As 2022 comes to a close, LATINA looks back on our favorite songs of the year by Latina musicians, as well as collaborations that they took to the next level. Karol G, Shakira, Becky G, and Anitta helped Latin music go global this year. Christina Aguilera and Camila Cabello embraced their Latina roots in their latest albums. New Latina stars also emerged this past year like Yahritza Martínez of Yahritza y Su Esencia, Snow Tha Product, and ChocQuibTown’s Goyo.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the 20 best songs of the year by Latinas.
20. Julieta Venegas, “Mismo Amor”
Julieta Venegas returned this year with her album “Tu Historia.” The dazzling highlight on the Mexican singer’s LP was “Mismo Amor,” her glorious disco-pop anthem. Álex Anwandter produced Venegas’ ode to encountering mixed signals in a relationship. Instead of wallowing in uncertainty, she danced through the romantic drama like there was no tomorrow.
19. Latto and Mariah Carey, “Big Energy” (Remix)
Mariah Carey revived one of her classics this year through Latto’s smash hit “Big Energy.” Latto enlisted our favorite pop icon of Venezuelan descent for a dreamy remix of “Big Energy.” She sampled the nineties hit “Fantasy” where Carey re-recorded her flirty lines and signature vocal runs. This seamless mash-up of “Big Energy” with “Fantasy” was everything we hoped for, and more.
18. Tokischa, Anuel AA, and Ñengo Flow, “Delincuente”
Following collaborations with Madonna and Rosalía, Tokischa continued to push dembow music into the mainstream. For the rising Dominican star’s hottest song of the year, “Delincuente,” she teamed up with reggaeton heavy-hitters Anuel AA and Ñengo Flow. In the raunchy dembow banger, Tokischa sang about wanting a bad boy in the bedroom for a criminally good time.
17. Rema and Selena Gomez, “Calm Down” (Remix)
Selena Gomez entered the world of Afrobeats in collaboration with Rema. The rising Nigerian star enlisted Gomez for a dreamy remix of his breakthrough hit “Calm Down.” The Mexican-American pop star found her groove among the atmospheric production while giving the song a sultry and refreshing touch. This captivating collaboration was the best crossover between Afrobeats and pop music to happen this year.
16. Bad Bunny and Bomba Estéreo, “Ojitos Lindos”
Bad Bunny released the biggest album of the year with “Un Verano Sin Ti.”The shimmering highlight on Puerto Rican superstar’s LP was “Ojitos Lindos” featuring Bomba Estéreo. The Colombian band’s lead singer Li Saumet made Bad Bunny’s summery love song feel spiritual with her otherworldly vocals. Bad Bunny beautifully blended reggaeton beats with Bomba Estéreo’s tropical sounds from Colombia’s coastal region.
15. Carla Morrison, “Diamantes”
Carla Morrison experienced a musical rebirth with her album “El Renacimiento.” The Mexican singer-songwriter let the light in for her uplifting LP. Morrison shined the brightest on her album in the radiant “Diamantes.” She beautifully translated the rush of a euphoric romance into one of the year’s most striking love songs.
14. Snow Tha Product and Lauren Jauregui, “Piña”
Snow Tha Product continued to break down boundaries for women and the LGBTQ+ community in the Latin rap scene. In one of the year’s most alluring releases, “Piña,” the Mexican-American rapper teamed up with Lauren Jauregui. The artists, who are both bisexual, sang about bringing all the women to the yard with appetizing pineapples. Snow Tha Product and Jauregui proved to be a dream Latina duo in this queer-positive club anthem.
13. Natti Nastasha, Daddy Yankee, and Wisin y Yandel, “Mayor Que Usted”
Natti Natasha teamed up with two of reggaeton music’s most iconic acts for “Mayor Que Usted.” She joined forces with Daddy Yankee and Wisin y Yandel, who both announced their impending retirements this year, for her explosive bachatón banger. Natasha captured the essence of classic reggaeton music alongside the OGs before they hung up their microphones for good.
12. Sofía Reyes and Maria Becerra, “Marte”
Sofía Reyes’ “Mal De Amores” album was full of heartbreak and how to overcome that crappy feeling. The Mexican pop star teamed up with María Becerra for the “Marte,” her Latina girl power anthem on kicking the heartache. In the otherworldly kiss-off track, Reyes lyrically cut her ex-lover down to size with Becerra as her celestial sister and wing-woman.
11. Anitta, “Envolver”
Though it was technically released in 2021, Anitta’s “Envolver” became a global hit this year through TikTok. The Brazilian superstar had people around the world trying to imitate her twerking. Anitta’s sexy choreography embodied her reggaeton romp’s empowering message of taking control in the bedroom. She wasn’t afraid to push buttons or boundaries with the alluring club banger.
10. Polimá Westcoast, Pailita, Paloma Mami, Feid, and De La Ghetto, “Ultra Solo” (Remix)
To take his hit to the next level, Polimá Westcoast enlisted the talent of another Chilean star for the remix of “Ultra Sola.” Paloma Mami joined Westcoast and Pailita on the star-studded remix that also included Feid and De La Ghetto. Every artist had their moment to shine, but Mami stole the show. As the sole woman on the track, Mami made the single life sound good with her fierce and fabulous guest verses.
9. Danna Paola, “XT4S1S”
Danna Paola marked a new era in her career with “XT4S1S,” stepping in as the track’s co-writer and co-producer with her boyfriend Alex Hoyer. The Mexican pop star harnessed that freedom in creating her own music and channeled that in one of the year’s most euphoric anthems. Paola sang about being on a constant high of a climax and we didn’t want to come down.
8. Becky G and Karol G, “Mamiii”
Becky G continued to push Latin pop to new places with her album “Esquemas.” The Mexican-American superstar teamed up with Karol G for the breakup anthem of the year, “Mamiii.” Becky G blended influences of cumbia with reggaeton music while lyrically torching an ex-lover alongside Karol G. The Latina girl power behind the fiery kiss-off anthem made it an important pop culture moment.
7. Yahritza y Su Esencia, “Soy El Unico”
Yahritza y Su Esencia made history this year with their debut single “Soy El Unico.” The Mexican-American trio’s lead singer Yahritza Martínez became the youngest Latin artist to appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart at 15-years-old. Not only was the soaring love song a win for regional Mexican music in the mainstream, but also an important moment for women in the male-dominated genre. With a voice beyond her years, Martínez sang from the soul and captured many hearts along the way.
6. Goyo, “Lo Conoces”
Gloria “Goyo” Martínez stepped away from ChocQuibTown momentarily to shine as a solo star with her debut album “En Letra De Otro.” The Colombian singer and rapper re-imagined classics in Latin music with her Chocó-based flow. The standout was “Lo Conoces,” where Goyo celebrated her Afro-Colombian roots to the sound of Tego Calderón’s “Pa’ Que Retozen.” In knockout new verses, La Reina Del Combo let listeners know that her reign is not letting up anytime soon.
5. Camila Cabello and María Becerra, “Hasta Los Dientes”
Camila Cabello embraced her Cuban and Mexican roots in her first Latin album “Familia.” The pop superstar teamed up with María Becerra for the LP’s stellar standout, “Hasta Los Dientes.” Cabello seamlessly blended her Latin and pop music side in the dazzling track. She trades verses with Becerra about hot-and-heavy romances that had their teeth chattering. This duet was a dreamy, Latin disco-pop fantasy come true.
4. Christina Aguilera, “La Reina”
After more than twenty years, Christina Aguilera released her second Latin album. As a reflection of her Ecuadorian roots, she named the LP “Aguilera.” In the standout “La Reina,” Aguilera embraced Mexican ranchera music. In a response to Vicente Fernández’s classic “El Rey,” she let him know that a king is not a king without a queen by his side. In an empowering performance, she asserted her queenly authority while showing there’s no language barrier when it comes to her unparalleled vocal prowess.
3. Bizarrap and Villano Antillano, “BZRP Music Sessions #51”
Villano Antillano broke through this year with “BZRP Music Sessions #51” alongside Bizarrap. As a trans woman, the Puerto Rican rapper has become an empowering voice for femmes and the LGBTQ+ community in Latin rap. In “BZRP Music Sessions #51,” Villano unleashed her versatile flow while firing off multiple lyrical punchlines. This fierce yet playful freestyle session was only a taste of what was to come with her debut album “La Sustancia X.”
2. Shakira and Rauw Alejandro, “Te Felicito”
With “Te Felicito,” Shakira appeared to hint at her breakup with Gerard Piqué that was to come following the track’s release. As one of Latin music’s most prolific and poetic songwriters, the Colombian icon seemingly and masterfully channeled that heartbreak into one of the year’s most cutting kiss-off anthems. Like Rihanna in “Take a Bow,” Shakira compared an ex-lover to an actor who played a part during their relationship. Shakira got her groove back with Rauw Alejandro while dismissing the subject of the song with a sarcastic congratulations.
1. Karol G, “Provenza”
#1 on our list is the hit song by Colombian rising superstar Karol G. Her single “Provenza” wasn’t just one of the biggest songs of the year, but it was also a way of life. The Colombian superstar conjured up a musical experience with the alluring romp. Backed by an Afrobeats influence from her producer Ovy on the Drums, Karol G sings about getting lost with a lover in her hometown Medellín. She channeled her nostalgia into a euphoric anthem on freedom. The paradise of Provenza feels reachable wherever the song is played in the world.
Lucas Villa’s weekly column, LATINA’s New Music Picks, are published every Monday.