La Factoria

Panama's La Factoria is finding a U.S. audience by switching up the formula: "People are used to songs in which the woman is the one who sings and the guy raps," says one-half Joycee. "But this is tot

Panama's La Factoria is finding a U.S. audience by switching up the formula: "People are used to songs in which the woman is the one who sings and the guy raps," says one-half Joycee. "But this is totally the opposite."

The female duo raps on its hit song, "Perdóname," which scored ink on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart a year after their album was originally released.

La Factoria has been on the musical scene in Central and South America since 2000, touring frequently and putting out albums that fuse reggaeton, dance and tropical sounds on Panama Music. The pair's album "Nuevas Metas" was released in the U.S. on Universal Latino in 2006; but only after a re-release in 2007 did the group score its first-ever Billboard hit late in the year with "Perdóname."

The track is a reggaeton slow jam on which a guy (featured Panamanian singer Eddy Lover) begs forgiveness from a woman scorned (La Factoria's Joycee and Demphra). Joycee says: "The girl does the strong part and Eddy with his romantic voice gives a totally different touch to the song."

The track's popularity at Carnaval celebrations in Panama "was very weird because usually the songs that hit have a [faster] movement," adds Joycee.

The album "Nuevas Metas" will get an additional push from the label this year with special pricing and positioning at retail, says Universal Latino label manager Miguel Lua. The set's title translates as "new goals," and asked what those are, Demphra says they involve conquering new territories.

"We still had a lot of countries to visit, and a lot of people who needed to get to know our music." After a U.S. promo run of television shows last year, La Factoria has appeared at Latin radio events in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Phoenix so far in 2008. More U.S. radio events are in store for this year, as are concerts in Chile and Peru.

Vocalist Eddy Lover, who co-wrote "Perdóname," says the song's appeal lies in its classic setup. "A lot of people fail and don't dare to ask forgiveness. I think that's what this song owes its success to."