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.
J Quiles, Chimbala, Zion & Lennox, “Loco” (Warner Music Latina)
Justin Quiles reeled in Dominican artist Chimbala and reggaeton duo Zion y Lennox for his new single, “Loco,” a track that was completely born in DR. Giving life to those Caribbean flares, “Loco” fuses Soca with Afrobeats, making it a refreshing, tropical song that can easily become a summer anthem. “You know I’m dying for you/ and that you’re dying for me/ there’s nothing else to say,” goes part of the flirtatious chorus.
“Loco” is part of Quiles’ upcoming studio album La Ultima Promesa, including collaborations with Rauw Alejandro, Sech, Mariah Angeliq, and more. “As you can hear in ‘Loco,’ this album will be complete and different,” he tells Billboard. “Even if they’re all reggaeton, I promise it will be something else.” — JESSICA ROIZ
Elena Rose, “Pimienta” (Guerrera de la Luz)
After penning hit songs for Selena Gomez (“De Una Vez”), Marc Anthony (“De Vuelta Pa’ La Vuelta”) and Jennifer Lopez (“Pa’ Ti”), Venezuelan singer-songwriter Elena Rose is taking center stage with her new song “Pimienta,” an edgy pop-alt track that finds a confident Rose swearing off any man that tries to play games with her. Written by Rose and Julia Michaels and produced by A.C. (Shakira, Camilo and Becky G), “Pimienta” follows her 2020 singles “La Ducha,” “Fenomenal” and “Coco.”
About her new track, Rose previously told Billboard. “It’s the first song I wrote once my heart healed from a breakup. It’s a song that’s liberating because I finally find myself in a place where I know what I’m worth. I want everyone to dance to it in front of a mirror feeling super empowered.” –GRISELDA FLORES
Thalía, desAMORfosis (Sony Music Latin)
Thalía’s new album is meant to be listened to from beginning to end in order to fully grasp the album’s metamorphosis concept. The eclectic 14-track set, which experiments with bachata, banda, and pop-reggaeton, starts with “Mojito,” a cheeky uptempo about falling head over heels for someone after a casual encounter, that involves mojitos of course. The rest of the album takes Thalia on a journey of falling in love, falling out of love and heartbreak to eventually transforming into the woman that really knows self-worth, which makes “Barrio” the perfect song to close the album with.
“After I listened to the finished product, I started to cry because ‘Barrio’ is a song that was written by Thalia the little girl, the teenager, and the adult,” the Mexican pop star told Billboard. “We all came together for this song about self-love.” — G.F.
Samantha Sanchez, “Muero Contigo” (UMG Recordings)
Samantha Sanchez got on the radar with her debut single “NMI,” in the fall of 2020. In the span of six months, the Miami-based influencer turned singer has released six singles, including her latest “Muero Contigo.” Each track is different, from futuristic trap to dance-pop, showcasing Sanchez’s capabilities as a promising versatile artist.
On “Muero Contigo,” Sanchez flaunts her romantic yet retro-alternative side. The indie alt undertones and synth melodies give major early ‘00s Latin rock vibes à la Miguel Bosé, Belanova, and Fey, to name a few. The lyrics are an ode to love and tell a Romeo & Juliet kind of story, but with a twist. “I wanted to express a strong love, a fearless love, a love that hurts, a love of twin souls, and of myths like the red thread,” she said in a statement. “Muero Contigo” is released under Sebastián Krys’ Rebeleon Entertainment, in collaboration with Virgin Music and Universal Music. — J.R.
Juhn, Jay Wheeler “Fragancia” (This Is M Records/Interscope Records)
Juhn and Jay Wheeler, two former Billboard Latin Artists on the Rise, have joined forces on “Fragancia.” A slow-tempo reggaeton with synth undertones, the real standout on this track is Juhn and Wheeler’s harmonizing vocals. “There’s no one who can substitute you ever since you left your smell on my bed/ You did it so well that you’ll forever be in my mind,” goes the sultry chorus. “Fragancia” is about two people who have great chemistry in bed, can’t forget about each other, but can’t be together. — J.R.
Lupillo Rivera, Alemán, Santa Fe Klan, B-Real, Snoop Dogg, “Grandes Ligas” (Prajin Parlay/Z Records)
Reuniting former high-school classmates, Lupillo Rivera and Snoop Dogg, while also recruiting the new generation of Mexican hip-hop artists Santa Fe Klan and Alemán and rapper B-Real (Cypress Hill), “Grandes Ligas” is one for the books. The hard-hitting song, which fuses banda with hip-hop and is a fresh take on Rivera’s 2000 hit “El Pelotero,” captures the zeitgeist of a cultural movement where regional Mexican acts collaborating with American rappers is no longer an isolated event. The five-minute track was released alongside an intense and dramatic cinematic music video that you’ll have to watch for yourself. — G.F.
Ingrid Contreras “Me Voy Amandote” (Ingrid Contreras/ShowBusiness)
Regional Mexican newcomer Ingrid Contreras presents her new single “Me Voy Amandote,” a heartfelt mariachi-meets-pop track penned by Joss Favela. Produced by Favela and Ricardo Orrantia, Contreras uses her powerhouse vocals to encourage women in toxic relationships to find their worth and a way out. “It’s about not losing yourself when you are in a relationship, it’s about knowing how to say goodbye while still loving that person who isn’t in love with you in the same way,” she expressed in a statement. — J.R.
Alaina Castillo, Parallel Universe Pt. 1 (Chosen People/AWAL Recordings America)
One of Billboard’s Latin Artists to Watch in 2021, Alaina Castillo continues to showcase her powerful voice with the release of her seven-track EP. From dark R&B to pop-infused bops to achingly beautiful ballads, the Houston-born bilingual singer-songwriter oozes confidence and self-reliance on this ultra-personal set, the first part of her debut LP Parallel Universe via Chosen People/AWAL.
“The process of making my album has taught me a lot about who I am as an artist, but it’s also showed me who I am as a person, and allowed me to have the confidence to finally be that person in the real world,” Castillo said in a press statement. “Parallel Universe is the soundtrack of me becoming who I was always too shy to be.”
Executive produced by RØMANS, standout tracks on the EP include “Pocket Locket,” “Parallel Universe,” and “Indica.” Stream and listen to the album below. — J.R.