“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.
Gente de Zona & Gerardo Ortiz, “Otra Botella” (Sony Music Latin/Magnus)
A mariachi tune comes on and Gerardo Ortiz kicks off the song singing lyrics of heartbreak then, plot twist, Gente de Zona’s Alexander takes over the track that’s now become a reggaeton-pop track, which continues to go from mariachi to rhythmic for the duration of the song. It’s a real treat and refreshing at the same time to see the artists step out of their comfort zone in “Otra Botella” which becomes the first collaboration between the Cuban duo and the regional Mexican singer. You’ll want to listen to the entire track and hear Randy and Alexander sing alongside a mariachi for the very first time.
“We had this song finished for our new album but then we found out that there could be a possibility of singing it with Gerardo, which is great cause we had been wanting to collaborate with someone from the regional Mexican genre,” Randy tells Billboard. “It was an honor to work with him and he gave the song that touch we were looking for. We made a great team.” Alexander adds, “we had mariachi music on there but not like a live mariachi so when Gerardo came on, he decided to bring on a real mariachi because, he said, ‘a real Mexican is going to find out that we hadn’t used a real one.’ We thought the end result was spectacular.”
Mon Laferte & Alejandro Fernández, “Que Se Sepa Nuestro Amor” (Universal Music México)
It’s the collaboration we didn’t know we needed. Mon Laferte and Alejandro Fernández’s “Que Se Sepa Nuestro Amor” is a delight to hear and watch. Accompanied by traditional instruments such as acoustic guitars, trumpets, violins, and accordion, Mon and Fernández come together for an ultra ranchera song about wanting to tell the world about their love that has been hidden for far too long. Throughout the entire song, it’s as if the duo is trying to outdo each other’s powerful, passionate and dramatic vocals making it one of the most attractive pairings of the year. Just as dramatic is the black and white video, directed by Rodrigo Robles, set in the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema.
“I was not just writing a love song, I was thinking of a song of principles, from now on love should never hide, it seemed to me that by sharing the song it had to be a duet and I thought of Alejandro, the greatest exponent of regional music, and I am very happy that he accepted,” says Mon Laferte.
Nathy Peluso, “Sana Sana” (Sony Music Latin)
Ahead of her album due Oct. 2, Argentine up and coming singer and rapper Peluso takes no prisoner in “Sana Sana,” a relentless rap manifesto whose ferocity rebukes the children’s cure all rhyme (sana que sana) of its title. Peluso, who also has a lovely voice when she chooses to sing, has swum these waters before, but never as convincingly. The kicker is the irreverent and visually stunning music video, full of attitude and brimming with anger. Tip: try to find the Mercedes Sosa references.
Pedro Capó, Munay (Sony Music Latin)
Pedro Capó’s Munay is his most personal album yet and it makes sense since the 11-track set was inspired by his visit to a retreat where he took plant-based medicine to heal spiritually, mentally and physically. The well-rounded album opens with the anthemic reggae-tinged song “Day By Day,” and true to its title, the track sings about taking life day by day. “Today is a gift, open your present,” Capó sings optimistically. The opening song is followed by “La Sábana Y Los Pies,” an explosion of sounds where Capó becomes a hopeless romantic. He then slows down and delivers “Contigo Na’Ma,” a stripped-down pop ballad that puts Capó’s soothing vocals at the forefront. The album takes you on a journey that explores love in all its forms.
The name of the album means love in Quechua. “The concept of this album is born out of love. And not just romantic love, but also self love, obsessive love, love for your country and love for the world,” says Capó. “I hope this album heals whoever listens to it.” The album, produced by George Noriega, also includes the Puerto Rican singer-songwriters hit song “Calma” – in its original form and the remix featuring compatriot Farruko.
Luis Fonsi & Farruko, “Perfecta” (Universal Music Latin)
Teaming up for the first time ever, Luis Fonsi and Farruko deliver “Perfecta,” a soft reggaeton track that starts off as a guitar-led dreamy pop song which then fuses elements of urbano and reggae striking a balance that works. The track was produced Andrés Torres and Mauricio Rengifo.
“This is a very special collaboration because, for years, I wanted to work with my friend Farruko,” says Fonsi. “I’ve always admired his talent. When in the studio recording ‘Perfecta’ I thought his voice would be ideal, so I sent it to him, and he liked it, and the rest is history. I’m so happy that the day has come where everybody gets to listen and dance to it.”
Niña Dioz & Hispana, “Mezcal” (Nacional Records)
Two of Mexico’s top female rappers, Niña Dioz and Hispana, have joined forces to deliver a straight up party track just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month. The pair trade slick verses about Mexican pride and being queens without the crown on the cumbia-tinged track that is carried by a trumpet tune. “There is something very feminine and powerful about Mezcal,” says Niña Dioz. “Actually, I just learned that there is a maguey goddess in the Aztec culture. For me, mezcal represents the Mexican woman: powerful and full of fire.”
Rauw Alejandro, “Enchule” (Duars Entertainment)
This R&B-tinged reggaeton track is a stand out in a crowded field of releases thanks to its catchy hook and Alejandro’s captivating dance moves that he shows off while traveling around the world. From Egypt to Tokyo and Paris, Alejandro will go wherever to reunite with the girl he’s crushing on. Produced by Mr. NaisGai and Eydrien, “Enchule” will be included in Alejandro’s forthcoming album titled Afrodisíaco. “‘Enchule’ is my favorite song and video,” said Alejandro. “From co-producing the song to coming up with the choreography and the concept of the video, I enjoyed this song in every step of the way.”