Viva Friday Playlist: Nicky Jam's 'Intimo' Album & More

Nicky Jam
Courtesy of RCA Records

Nicky Jam

Viva Friday is a compilation of the best new Latin songs, albums and videos recommended by the Billboard Latin editors.

Nicky Jam, Intimo  - Sony Music Latin

Nicky Jam's Intimo (Intimate) contains 17 songs of pure reggaeton magic, ranging from the most sentimental to the kinds of songs we have to dance to at parties. During a private listening session for the album, Jam commented that each song represents a situation in his life, which led to the title. The essential tracks are "Novia Nueva," which directly lets you know that everything is going well in your new relationship; “Quisieras,” a track that describes what someone feels when going through the stage of forgetting the person he/she loves; and, of course, the hits we already know, including "X" with J Balvin, "Atrevete" with Sech and his latest single "Whine Up" with Anuel AA. Listen to the album below. -- SUZETTE FERNANDEZ

Morat, “A Donde Vamos” - Universal Music Latino Entertainment

Rock in Spanish is still alive with Morat and their most recent single “A Donde Vamos" (Where We Go). The song, the first one released after completing their Balas Perdidas U.S. tour, takes us back to the 90s when pop-tinged rock dominated the Latin music biz. The lyrics to “A Donde Vamos” make a statement of love from a guy who tries to get back a girl he had a great time with. Morat has been nominated for best contemporary pop vocal album at the 2019 Latin Grammy awards for their album Balas Perdidas. -- SF

Roberto Tapia - Por Siempre Ranchero Fonovisa Records

Regional Mexican star Tapia has stepped out of his comfort zone to bring Por Siempre Ranchero to life. Produced by Tapia himself, the set is home to 12 tracks that compile some of the most beloved songs in the Mexican culture in the form of mariachi—a first in Tapia’s career. “For a while now I wanted to record a record with Mariachi, but at the same time I felt a little scared because it was not what my audience is used to hearing from me,” Tapia said in a press statement. “I was challenged to get out of my comfort zone and I feel very happy with the result and the response I have had,” he adds.

Por Siempre Ranchero includes revamped versions of songs such as Los Tigres del Nortes’ “La Puerta Negra,” Gerardo Reyes’ “Tu Desastre,” and Tapia’s recent single “Hasta La Miel Amarga,” originally performed by Los Tiranes del Norte. Accompanied by an authentic mariachi group, Por Siempre highlights Tapia’s versatility as an artist with powerhouse vocals. The set also includes tracks composed by Tapia, such as “Las Edades,” “Vamos a Darnos un Chance,” and the heartfelt, “Te Deseo Lo Mejor,” with lyrics are about a man who’s over his ex and reminds her that she was the love of his life but she lost her chance.

Stream Por Siempre Ranchero below. -- JESSICA ROIZ

Andrés Cepeda, Fonseca , “La Promesa” - Sony Music Latin

Cepeda and Fonseca's "La Promesa" is a vallenato song that celebrates life, its experiences and wonderful moments. The song is cheerful, danceable and joyful and it definitely arrives just in time to celebrate the new year. "We made that song by laughing a little at what can and cannot be achieved," Cepeda said in a press statement. --SF

Cultura Profética, Sobrevolando

Puerto Rican reggae band Cultura Profética released its sixth studio album Sobrevolando.  Each track represents a social, political and cultural awakening with songs born from today's society and its reality. "In times when the music industry and the interests of capitalist societies overwhelm us with songs without substance, we propose music that causes restlessness, and connects with the spiritual sensibility of our people," said Willy Rodriguez in a press statement.  Essential tracks on this album are “La Fibra Humana,” which is about life and what you feel when bad things happen; “Ten Valor,” to face life with courage; and “Viertele Flor” a romantic bolero that turns into a slow reggae song. Listen to the full album below. -- SF

Sotomayor - "Quema" (Wonderwheel Recordings)

Mexican siblings Paulina and Raúl Sotomayor release “Quema,” the first single from their forthcoming album Orígenes, slated for February 2020 release. The Eduardo Cabra-produced tune effortlessly blends traditional Colombian cumbia with electronica flavored by strong bass synth lines layered over Paulina’s rapped vocals. With Raul’s electronic drums backdrop, “Quema” features the bracing vocals of Puerto Rican bomba singer Totin “Arara” Agosto, who brings his street sound and fuses it with the dance banger. Por un segundo mis piernas reclaman el suelo que quema (“for a second, my legs proclaim the burning ground”). -- PAMELA BUSTIOS

Omar Apollo - "Frío" (Kobalt)

Chicano singer-songwriter Omar Apollo makes his Spanish debut with “Frío,” a progressive R&B-tinged song with sultry dembow texture co-produced alongside Kenny Beats (Gucci Mane, Rico Nasty) and written by Apollo, Beats and Manny Barajas. As Apollo experiments with his native language in this first tune sung entirely in Spanish, he also delves into the urban domain. “Frío” touches on relationship emotional cycles coated by the mature vocals of the 22-year-old reverberating with annoyance across the song and emphasizing on the resolution of a heartbreak. -- PB

Alex Matos, Chiquito Team Band - "Corazón Suavecito" (Planet Records)

Chiquito Team Band and Alex Matos teamed up to release "Corazon Suavecito." The song was written by Osmany Espinosa and produced by Enmanuel Frías and Roberto Ferrante in collaboration with Amaury Sánchez from the Symphony Orchestra of Santo Domingo. The song is a delightful salsa which is about how a person falls in love and ends heartbroken every single time. -- SF