Daddy Yankee, “Problema” (Universal Music Group/El Cartel/Republic Records)
After wrapping up 2020 with his Marc Anthony-assisted tropical jam “De Vuelta Pa’ La Vuelta,” Daddy Yankee returns to his roots with “Problema.” The infectious reggaeton song, which later transforms into an old-school perreo, tells the story of a girl who’s problematic and always the center of attention. “You’re a challenge for me, like those on TikTok,” the Puerto Rican artist sings. “Problema” was penned by Raymond Ayala, Raphy Pina, Dímelo Flow, Slow Mike, Justin Quiles, IZZACK and BK and produced by Dímelo Flow, Slow Mike and BK. A visual directed by Yankee's longtime director Marlon Peña shows a full marching band, showstopping choreography, and even a streetwear fashion show. -- JESSICA ROIZ
C.Tangana, El Madrileño (Sony Music España)
The sheer musical depths of “urban” music are splendidly showcased in C. Tangana’s stunning El Madrileño (The Man From Madrid). Featuring collabs with an unlikely cast of characters that ranges from icons Eliades Ocho, José Feliciano and the Gypsy Kings to newcomers like Carín León, Ed Maverick and Omar Apollo, El Madrileño delves deep into Tangana’s Spanish roots. The acoustic guitar is a lead player here, with the sounds of Spain interacting in ever-surprising ways with the sounds of Mexican corridos, Cuban son and Brazilian bossa nova. Through it all, Tangana’s voice both raps and sings, almost indifferent in its intonation but so clear in its delivery and intent. For a taste, check out the new single “Nominao” alongside Jorge Drexler, but also revel in the eye and sonic candy that is “Demasiadas Mujeres.” -- LEILA COBO
Los Dos Carnales, “Por Alguien Como Tu” (Afinarte Music)
While a new wave of Regional Mexican artists is experimenting with different genres, Los Dos Carnales holds firm to the genre's essence. Their new single "Por Alguien Como Tu" is a romantic mariachi song about a man who's owning up to his errors during a relationship. "And for someone like you, I would not be a bastard or lazy/ The love that you gave me/ Tell me, how can I repay you?" says part of the lyrics. Filmed in a vibrant fair setting, the music video shows a group of guy friends reconnecting and having a good time with a group of girls. "Por Alguien Como Tu" forms part of Los Dos Carnales' upcoming ballads album. -- J.R.
Ivonne Galaz, Voy En Camino (Rancho Humilde)
After making her debut as a featured artist on Natanael Cano's "Golpes de La Vida" in 2019, Yvonne Galaz, who became Rancho Humilde's first female signee, has released her first-ever album, Voy En Camino (On My Way). The nine-track set, which showcases Galaz's songwriting chops and guitar-playing skills, features ballad-like sierreño tracks with resounding themes of hustling, heartbreak and daily life struggles. The album follows Galaz's two singles, "A Mi Modo" and "Quieren Estar Aquí," released in 2020, and a tribute song in honor of U.S. Army solder Vanessa Guillen, on which she narrates Guillen's tragic fate. -- G.F.
Micro TDH feat. Lasso, “Ni Vivo Ni Muerto” (Warner Music Latina/King TDH)
Two of Venezuela's newcomers, Micro TDH and Lasso, have joined forces on "Ni Vivo Ni Muerto." To the beat of only an electric guitar and soul-striking harmonies, the two artists sing about unrequited love and an intense void in their hearts. "I think about you, I call you/ I write to you saying that I only want to be with you/ And you don't care if I'm dead or alive," says part of the song. But toward the end, the tables have turned. They finally find their self-worth and now they're the ones who have moved on. A heartfelt music video brings this soft rock tune to life, showing a performance by both artists as well as a male model who's after his ex. -- J.R.
Virlán García, “Corazón Frío” (Sony Music México)
Sinaloa-born singer-songwriter Virlan García -- who often straddles between hard-hitting corridos, banda and norteño -- goes back to basics with his new single “Corazón Frío,” an emotional ballad powered by an acoustic guitar and a tuba. The gloomy tune becomes the perfect canvas to García’s lyrics about heartbreak. “How do I make my mornings understand about a life that’s so empty? My smile is tired of faking it, it doesn’t want you to leave,” he sings. Penned and produced by the 23-year-old, “Corazón Frío (Cold Heart)” is the first track under his new label Sony Music México and a preview of his upcoming album. The track was released alongside a Western-inspired video filmed in Jalisco, Mexico. In the video, García falls hard for a woman who ultimately breaks his heart. -- G.F.
Nati, "No Puedo Parar" (Elisa Records/The Orchard)
Eschewing reggaetón or traditional pop, Peruvian newcomer Nati has turned to jazz and R&B, with lyrics in Spanish, for her debut single, “No puedo parar” (I Can’t Stop). Sultry and atmospheric, it evoques images of smoky jazz joints despite the bright red outfit worn in the minimalist video. The daughter of respected Peruvian jazz musician Miguel “Chino” Figueroa, Nati certainly displays her jazz pedigree in her vocal phrasing and improvisational style, and in the tasteful accompaniment that is equally fun to listen to.