Latin

Tommy Torres Returns to Top Latin Albums Chart With Bad Bunny-Assisted ‘El Playlist de Anoche’

Tommy Torres
Rubén Martín*

Tommy Torres

"Working alongside Benito was just awesome," says Torres.

After a nearly eight-year absence from Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart, Tommy Torres is back with El Playlist de Anoche, his fifth studio album which debuts at No. 7 on the August 7-dated survey.

The nine-track set follows the No. 1 album 12 Historias, his first and only leader on any albums chart (Oct. 2012). In between, the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter earned two other top 10 efforts, both live albums: Unplugged Desde Puerto Rico (No. 9, May 2013) and 12 Historias: En Vivo (No. 10, 2013).

“I felt such a crazy excitement from fans since the album was released,” Torress tells Billboard.  “So, comparing that to past experiences with my last three releases, I would lie if I told you I didn’t have the expectation for it to debut in the top 10. Obviously, times are different now, since it’s more about streaming-based than actual sales, but still, the positive reaction has been crazy.”

El Playlist de Anoche starts with 6,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending July 29, according to MRC Data. The project, released July 23 on Rimas Music, attains its initial count almost equally from album sales and streams.

The Top Latin Albums chart ranks the most popular Latin albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album.

El Playlist generated 3,000 in album sales and a little over 3,000 in SEA units in its first tracking week, that equates to 4.8 million on-demand streams for the album’s tracks. An unexpected project for some, Torres’s first collaboration was entirely co-written and co-produced with his now labelmate, Bad Bunny. A blend of rock, pop, alternative, Torres’ central musical forte, El Playlist also fuses reggae and tropical nuances.

“Working alongside Benito was just awesome,” Torres remembers. “We approached this as a band album, in the sense that we both brought our A-Game to the studio and all decisions, and I do mean ALL decisions, from the song topics to the arrangements, to the artwork, to the title of the album, were all made by both. We might have different influences, but we hear and feel music similarly. We both reacted to certain things in a very emotional intuitive way. That made it easy to move forward because those emotional reactions were our only north. If we were having a good time and getting goose bumps, we just moved on to the next thing, no overthinking.”

With El Playlist’s arrival at No. 7, Torres captures his fourth Top Latin Albums top 10 and first chart appearance since 2013. He’s just the third Latin pop act to secure a top 10 debut on the overall Latin tally in 2021. Camilo (Mis Manos, No. 5, chart dated March 21) and Selena Gómez (Revelación EP, No. 1, Jan 27-dated survey) preceded with a top 10 start.

Torres’ first entry on Latin Pop Albums since 2013, El Playlist concurrently enters at No. 2 there.

About the recording and creative process, Torres adds: “The only challenging aspect was to work at makeshift home studios, where the acoustics are never perfect. Since we did it in the middle of the pandemic, we couldn’t just get out and rent commercial studios, so we built out a studio at an AirBnb in Los  Angeles, at my home in Miami, and at Benito’s AirBnb in Orlando. This made it feel like my first album where I recorded mostly everything in my bedroom. It’s not ideal but there’s a certain energy that comes from working like that. I think it worked to the benefit of the album.”