“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.
Sebastian Yatra, Alvaro Diaz, “A Donde Van” (Universal Music Latino)
Sebastian Yatra and Alvaro Diaz have so many questions in their first-ever collaboration coined “A Donde Van.” The Colombian and Puerto Rican artists teamed up to sing solely about unrequited love. “Where do the kisses go? / The ones you didn’t know how to accept / And the stares that you never returned / I want to recuperate them,” says the chorus. Fusing their both worlds, “A Donde Van” is a seductive mix of Latin pop, Hip-Hop, and hints of Flamenco. — JESSICA ROIZ
Reik, 20—21 (Sony Music México)
Reflecting the emotional, difficult and nostalgic times we’re living in today due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Reik’s beautifully crafted EP 20—21 takes us on soul-searching journey exploring love, grief, mourning and, ultimately, back to love. With this four-chapter audiovisual album, Reik goes back to their roots of simple guitar-led ballads that made the world fall in over with them in the first place back in 2005. The first chapter ‘Pero Te Conocí” follows a young couple falling hard for each other. She is an ER nurse and he is a frustrated songwriter. In the next two chapters “Lo Mejor Ya Va a Venir” and “Con La Falta Que Me Haces,” we see them deal with loss and tragedy. The last song, “Lo Intenté Todo,” featuring Jesse Reyez, finds the songwriter in a new chapter of his life. We won’t give the ending away; you’ll have to watch how the story ends below. What we will say is that Reik and Reyez’s effortless collaboration is a standout in EP as Reyez ethereal vocals pair perfectly with Jesus Navarro’s tender vocals. Stream the four tracks here. — GRISELDA FLORES
Maluma, Papi Juancho (Sony Music Latin)
Maluma’s surprise album (it was released at midnight with only an epic Instagram Live as promotion) kicks off with “Medallo City,” a mix of reggaeton, hip hop and salsa that’s an ode to Maluma’s hometown, but also, an ode to the music and musicians of his country. Such are the results of lockdowns. Maluma, better known for his party anthems, has turned not so much introspective in this 22-track set, but definitely more inquisitive, more adventuresome and more thoughtful. There is party and there is your explicit content, but there’s a bigger thought process in bringing to the table collaborators like veteran duo Ñejo y Dalmata. And of course, songs like new single “Hawái” continue to mine Maluma’s good A&R intuitions when it comes to choosing hits and his knack for working with collaborators that create lyrics suitable for the times. There is something here for everyone, and then, there’s an extra out of an artist that continues to grow sonically while delivering hits. Maluma breaks down five essential tracks here. — LEILA COBO
Juanfran feat. Victor Manuelle, “Como Llora (Salsa Version)” (Dn7 Music)
After securing a spot on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart this year, fueled by its success on TikTok, Juanfran gives his “Como Llora” the salsa treatment. He’s not alone, however, teaming up with Puerto Rican artist Victor Manuelle for this new version. With its lyrics about a man who’s ready to fix a lady’s broken heart, “Como Llora” has easily become a fan favorite in 2020. On the new rendition, that fuses Spanish and Puerto Rican flavors, Manuelle brings his crisp powerhouse vocals and distinguishable tropical vibes. — J.R.
Juanes, “Vía Láctea” (Universal Music México)
Already a perfect song in its original form, Juanes takes Zoe’s timeless hit “Vía Lactea” and makes it his own with his signatures sounds of rock and with the help of producer Sebastian Krys. The end result is a semi-funk, groovy take on Zoe’s love anthem with a captivating trumpet tune that carries the song and injects it with new life nearing the three-minute mark. Juanes’ new version of “Vía Láctea” is part of the album Reversiones, a tribute album to Zoé due later this year. “Vía Láctea” was released in 2006 and included in the Mexican rock band’s album Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea. “I connected the most with “Vía Láctea” … the lyrics, the melody,” Juanes said. “My approach to the song was very free, I reinterpreted the song as if it was mine, I took the chords, started to sing it as if it was my song, I started to imagine it, obviously I took references from their MTV Unplugged album, and the original album too.” — G.F
Pepe Aguilar, “Porque Yo Te Amo” (Equinoccio Records)
After days of teasing fans with what would be his next single, Pepe Aguilar officially released “Porque Yo Te Amo.” With his powerful and passionate vocals, the Regional Mexican artist pays homage to the original 1968 classic immortalized by Argentine singer Sandro de America. “Porque Yo Te Amor” marks the first single off of Aguilar’s upcoming album Se7entas, which was finished during the pandemic. “I dedicate this with all my heart to all the women, and men too, but especially those women who once heard these songs in the radio. You know who you are,” he expressed during an Instagram live. An animated music video, created by Venturia Animation Studios, tells the story of agents Sandro Bravo and Labios de Rubi a la James Bond. — J.R.
ChocQuibTown, Sech, “Qué Lástima” (Sony Music Latin)
Beyond the delight of a collaboration that celebrates multinational Black Latin stars, bringing Colombia’s ChocQuibTown and Panama’s Sech come together is a musical success. CQT, who are increasingly moving toward a more R&B sound while preserving their Colombian roots, are surprising here, with all three members –not just goddess Goyo—belting out verses that beautifully gel with Sech’s sultry vocals in this downtempo, sometimes gospel-tinged hit. The great bonus is the visually stunning music video, a celebration of Black fashion and Black faces that, in my memory, has never been done before in commercial Latin music. This a major step for the genre.
KEVVO x Jay Wheeler, “No Lo Niegues” (Interscope Records)
It’s KEVVO’s perfect perfect summer day in “No Lo Niegues'” music video. He’s throwing hoops with friends, barbecuing with the family and neighbors, oh and the girl he’s crushing on is there, too. Released under Interscope Records in partnership with Una Visión Quintana, Inc., the playful urban track, featuring rising artist Jay Wheeler, finds KEVVO swooning over a girl who, he thinks, would be happier if she was dating him, not the guy she’s currently with. “The single was born when I was listening to the album and noticed I was missing a track, a ‘love letter’ dedicated to my female fans”, said KEVVO. “Most of my fans have only listened to my perreos but they’ve never heard me sing something specific to women. In this song, I am telling a girl to leave her toxic relationship which is making her unhappy…and to take a chance with a vibrant, young man whom she can fall in love with and find true happiness.” “No Lo Niegues” is KEVVO’s first single off of his forthcoming debut album Cotidiano. — G.F.