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.
Juanes, “Amores Prohibidos” (Universal Music Latino)
Colombian rocker Juanes imagines secret lovers separated during the pandemic in this seductive song that fuses cumbia, electro rock/funk rhythms and classic guitar riffs and solos. “There will be some god that blesses forbidden loves, and between ‘I love you’ and ‘I love you’, don’t see a threat,” the rockstar sings in the chorus, en Español. “There will be some god that blesses fleeting loves, I want what you want, you want what I want,” he goes on.
“The song idea began from an article I read during the pandemic on the difficulty of maintaining private relationships, those that could not be known to the world,” Juanes says in a press release. The accompanying music video, directed by José Emilio Sagaró, is an intimate, sensual abstract piece that presents different couples and groups of people in bed, while Juanes strums his guitar and sings. “Amores Prohibidos” is the first single of the rock star’s upcoming album, to be released in 2023. — SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS
Sofia Reyes, “Luna” (Warner Music Latina)
Sofia Reyes turns into a goddess in her latest single “Luna.” The pop track thrives on a soothing calypso beat and finds the Mexican singer-songwriter as free and honest as ever not shying away from saying exactly what she wants from her next lover. For an even more magical and divine experience, “why don’t we go to the moon?” she proposes. “Luna” is Reyes’ first single from her forthcoming album, due next year. The new set will follow Mal de Amores, released earlier this year. — GRISELDA FLORES
Pablo Alborán & María Becerra, “Amigos” (Warner Music Spain)
In their first collaborative effort, Alborán and Becerra join forces for a musical love letter. The Spanish crooner and Argentine powerhouse beautifully lace their vocals together to bring to life a story about two friends who have feelings for each other but don’t dare to take the next step. “I can see life in color, the whole neighborhood looks at us/ Drinking the hours as if they were liquor/ I take your hand and we run, in a while, we’ll be back/ Nobody call us, we won’t answer,” they chant in the chorus. Singing about curing each other’s solitude and being each other’s blood in their veins, the metaphorical “Amigos” is a romantic ballad fused with flamenco. — JESSICA ROIZ
Danny Ocean, @dannocean (Part 2) (Atlantic Recording)
Venezuelan artist and producer Danny Ocean releases the highly anticipated second part to his @Dannocean album this week. A quintessential Danny Ocean album, the set thrives on his signature raspy vocals, soft melodies, and bubbly and mellow beats — while, simultaneously, exploring new sounds, such as a romantic salsa. The romantic crooner also experiments with pop, urban and Caribbean rhythms by fusing different genres like bachata, Salsa, reggaetón, and traditional ballads. The album includes collaborations with Mora, for “No es Amor,” and a beautiful collaboration with Elena Rose on “Las Estrellas // si tu me love me,” which is a spiritual and magical song. It’s a reminder to the person you’re with that they’re beautiful and have all that you need! “Si tu me love me” asks: If you love me and I love you, why aren’t we together? — INGRID FAJARDO
Chancha Vía Circuito, La Estrella (Wonderwheel Recording)
Enter La Estrella, a cosmic tropical chasm where warm water drips over undulating beats amid swirling dandelion petals. With his luscious electronic reworkings set somewhere either in outer space, the jungle or the abyss, the Argentine alchemist instantly sets the vibe where you know you’re in for an immersive, sonic experience, à la the 1994 sci-fi film Stargate. On the tribal-laden single “Cometa,” Chancha Vía Circuito enlists fusión-folk act Fémina, where Toti and Wewi deliver powerful chants with gusto; in the middle of “Amor en silencio,” Canada-by-way-of-Colombia artist Lido Pimienta unleashes a euphoric wail that’s like a siren call. Although his seven guests offer plenty of exciting moments throughout the album, Pedro Canale (real name) shines bright on his own in four of them, where his spellbinding alchemy is pushed to the forefront. — ISABELA RAYGOZA
Grupo Firme & Joss Favela, “La Bailadora” (Music VIP Entertainment/TuStreams)
Grupo Firme and Joss Favela both step out of their comfort zones on their first-ever collaboration “La Bailadora.” Instead of dropping a Norteño or Ranchera track, Firme and Favela unleashed a captivating cumbia sonidero-style, where they sing about a woman who loves to dance and is the center of attention at every party. “I have a girlfriend who loves to dance and I like that she’s a dancer/ The only bad thing is that I get tired fast and she doesn’t like to dance alone,” belts Eduin Caz in the track. The single is accompanied by a playful, vibrant music video featuring both acts, as well as Mexican actor and comedian Adrián Garcia Uribe. — J.R.
El Fantasma & Pepe Aguilar, “Enseñanza de los Viejos” (Afinarte Music)
It’s not the first time that El Fantasma and Pepe Aguilar have joined their powerful vocals for a banda anthem. Following “Tus Desprecios,” which they released last year, the pair is now back with “Enseñanza de los Viejos” — an ode to parents, grandparents and those who’ve taught or passed on valuable lessons. “From my mother I learned to be a good person, my father taught me not to be ordinary/ With pride, I come from the schooling of my tata and because of my nana today I’m a decent person,” both sing. — G.F.
Julieta Venegas, Tu Historia (Altafonte/Lolein Music)
Julieta Venegas cherishes the past to enrich the future, as she explores the different facets of personal histories. That’s the crux of Tu Historia, her eighth studio album, in which the Mexican singer-songwriter rejects a mainstream mentality, goes independent from her former major label, and comes full circle to find more intimacy. On her journey to pen these perspectives, she revisits her roots in Tijuana, which was the inspiration of her introspective guitar ballad “La nostalgia”, and where she filmed a few music videos. Never one to write a vapid lyric for the sake of catchiness, Venegas possesses the rare quality of writing both memorable and reverent lyrics with apparent ease to make them relatable. “Respira el tiempo te hará bien / Algo has aprendido y lo llevarás contigo, ya vas a ver / Deja tu pasado ser parte de ti” (Breathe time will do you good / You have learned something and you will take it with you, you’ll see / Let your past be a part of you”, she croons on the album’s title track along with her unmistakable accordion riffs.
Her new album was produced by Chilean electro-pop artist Alex Anwandter, who was impressed with Venega’s level of artistry. “When I was with her in the studio, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s why Julieta is doing amazingly well, because she’s such a genius,’” he told Billboard. “And to see a genius working for me was very impressive.”