Paulo Londra — the mysterious 22-year-old freestyler from Cordoba, Argentina — scored his first chart entry on a Billboard albums chart with his debut release, Homerun, in the week ending May 30, ranking at No. 10 on the Latin Rhythm Albums chart.
Released on Big Ligas/Warner Latina, the work earned 3,000 equivalent album units in its first week.
Londra kicks off Homerun with the phrase, “Now, I am conscious.” Two years after the release of his first single, “Relax,” the Argentine can finally stop to look at the score. So far, his short career has made all the right moves. He relied on singles and few but precise collaborations that allowed him to grow and earn a spot in Lollapalooza Argentina 2019.
In the meantime, he achieved two No. 1s in the Billboard Argentina Hot 100, with “Cuando te Besé” feat. Becky G and “Adan y Eva.” Of his 18 tracks, eight came out as singles, collecting over more than 2 billion views on YouTube altogether. In addition, Londra is the Argentine artist with the most monthly listeners on Spotify, with more than 16 million.
The new songs’ lyrics help reveal, in part, the mystery that grows daily around his figure. Londra is a riddle even to himself. And for now, the only thing we can understand is that his accelerated growth as a Latin American pop star freestyler is condensed in this first album.
For much of the album, the argument seems to be the following: He is a quiet, introverted guy who seeks refuge in his friends and family. The opening with “Homerun,” “Maybe,” “Forever Alone” and “Dear Friend” sustain this idea as it coincides with his Instagram stories: barbecues and drinks with friends, lots of laughter and even a certain shyness when it comes to taking selfies.
In other sections of the album, the 21-year-old rapper uses elements of trap, dembow and reggaeton to sing serenades, becoming some sort of centennial Romeo by pronouncing phrases like: “Baby, come with me and do not pay any more attention to comments from clowns,” in the adequately titled “Romeo y Julieta.”
Another example is in “Solo Pienso en Ti” feat. De La Ghetto and Justin Quiles, where he also manages to empathize with his own generation, creating daily images: “She does not dream of a castle/ She dreams of something more complicated/ Of watching movies and eating a thousand Doritos/ With a man who isn’t a moron.” And, he emphasizes it in “Por Eso Vine” when he says, “I brought chocolates and good talk.”
Other tracks help to show a more rabid and naughty side of the rapper. So far, only “Condenado Para el Millón” showed a flair of arrogance. Paulo then puffs up, and the “bored, lazy and sleepy” boy is left behind. In “So Fresh,” one of the hip-hop flavored tracks, he shoots: “Hey, Mommy, I do not die until my Grammy.” “Sigan Hablando de Mi” raises the stakes, as he quips: “In my songs, I am the writer/ You pay someone for that/ Then I did not deal with that/ I have talent, you’ve got money.”
Homerun has a sonorous backbone that never leaves behind the unmistakable color of Paulo’s voice and his way of phrasing. It shares points in common with works that represent a concrete concept along the tracks, in more or less layers, such as Drake‘s Views or Ed Sheeran‘s ÷ (Divide).
In addition, the fine work of the Colombia’s Ovy On the Drums in the creation of beats and artistic production is an invitation to explore further, and to discover the details and arrangements of songs styled under the aura of Big Ligas management.
Homerun is just the first work from an artist already proving to have a big impact in the Latin music industry.