Meet J. Rey Soul, The Black Eyed Peas' New Member

The "Mamacita" singer discusses working on the group's upcoming album and what she's learned from Will.i.am.

After dominating the second half of the 2000s with smashes like “Boom Boom Pow,” “I Gotta Feeling” and “Imma Be,” the Black Eyed Peas are back on the charts -- first with “RITMO,” the J Balvin collaboration that has crashed the top 40 of the Hot 100, and then with “Mamacita,” which has reached No. 23 on the Hot Latin Songs chart and features Puerto Rican superstar Ozuna, as well as vibrant newcomer J. Rey Soul.

With Fergie’s departure from the Black Eyed Peas, Will.i.am, Apl.de.ap and Taboo will be leaning even more heavily on J. Rey Soul as the singer-songwriter contributes to the group’s in-the-works next album.

“It’s gonna be great,” she says says of the Black Eyed Peas’ upcoming full-length during a chat with Billboard’s Jason Lipshutz. “It’s very Afrobeat, Latin vibe, dance -- just very uplifting music, which is what we need right now at this time of our life, you know?”

So how did singer-songwriter (born Jessica Reynoso) become engrained with the best-selling group? Everything started, she says, when Apl.de.ap selected her to join his team on the Philippines edition of The Voice in 2013; from there, she headed to the States, guested on their 2018 project Masters of the Sun Vol. 1, and joined the Peas on their 2019 world tour.

With “RITMO” serving as a commercial renaissance for the Black Eyed Peas and “Mamacita” becoming a rising follow-up, J. Rey Soul says that Will.i.am credits his work ethic for their prolonged success -- and that they see the same special quality in her. “Will and Apl, they always tell me that I remind them of themselves of when they were younger -- how much they work, how much they love music, their enthusiasm,” she says.

To learn more about how “Mamacita” and its music video came together, watch J. Rey Soul’s full chat with Billboard.

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