Maria Becerra
Latin

Latin Artist on the Rise: How Argentine Singer-Songwriter Maria Becerra Landed a Major Collaboration with J Balvin

A need for self-expression is what inspired newcomer Maria Becerra to launch her music career -- which today comes with a stamp of approval from artists such as Cazzu, Tini, and J Balvin, to name a few.

“I’ve always been dramatic and sensitive and I needed to express that,” Becerra tells Billboard. “At seven, I realized that I could sing and when I was 12, I began to write my thoughts and feelings.”

In 2015, the Argentine artist went viral after posting a monologue on Facebook, where she was acting and shaving. It was then that she launched her YouTube channel to flaunt all of her other talents.

Four years later, Becerra officially kicked off her music career with the release of her debut EP 222. “That was when I knew that I wanted to make music 100 percent and live off of it,” she adds. “I’ve always liked the arts. This was my refuge.”

Becerra, who’s inspired by pop and R&B powerhouses such as Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston, credits Argentine rappers FMK and Big One for being the first artists to believe in her and give her an opportunity in the music scene. Since then, she’s collaborated with top-notch names including Lyanno, Rauw Alejandro, Tini, Cazzu, and Khea.

“We’re all dedicated to the same thing. I think it’s important to demonstrate that there’s unity and not competition,” she says. “It’s beautiful to see how the minds of other artists work.”

Most recently, Becerra -- who signed to indie record label 300 Entertainment in 2020 -- landed the biggest collab of her two-year career, joining Balvin on “Que Mas Pues?”

The song is a melodious reggaetón gem surrounded with catchy hooks left and right, where the two artists go back and forth on a relationship that didn't work out, and will never work out. The energy of their harmonies stands out on the track, Balvin with his distinct voice and Becerra with her dulcet tones.

“He reached out to me with the track, saying that he created the song with me in mind,” she recalls. “We communicated virtually and met for the first time when we filmed the music video in New York.”

Becerra, who still can’t believe that this opportunity came so early on in her career, says Balvin offered her a lot of great advice during their encounter. “One does not have to lose the quality of being human,” she notes. “We are all human, and the most important thing is to be a good person with the people around you.”

Below, learn more about this week’s Billboard Latin Artist on the Rise:

Name: Maria de los Ángeles Becerra

Age: 21

Recommended Song: “Que Más Pues?”

Major Accomplishment: “Professionally, collaborating with J Balvin and to be able to represent my country next to one of Latin music’s biggest artists, globally. Everyone in Argentina is so proud of me."

What’s Next: “Between this month and next, I will drop the second part of my EP Animal. It’s ready and finally, it’ll see the light. I also have a collaboration with other female artists that are incredible and hopefully, the pandemic will begin to diminish so that I can tour.”