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.
Danny Felix, Vuelve (Fonovisa/UMG Recordings)
The first 26 seconds really set the tone for the rest of the album and mark who Danny Felix is as an artist: fresh and innovative. Vuelve, which marks his debut studio album under Fonovisa/UMG, is home to 13 songs, including the already-released “Impala Tumbado,” “Zombie” and “Mala Experiencia.” It kicks off with the track title, an enchanting requinto that instantly transitions to a soulful hip-hop beat. In the song, Danny is upfront about not being perfect and wanting to get back with an ex. Like most of the tracks on this album, the singer-songwriter, who produced a handful of Natanael Cano’s hits, fuses traditional Mexican folk with urban influences, sings in Spanglish, and even flexes his rapping skills. Known as one of the pioneers of the trap corridos movement, Danny brings to the forefront lyrics about street life, working hard, heartbreak and even a message to the haters. In Vuelve, he collaborates with Matt Hunter and Abraham Vasquez. — JESSICA ROIZ
Selena Gomez & Rauw Alejandro, “Baila Conmigo” (Interscope Records)
Selena Gomez teams up with rising Puerto Rican artist Rauw Alejandro for her second Spanish-language single titled “Baila Conmigo,” an uptempo that previews her forthcoming Spanish EP Revelación, set to drop in March. In the seductive and contagious reggaeton track, produced by Tainy, Albert Hype, Jota Rosa and NEON16, Gomez and Alejandro trade verses about using dance moves as their form of communication. “I don’t understand much, but dance, dance, dance with me,” she sings on the song’s hook. “With ‘Baila Conmigo,’ I want the world to dance,” Gomez said in a statement. “The video portrays the isolation we’re all experimenting at this moment and how music really connects us no matter what part of the world you’re in.” — GRISELDA FLORES
Nella, “Solita” (Sony Music Entertainment Latin)
Venezuelan-born Nella, who won the 2019 Latin Grammy for best new artist, releases her debut single on Sony Latin, now her label after being originally signed to Javier Limón’s Casa Limón. “Solita” is uptempo pop grounded in earthiness and the touches of flamenco that defined Nella’s earlier work, but now evolved for a more global sound. At the root of it all is Nella’s voice, which is a truly beautiful instrument, slightly raspy, beguiling, very distinctive, and a standout at a time when many female (and male) voices sound similar and over-produced. “Sola” doesn’t sound like anything else out in the market right now. And that makes for compelling listening. — LEILA COBO
Maluma, #7DJ (7 Días En Jamaica) (Sony Music Entertainment Latin)
Maluma’s new album #7DJ (7 Días En Jamaica) is the soundtrack to the week he spent in Jamaica pre-pandemic. The seven-song set is clearly inspired by tropical, dancehall and reggae beats that he deftly fuses with his identifiable reggaeton-pop sound. Featuring artists such as Ziggy Marley and Charly Black, Maluma gets experimental and pays homage to classic reggae. The set opens with “Tonika,” which kicks off with an infectious reggaeton beat before transitioning into a sultry reggae track featuring Marley and wraps up with reggaeton banger “Peligrosa.” It’s a set meant to be listened to from beginning to end and to watch alongside the videos that tell the story of Maluma’s wild journey in Jamaica. — G.F.
Cosculluela, “Decir Adiós” (Warner Music Latina/Rottweilas Corp)
As a prolific rapper in the Latin music scene, Cosculluela is known for his lyrics of maleanteo but also for some reggaeton bops. He kicks off 2021 with one. “Decir Adiós” (Say Goodbye) sheds light on Cosculluela’s vulnerability: He’s hurt, he’s in love, and he doesn’t want to let go. “Why is it so hard to say goodbye?/ When the person you most love/ Has left forever/ Only your pillow is left/ God is a witness/ That’s why I never say goodbye when we talk,” the Puerto Rican chants in the chorus. Despite the nostalgic lyrics, “Decir Adios” is a midtempo, romantic reggaeton track. The dark visuals were filmed in Chicago by director Alejandro Ortiz and show Coscu in a mansion while a doctor tries to revive the girl who left him. –– J.R.
Guaynaa & Pain Digital, “Monterrey” (Universal Music Latino)
Guaynaa is back at it again with an exuberant and party-starting cumbia sonidera titled “Monterrey.” Subtly fused with perreo, the irresistible and captivating cumbia finds the Puerto Rican artist falling head over heels for an older woman “who is 37 but looks 26” he met in the city of Monterrey in Mexico. “[Monterrey] was made with a lot of love dedicated to the people of Monterrey,” Guaynaa told Billboard. “That’s where my career picked up after Puerto Rico. It’s a song that says a lot about who Guaynaa is and the concept I’ve been defending.” In the music video, Guaynaa exudes Pancho Villa vibes, and that was intentional. “I think Pancho Villa is an interesting man. He’s a symbol of resistance and revolution.” — G.F.
Anthony Santos & Manny Cruz, “Las Puertas del Cielo” (Manny Cruz/La Oreja Media Group)
A video for Manny Cruz’s soulful “Las puertas del cielo,” a collaboration with bachata icon Anthony Santos, shows videos of a dancing couple playing on TV screens, with only a couple of snapshots of the two artists marking their presence. And yet, you’ll be riveted for nearly four minutes. That speaks volumes to this lilting song, where the two Dominican voices trade verses in a lengthy, joyful sequence full of charm and gusto. Bachatas were made for dancing, and this musical snapshot is an invitation to do just that, in style. — L.C.
Bad Milk, “Ego” (King Milk)
She’s brand new but already on our radar. Bad Milk (real name: Manuelita Garcia) is a singer-songwriter from Medellin, Colombia, who presents today only her second official single “Ego.” Co-produced by Colombian hitmaker Ovy on the Drums, who’s also her “music contact” on Instagram, it’s easy to see why he gave Bad Milk his stamp of approval. Her raspy, sugary vocals are enchanting, singing about a relationship that ended because of each person’s ego. The song, which is also co-produced by Latin Grammy winner Mosty, is catchy with acoustic, soulful, urban melodies. “Ego” follows Bad Milk’s English-language single “Maybe.” — J.R.
Leoni Torres, “Si Fuera Mia” (Puntilla Music / Leoni Torres)
Just as the first month of the year is about to wrap up, Leoni Torres presents his first single of 2021 “Si Fuera Mia.” Fusing bolero and son, Torres returns to his musical roots with this captivating and romantic homage to the late Polo Montañez, who first released the song in 2000. “This song reflects many of the values found in the root of Cuban music and Polo’s simple yet romantic lyrics,” Torres said in a statement. “His art has been an inspiration for me.” A trovador at heart, “Si Fuera Mia” forms part of Torres’ upcoming studio album called Alma Cubana, slated for later this year. –– J.R.