oil prices. That triggered a socio-political crisis that we still haven’t been able to get out of. Venezuela is a beautiful country and I would give anything for everyone to get to know my country.” The powerful song will be included on Andrekza’s upcoming album “Cassette.” On March 30, she will perform at Guerreras With Purpose in L.A. Proceeds from the event will go toward the Guerrera x Travel with Purpose Scholarship Fund, which assists women of color with their educational goals.
Ha*Ash, “Lo Que Un Hombre Debería Saber”
Mexican-American sister duo Ha*Ash is back. Ashley Grace and Hanna Nicole Pérez embrace the country-pop sound that put them on the map with “Lo Que Un Hombre Debería Saber.” Backed by a steel guitar, the women trade verses about how their partners can better treat them. “We’re just motivated to tell men what they need to know,” Ashley tells LATINA with a laugh. “It’s a fun song. We love men. We just want them to give us flowers more often.” Hanna adds, “And pamper us more.” The sassy and soaring track will be included on Ha*Ash’s next album that’s due out later this year. They recorded the LP at home in Louisiana during the COVID-19 lockdown. “Being at home and stopping for a second, we were like, ‘Let’s go back to our roots. Let’s go back to the gospel sound and the country sound,'” Hanna says. Ha*Ash will also announce a new tour this year, including stops in the U.S.
Blue Rojo, “No Te Kiero Olvidar”
Last September, Mexican-American indie artist Blue Rojo signed with Universal through boutique label Void Records. His debut album “Solitario” was released in November to critical acclaim. In the album, he grappled with having feelings for a straight man who didn’t feel the same way. Blue Rojo’s electro-pop anthem “No Te Kiero Olividar” is the latest chapter in the saga. He sings about the difficulties of breaking away from the toxic romance. Like Lil Nas X in his music videos, Blue Rojo proudly lives out his best gay life on the soccer field. “Fútbol is huge in Mexico and I really wanted to have fun with [the video] using the fantasies that I had as a gay boy in an all-boys Catholic school,” Blue Rojo tells LATINA. April 2 will mark his first major performance at the Festival Ceremonia in Mexico City. Also, he is already working on his next album. “There are some things that haven’t been explored in the music scene and I want to dig into it with my new music,” Blue Rojo adds.
Kiko El Crazy, “Llegó El Domi” Album
After helping to globalize dembow music over the past few years, Kiko El Crazy has released his debut album “Llegó El Domi.” Many of the Puerto Rican reggaeton stars jump on the dembow wave with the rising Dominican artist. Arcángel joins Kiko El Crazy in the tropical-infused love song “Te Dóblate.” Even the legends are on board, like Zion y Lennox in the feel-good “Que Te Vaya Bien“ and Jowell y Randy in the party anthem “Ruleteo.” “The inspiration behind my debut album stems from the great acceptance that Dominicans have in the world right now,” Kiko El Crazy tells LATINA. “My mission is for the album to represent my culture and for every Dominican to feel it as their own. That is why each song is named after a phrase that identifies Dominican slang.” The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am also gets in on the action with the sexy banger “Latina.” The best moment is when Kiko El Crazy teams up with fellow Dominican rapper El Alfa in the explosive dembow track “Busca.” Kiko will perform at Vibra Urbana next month.
Jhay Cortez, “Sensual Bebé”
Since his global breakthrough in 2020 with Bad Bunny‘s “Dákiti,” Jhay Cortez’s star has been on the rise. The Puerto Rican singer released his first new single of the year, “Sensual Bebé.” The song is seriously sexy —Cortez blends reggaeton music with an electronic glow while singing about women who are living their best lives at a party. “She’s not Karol G, but she rides a makinon,” he sings in Spanish. The future summertime anthem has arrived early. In the feel-good music video, Cortez brings the pool party to life and a few women get cozy with each other. Cortez was also feeling himself and the message of the song. When “Sensual Bebé” dropped, he posted on Instagram a naked picture of himself in front of the pool. The NSFW post is nearing 700,000 likes. “Going through and reporting every corazon under this post,” his girlfriend Mia Khalifa commented with a laughing emoji. Cortez’s U.S. tour kicks off next month, including a headlining spot at the Sueños Festival.