Joel Deleón — formerly known as Joel Pimentel (of CNCO) — has released his debut solo single “La Culpa,” an acoustic, guitar-led melancholic song that marks the beginning of a new era.
The release of his debut solo single was preceded by a last-name change in an homage to his grandfather, Luis Deleón, who taught the 22-year-old Mexican-American artist to sing. He made the big announcement via social media days before unveiling the name of his first single.
“Deleón is something that I always wanted to carry high throughout my career and now that I have the opportunity, I am happy to do so because Deleón is why music is in my blood and I am very proud to be able to do that [now],” he told Billboard in an Instagram Live interview.
A departure from the more uptempo, rhythmic songs he used to sing with CNCO, “La Culpa” finds a more stripped-down Deleón who regretfully sings about breaking a girl’s heart.
“Since I left the band, I’ve been in the studio almost 24/7 trying to find different sounds and things that come naturally to me,” he said. “We’ve made many other things, different genres, very different sounds to what [my fans] have heard me do before, and it is something that makes me very emotional. I already want everyone to hear everything.”
“La Culpa” is the first single from his forthcoming debut album, which Deleón teases will see him go back to basics. “Over the years, I’ve had many ideas and I can finally express myself 100% with my vision. You will know a lot about the project soon but you are going to see elements that I started with in music alongside my grandfather. Everything will come from my heart,” he added.
On May 9, CNCO announced Deleón was leaving the band to move on to a new chapter of his career. “It’s time for me to grow and explore new artistic avenues, it’s time to start building my own path and career. This is why I’ve decided to leave the band,” he wrote in a statement.
He added: “To Erick, Chris, Richard and Zabdiel, I truly wish you the best as you continue on with the CNCO legacy. We’ve lived through so much together that we’re family now. I can’t wait to share my new project with y’all. This is just a new beginning.”