First Stream Latin is a compilation of the best new Latin songs, albums and videos recommended by the Billboard Latin editors. Check out this week’s picks below.
Tommy Torres, “Mi Secreto” (Rimas Entertainment)
Tommy Torres is on a hot streak of experimenting with sounds. After releasing El Playlist de Anoche, his 2021 alt-rock album produced by Bad Bunny, the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter — known for his sentimental pop ballads — is now venturing into the bachata world, gifting fans “Mi Secreto.” While the sound may be different, the track is a quintessential Torres song, with mature and poetic lyrics that narrate a love story. “Love me here and now, don’t ask about the past,” he croons.
Moreno ITF, Gangoso World (Interface Music/Gangoso World / Good Partners)
Bursting into the scene with grim ominous beats and an intoxicating flow arrives Moreno ITF, a Bronx-dwelling, Dominican-born rapper who is helping lead the relentless rise of New York’s Latin drill scene. With his hard-hitting debut EP, Gangoso World, the artist takes the drill sound to the next level, infusing the style with an irresistible Afro-Caribbean edge on the clubby “Pull Up.” On “Cobain,” the rapper slows down the vibe for an R&B-tinged reverie. At times, his potent quips and vocal delivery are reminiscent of Brooklyn drill artists like Pop Smoke. Yet, Moreno’s unmistakable approach highlights the teteo life in the hood, and navigating it as a mercurial Latin living in a gangoso world.
MAR, “Más Que Tu Amiga”(Marbella Music)
Emerging singer MAR, daughter of the iconic Marco Antonio Solís, is paying homage to one of her father’s anthems with her new single “Más Que Tu Amiga.” Delivering a new take on the Hot Latin Songs chart-topping track “Más Que Tu Amigo,” MAR makes the song her own with her dulcet vocals but maintains its tropical and rhythmic essence. “My dream is to be, explore and explore,” MAR previously told Billboard. “It’s intimidating to see all that [my father] has accomplished and want to pursue the same line of work, and he noticed I was insecure at one point. He just told me to believe in myself.”
Junior H, Contingente (Warner Music Latina/Rancho Humilde)
Without a doubt, Junior H has become a one-to-watch in the Mexican music space, after delivering back-to-back sad sierreño and corridos tumbados albums packed with emotional gems powered by acoustic guitars. But for his new album, he did an about-face. The Mexican singer-songwriter is showcasing his versatility with his new trap-leaning album Contingente.
Equally emotional and lyrically striking as the rest of his sierreño albums, the 12-track set finds Junior H delivers hard-hitting, brutally honest songs about fame, love and heartbreak. “I’ve been working on this project for two years,” he says in the set’s opening song “Índice.” “While I was working on it, I wondered if I was really going to release it. That’s why it’s called Contingente, because I made it for myself, for you — and it may be the last time,” a reflective Junior H says. A standout track is “Veneno,” where Junior H trades cheeky verses with Chilean artist Paloma Mami over a reggaetón beat. The album includes other collaborations with Snow Tha Product, Aleman and Big Soto, among others — and make sure to stick around till the end of the album for a surprise dance track.
Ryan Castro, “El Plan de Estefania” (Sony Music Colombia)
If after “Mujeriego,” you were hoping to hear more merengue from Ryan Castro, today is your lucky day. The Colombian newcomer, known for his street-style trap anthems, is blessing fans with another “merenguito.” The hip-swiveling “El Plan de Estefania,” produced by SOG (who also produced “Mujeriego”) is part of Castro’s new EP Los Piratas, which marks his second EP this year after Regggaetonea. The remainder of Piratas sticks to Castro’s signature urbano beats with back-to-back reggaeton bops.