Argentine producer Bizarrap‘s music sessions featuring artists such as Nathy Peluso and Nicki Nicole have not only gone viral on YouTube, raking in millions of views in a matter of days, they’ve also become a new method for artists to get discovered. Which is what Bizarrap initially intended to do with his now-fan-loved sessions.
“The first ‘session’ back in 2018 wasn’t even planned,” says the 22-year-old producer, whose real name is Gonzalo Conde. “All I wanted to do was record a local rapper who goes by Kodigo and upload that to YouTube because I was a big fan of his and I wanted others to listen to him too. My plan was to record with my phone, but for some reason it didn’t work. So we scheduled the session for the following day and I thought, ‘Why not give these freestylers the production they deserve with microphones and everything?’ So that’s what I did.”
With 38 sessions (titled Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 and so on) under his belt, the latest one is a collaboration with Mexican-American rapper Snow Tha Product, Bizarrap is now a go-to producer for a new generation of artists, from Argentina and beyond.
His passion for freestyle began at the age of 13 when he was discovering different artists on YouTube and landed on a particular rap battle that captivated him instantly. “It was Argentine rapper Frescolate battling it out on an international competition. I fell in love with what he was doing because I liked how spontaneous that style is,” says Bizarrap, who’s had four entries on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart, including his session with Peluso.
After watching that battle, he began making freestyle videos with his friends and he’d be the one to mix, add music, edit and upload the final product. “I went to an arts school where I mainly focused on visual art so I was fascinated with editing videos. To this day, I still love editing videos, which is why I’ve edited all of my sessions because it’s a really fun process that I’ve been doing for a long time now.”
Since then, he’s been entrenched in the ever-growing freestyle and trap scene in his native Argentina, with him and compatriots Cazzu, Maria Becerra, Nicole, Peluso and Duki at the forefront. “It’s a movement that has gained a lot of force lately and it’s been really special to see it grow.”
Now, he’s focused on growing and continuing his sessions and teaming up with artists his fans wouldn’t expect, in the spirit of the spontaneity he’s been a fan of since falling in love with freestyle. “I like to surprise people,” he says. “For example with Snow, not many people expected it but when I first listened to her, I went crazy. And the fact that she can rap in English and Spanish, it blew me away.”
His favorite part about a session? “Working on a beat before the artist comes in and seeing their reaction to it when they listen to it for the first time,” he adds. “It’s so gratifying to see when they connect to the beat I’ve created just for them.”
Meet this week’s Billboard Latin Artist on the Rise below:
Name: Gonzalo Conde
Recommended Song: I think you can be impressed if you watch my session with Nathy Peluso, but if you want to really get an idea of who I am and where I come from, then I’d recommend you listen to my sessions with Trueno. That really represents what freestyle battles are about and it’s a great way for people to understand what it is I do and where I come from.
Major Accomplishments: To be able to make a living off of what I love to do most: music. And another accomplishment that isn’t a personal one but more of a collective one, is that we’re putting a spotlight on Argentina again.
What’s Next: Continue to record sessions with artists. I honestly haven’t worked on my debut album and it’s not in my plans to start recording it. I’d love to, eventually, but I’m not feeling inspired to start it right now. I think this past year has really helped me find my musical identity thanks to all these collaborations. I’m not in a rush to release my debut album.