First Stream Latin is a compilation of the best new Latin songs, albums, and videos recommended by Billboard Latin editors. Check out this week’s picks below.
Carlos Vives, “La Historia” (WK Records/Gaira Musica Local)
Carlos Vives opens the nostalgic trunk of memories with “La Historia,” the first single from his upcoming album Escalona: nunca se había grabado así, a celebration of his 30 years in music and a tribute to maestro Rafael Escalona who helped lay the groundwork for his artistic career. Vives manages to honor the legacy of the famous composer, with a modern pop version of this melancholic vallenato that immediately transports you to the warm Colombian Caribbean coast — while he sings to that unrequited love that he cannot forget, accompanied by a sentimental wail from the accordion. “All my heart I gave it to her, and she was pleased to treat it badly / I can never forget that love that left my heart bleeding.” Both for those who listen to this song for the first time and for those who recognize this classic, popularized by Vives in the Escalona series in the 90s, this version will become a fan favorite. — LUISA CALLE
Yendry, “Herrera” (RCA Records/Sony Music)
Yendry’s “Herrera” is the bachata song we didn’t know we needed. Paying homage to her Dominican Republican roots, the multilingual singer-songwriter unleashes a hypnotizing bachata track that subtly fuses electronic sounds. This new bachata track is a testament to the artist’s experimental nature and her vocals’ chameleonic ability to adapt to any musical style she’s recorded in (afrobeats, reggaetón, R&B). Born in the DR and raised in Italy, Yendry’s “Herrera” puts her Caribbean influences at the forefront. — GRISELDA FLORES
Lasso, “Los Hombres Son Todos Iguales” (Universal Music México)
“Los Hombres Todos Son Iguales” (all men are the same) is a captivating story that seeks to be told from the perspective of a man and a woman. The Venezuelan singer-songwriter nails a beautiful way to narrate the early beginnings of a love story in this new powerful ballad. The lyrics reflect both worlds when a woman has been hurt in the past by empty promises, and a man is trying to demonstrate that not all men are the same. Lasso’s deep, raspy voice stands out among the violin strings and his acoustic guitar as he repeats the perfect ending, “We are not the same, we are not the same/ That deep down, men are not the same.” — INGRID FAJARDO
Alvaro Diaz & San Senra, “1000CANCIONES” (UMG Recordings)
For his latest single, Alvaro reeled in the rising alternative Spanish act San Senra for a fashion-forward reggaetón cut dubbed “1000CANCIONES” (1,000 Songs). Produced by Haze, the edgy urban track tells the story of a man who is aware that he’s a flirtatious ladies’ man, but he only has eyes for one special lady. Notably, Díaz’s signature vocals blend with Senra’s high-pitched tones to remind the girl that even though they are not together, the “1,000 songs” played at the club will always remind him of her. “I can honestly say this was one of the best experiences,” Diaz says in a press statement. “It’s rare for either of us to do a reggaetón record, and that’s why this song is so special.” — JESSICA ROIZ
Conexión Divina, “Cambio de Canción” (Sony Music Latin)
Equipped with a heady, steely 12-string guitar and a lovelorn vocal delivery, Conexión Divina pays homage to the wistful songs that narrated their lives on their single, “Cambio de Canción.” Inspired by Christian Nodal’s “Adiós Amor” and “A Través del Vaso” by Los Sebastianes, the sierreño ballad is about finding ways to heal a broken heart while basking in sadness. “‘Cambio de Canción’ is one of our favorite songs because it makes you connect with songs by other artists and the emotions they cause,” the group says in a press release. “Everyone who has had their heart broken will identify with this song.” The sierreño outfit — composed of Liz Trujillo, Ashlee Valenzuela, and Sandra Calixto — is the next promising Mexican American band from a growing number in the regional youth-led scene. They will become the first female sierreño group to perform at Coachella in April; their Sony debut Anestesia will be released on April 14. — ISABELA RAYGOZA
Lenny Tavárez, “Felicidades” (Warner Music Latina/Kristoman)
Steering away from his sultry, at-times NSFW lyrics, Lenny Tavárez presents “Felicidades,” a sweet perreo (yes, sweet!) fused with synth piano melodies. Produced by King Swift, the Puerto Rican artist congratulates all those ladies who have finally left their ex, but also assures them that the perfect man is out there. In Lenny’s own words, the track is “for all women going through a heartbreak and a dark moment,” but who need to “understand that sometimes you have to celebrate that you are now single.” The conceptual video shows the artist flaunting his martial arts skills alongside 13-time Tae Kwon Do world champion Rayna Vallandingham. — J.R.
Humbe, “sanvalentín:(“ (Humbe/Sony Music México)
Not all is love and roses on Valentine’s Day, and Humbe knows this all too well after having recently gone through a breakup himself. The Mexican singer-songwriter has delivered the perfect anti-love anthem for the occasion. “Tell me when all the pain that was left will be gone/ We burned and ashes remained,” he sings in the chorus of the R&B-tinged song. “It’s a song I wrote because I was in a relationship where I gave more than I received,” he explains. “It was a relationship based on love but it wasn’t reciprocated.” The music video accompanying the song is a family affair, as it finds Humbe and his two brothers involved in a heist (or at least what’s supposed to be a heist). — G.F.
Adriel Favela, “En Este Amor” (UMG Recordings)
Adriel Favela surprises fans with his new single “En Este Amor,” where he trades his signature sierreño sound for mariachi. In the heartfelt ranchera, penned by Gussy Lau and Tamayo Aguilera, Favela opens up about a love that could no longer be, because the other person showed no effort and interest. His power vocals belt out passionate lyrics about having the strength to forget his ex. “Everything has been a happy accident because this song was aimed at another person, but at the end of the day, God has a purpose for us all and the song conveyed a lot,” he says in a statement. “I loved it! It has a beautiful essence which I think will differentiate itself from everything we’ve done before, and we’ve obviously put a lot of heart into it and we hope the audience receives it the same way.” — J.R.
Hector Perez feat. Felipe Santos, “Xicatrices” (Laponia Entertainment)
Spanish singer-songwriter Héctor Pérez joins forces with Colombian singer Felipe Santos to deliver a perfect fusion of voices. “Xicatrices” is a romantic pop ballad powered by piano melodies navigating between Pérez’s soft dreamy vocals and Santos’ sweet voice and powerful interpretation. Penned by both artists and produced by Santos, the lyrics talk about those unusual connections that cannot be denied when you meet someone special. “I am afraid of losing you/ For this, I am not so strong/ I collect scars/ From what luck has left me/ I know it sounds a little crazy,” they both sing in the chorus. — I.F.
Son Rompe Pera, “Chucha” (AYA Records)
On Son Rompe Pera’s first cut of 2023, the fiery troupe of misfits continues to churn out their unstoppable cumbia-punk frenzy, but this time, they take it to the mosh pit. Bolstered by maddening marimba and típico-leaning guitar riffs, the Mexican band combines merengue maniaco-styled rhythms against feverish shouts à la Black Flag. “It’s me giving it my last possible breath, mixing desperation with stage fright, nightmares and aliens,” said vocalist and marimba player Mongo of the song, inspired by a dream within a dream he had. Following their more folky debut Batuco (2020), the Mexican brothers and friends prepare to drop their sophomore album Chimborazo on March 10 via Aya Records. Son Rompe Pera is expected to perform at SXSW and Treefort. — I.R.