Paulo Londra Reveals How He Created Argentina's No. 1 Song, 'Adan y Eva': Interview
Paulo Londra transcended the freestyle of the public squares in competitions such as El Quinto Escalón and quickly positioned himself as the coolest figure in Argentinean music.
Through trap, hip-hop and crossover collaborations with regional artists linked to pop, such Becky G and Piso 21, he was once described as "the good guy of rap." With a peculiar voice, admiration for Eminem and a style of his own that avoids violence and drugs, the "white chubby who eats the whole scene," as he himself has said, he is filled with rhymes charged with good energy and gratitude.
"I want to put subjects that many people do not include," he told Billboard Argentina. "Almost nobody sings that he is happy. They say 'I'm bad now' and things like that. I do not know if it's because it sells more; what do I know? It makes me want to do what nobody does."
Paulo, 20, keeps growing, recording hit after hit and harvesting praise. Artists such as Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny have named him a beacon of hope of South American music, and his international expansion is in process through the Colombian promoter Kristo.
Londra is always with his musical partner, Daniel Oviedo aka Ovy on the Drums, from his base in Medellín, the mecca of the urban movement.
"Yes, absolutely, what I want, I get. So do not tell me I'm lost," he says.
"If I have God, if I have love filling this emptiness," he confesses in "Relax," his first video, which has more than 40 million views on YouTube.
That's where everything started. The video was uploaded less than two years ago. It is important to note that the so-called "third Latin wave" that is going around the world includes artists from the Southern Cone such as Lali, Axel, Tini and performers from Mueva Records such as Khea or Cazzu. There, Londra shone.
In basketball jargon, his favorite sport, he scored several triples. Before the first Latin wave led by Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine, Luis Miguel or Julio Iglesias, only artists like Mercedes Sosa, León Gieco or Astor Piazzola had managed to transcend borders in a global way.
In the second wave, figures like Shakira, Santana, Ricky Martin, Thalía, Maná and Juanes went global in a way that neither Soda Stereo, Los Enanitos Verdes or Los Fabulosos Cadillacs ever did. Which is why it is more than surprising what "the most listened to Argentinian artist on Spotify around the world" is achieving.
Paulo is different and recognizes in himself a very specific emotional intelligence, free of prejudices and ties, with which he faces ambitious objectives. In one of his first and few interviews, he said: "The new generation is born listening to this. It reaches the age of 15 and trap does not sound uncomfortable to them; it is well received," he explains. "On the other hand, if you make someone 30 or 40 years old listen to trap, and he likes it, it means that the artist is crushing it. I love that."
His numbers are impressive. In addition to his nearly 5 million followers on Instagram, Londra is the most listened to Argentinian artist on Spotify and the one that appears at the top on the new Argentina Billboard Hot 100, which measures all platforms, radios, TV and media, YouTube included. There is also another crucial point that does not happen to all the musicians that are emerging: Their digital statistics are transferred to the sale of tickets.
For the first time in Argentina, a new artist, without an released album, achieves such an impact. Duki also appears in that race, from whom he differs, but with whom there is mutual respect.
The latest single, "Chica paranormal," has accumulated 72 million streams on Spotify and more than 145 million views on YouTube. On the other hand, Londra's collaboration with pop star Becky G, with whom he released "Cuando te besé," achieved in less than a month more than 310 million views on YouTube, becoming the most-viewed video by an Argentinian on the platform.
In addition, he is the third Argentinian artist after Lali and Tini to join the Social 50, the Billboard Global chart that measures the activity of artists on social networks. In this context, he is ready to move forward, without neglecting what interests him the most: being happy and transmitting that happiness. "It seems that I am relaxed, but every time I go to sleep, I think that all this is very crazy. I'm not analyzing it; I just want to enjoy it," he shared.
The Cordobés artist sold out four shows in September and October 2018 at the Gran Rex Theater, as well as concerts in Córdoba, Rosario, Mexico and Santiago de Chile. This was unprecedented for a new artist who has not yet published a single album and shows how music in Argentina is radically changing its codes.
All the shows were part of the #LeonesConFlow Tour (Lions With Flow) produced by Lauría Dale Play, in which Londra evolved in performance, professionalism and staging.
What do you remember about "Relax"?
It was born for a competition. I was not busking anymore. It was a recording at the CBArte studio in Córdoba with Biblio El Nagual. I remember that I was terribly excited with the music, as always, improvising, and I said to myself: "Why don't we try it?"
There, I wrote something. I searched for a beat on YouTube ["Patience" by the Dutchman Teun de Kruif, better known as Tantu Beats], I recorded it, and the first thing I did was show it to friends like Alan, who is now my DJ and accompanies me everywhere. He said yes, I had to get it out, it was good. I had to cheer up. If it gave me pleasure to make music, let it go, I did not have to be ashamed of what I liked to do. That's how it went.
Why did you choose to release "Adan y Eva" without collaborators?
Thank God I have freedom to choose what music to release with my team. I saw that this rhythm and that flow sounded fresh. I liked it, and I imagined it for the moment that I was living. I had a lot of feeling for that song, and I needed to release it. I wanted to show it. I really liked the lyrics that I wrote. I believe that making a feat is not something simple. You have to agree on a timetable, feel up to it at the same time and get together. So, it's faster to get a single on one's own.
I had, most of all, anxiety and a lot of excitement for "Adan y Eva." I liked what I created there. I had to get it out! Obviously, I am always surprised by how people receive the songs. They think and critique. I love seeing the "video reactions." That makes me very happy. The numbers on the charts make me happy too. I get anxious to go to the street and see the reaction of the people.
Because that number in the chart shows how they are feeling the song, they want it, they live it, how they dance it … And it shows. That number is real. Tomorrow, in a show, you play it and people sing it, shout it, like it. I'm always grateful for making music that I like, and thank God, that people like it. I can't ask for anything more.
How do you deal with the growth of your career?
I live shocked and cheerful for so much that was achieved in a short time. I get messages from different countries all the time, and that leaves me very happy.
Why did you choose Ovy to work your music?
In my case, I do not choose a musical partner, it just happens. We realized that we worked. For me, he is a brother and a pillar beyond music. Obviously, in music, it is an honor and a pleasure to work with him. I think the main thing is chemistry and having the same scale of values to fit and work.
We know that you settled in Medellín for a month working with producers and other musicians. What things did you learn there, and why did you choose to live that experience?
In Colombia, I learned so many things. The best of all is that it was not only musical and professional, but also things for life. That is so cute. That is why Colombia, and more specifically Medellín, are very important places for me. I chose to go there because I got a serious job proposal, I took a chance, I went, I tried, and the truth is that I never regretted it.
The collaboration "Te amo" with Piso 21, showed a more massive pop and regional facet of yours. Did you take it as a risk? Did you take into account what other musicians could play?
I never saw it as a risk. It's a song that I love musically. I believed it was an honor and a great pleasure to do it with such talented artists. Despite having friends who are well under, rooted in rap, for me, there is nothing more rap to do rap where usually there is not. So, I threw in style, I did my thing there, and a nice song came out.
After Niceto and your last performances, it is clear that there is a repertoire and that the show can get bigger. Does this type of responsibility make you nervous? Can you keep the friendly spirit that you get on the stage?
Anyone can get nervous and a bit frightened to move from a square where everyone, mostly familiar faces, look at you, to a stage standing before thousands of people on your own. However, it's like a birthday party. You see and organize everything so that your friends come, you get nervous and do not want anything to be missing, and as soon as the moment comes, your hair stands on end. But when you're there and you say "hello" and people respond to you, hey, it's the greatest moment.
Among the many newcomers that are renewing the scene in the region, many are oriented to trap. Why do you think that genre is being imposed? Do you think it has a long-term life?
This style is imposing because someone very versatile, and a little crazy, can do many things with a trap beat. The style is very malleable and lends itself to many things. The BPM and the beats almost always allow to do crazy things with the lyric. For me, the genre is here to stay for awhile.
What is the secret to not repeating yourself and keeping fans surprised?
You have to be yourself and not be limited by anything. It is to grab a picture and paint loose -- with faith. The more loose you do it, the better it will be. The human being has a lot to give. If you feel free, a good work of art will come out. The human being is incredible.
If you had to list your main objectives today, what would you say? Is it easy to keep your feet on the ground?
My most important goals are to be happy with what I do and what I say, because I want to transmit happiness, and to achieve it, I have to be happy. I want to feel good with my family and my friends, and nothing else.