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.
Sech, “911” (Rich Music Inc.)
After his banger “Relación” and closing off 2020 with the spooky perreo, J Balvin-assisted “La Luz,” Sech kicks off 2021 with “911.” On this track, the Panamanian artist does not hold back on his feelings. He got his heartbroken and is sure to let his ex know that life after is better than expected. “You are not bad, you are a curse/ How can I find myself if you’re a lost cause/ I wanted to be free and but you were a prison/ But you leaving is my blessing,” the track starts. In true Sech fashion, the lyrics are charged with growth, empowerment, and a celebration of self-worth. Produced by Dimelo, “911” is a futuristic reggaeton track fused with synth melodies. The music video, produced by Wildhouse Picture and directed by Squid, features a cameo by Nicky Jam, who works at a gas station and is Sech’s confidant. — JESSICA ROIZ
Sebastián Yatra, “Adiós” (Universal Music Latin)
Colombian star Sebastián Yatra goes back to basics in this stripped-down power ballad titled “Adiós (Goodbye).” Accompanied by a powerful and melancholic piano tune, Yatra gets personal with this song symbolic of the duality of farewells. “Adiós” was penned by Yatra and Spanish pianist and singer-songwriter Pablo Lopez. “This last year has been a hard year, an unexpected year for all of us including myself,” Yatra said. “We have had to say goodbye to people’s dreams, ideas, and things we simply thought were going to happen in our lives that didn’t and the opposite actually ended up happening.” The track dropped alongside a black-and-white music video directed by Joaquin Cambre. Filmed in Georgia, the video carries the song’s theme of solitude, sadness and hope. — GRISELDA FLORES
Ecko & Mariah Angeliq, “Reggaeton De Antes” (Universal Music Latino)
If his EP Young Golden was any indication, Ecko is a box full of surprises. As one of the pioneers of the growing Argentine trap movement, Ecko has flexed his artistic versatility as of late. Most recently, the Mariah Angeliq-assisted “Reggaeton de Antes,” where he trades his fiery trap beats for a ’90s-influenced perreo, literally bringing the marquesina parties to your playlist. “Old-school reggaeton has a special vibe. I grew up listening to it,” Ecko said in a statement. “Listening to the rhythm reminded me of those times.” On the track, Ecko praises his “gata gangsta” while “Miami’s Princess” flaunts her unique flow. A flirtatious back-and-forth, the lyrics are charged with malianteo and sensuality. Both artists are featured in a vibrant, street-style music video directed by Film Heads’ José Seguro in Miami. — J.R.
Alejandra Guzmán, “Lado Oscuro” (La Reina del Rock Records)
In true Alejandra Guzmán fashion, the Mexican rock icon doesn’t hold back emotions in her new single titled “Lado Oscuro (Dark Side).” Carried by a striking piano tune, the track starts off slow but quickly builds up for an explosive chorus that puts Guzmán’s hoarse vocals at the forefront. “It’s impossible to touch the sky without hitting rock bottom first,” she sings. “I learned that good moments don’t last forever but neither do the bad ones.” The music video finds Guzmán dressed angelic white from head to toe in a cathedral where she belts out emotional lyrics. “We all have that side, the dark side, that includes the moon,” Guzmán tells Billboard. “I am talking about myself, what I learnt in life, and to live in the moment. I am confessing to my own and talking about making peace with my own demons instead not taking care of them.” — G.F.
Sofia Valdes, Ventura (Warner Records)
Stepping into the spotlight with her debut EP Ventura is Panamania native Sofia Valdes, an eclectic singer-songwriter who’s a total vibe. Home to six songs, Ventura is a 19-minute-long production that sheds light on Valdes’ dreamy musical proposal: soulful, folky, chill, sincere, and bilingual. As the great-granddaughter of Cuban musician Miguelito Valdés and great-great-granddaughter of Panamanian singer Silvia De Grasse, Sofia is a well-rounded artist, penning and co-producing her own music. According to the Latinx newcomer, the album was born in between high school and her college dorm room. “‘Ventura’ means ‘good luck and good fortune’ in Spanish,” she expressed. “While I was going through certain situations, I was writing about how I felt like it was the worst thing that could’ve happened to me at the time. But now, I see it as feelings that brought me to these songs which ended up changing my life for the better.” — J.R.
CNCO, Deja Vu (Sony Music Latin)
CNCO serves up nostalgia with their new covers album Deja Vu, on which they include reimagined versions of Latin classics such as Ricardo Montaner‘s “Tan Enamorados,” Chayanne‘s “Dejaría Todo,” Sin Bandera‘s “Entra En Mi Vida” and Big Boy’s “Mis Ojos Lloran Por Ti.” CNCO manages to keep the songs’ essence while adding contemporary rhythms, finding the perfect balance between pop and urban. “At the beginning of quarantine, we took some time off since we had been traveling a lot these past few years,” the band says. “We were able to reconnect with our families and reflect on all we’ve achieved and look back at the music that inspired us to get where we are. We decided to have fun and bring back these classics, with the CNCO touch.” — G.F.
Mora, Primer Dia de Clases (Rimas Entertainment)
After being one of the masterminds on Bad Bunny’s chart-topping albums YHLQMDLG and El Último Tour del Mundo, artist-producer Mora (real name: Gabriel Mora Quintero) presents his debut album Primer Dia de Clases (first day of school). His edgy and ahead-of-his-time melodies shine on the opening title track, a charming, slow-tempo reggaeton about the girl he has a crush on. It sets the tone for the rest of the album, which showcases Mora’s artistic versatility. In “La Carita,” we hear some tropi-pop influences, in “La Receta” featuring Juliito, Mora flexes his sorry-not-sorry trap, and in the heartfelt acoustic “Vacio,” he’s vulnerable. A standout track is “Cuando Será” in collaboration with Lunay, a sultry reggaeton with rhythmic Caribbean beats. Arcangel, Farruko, and Jhay Cortez also join Primer Dia de Clases, giving Mora their stamp of approval. Other collabs on the album include newcomers Mariah Angeliq and Omy de Oro. — J.R.