Jhay Cortez was 10 years old when he discovered his love for reggaeton music. Artists and producers including Luny Tunes and Don Omar sparked his interest and connection with the urban genre. “I just knew I wanted to be a singer,” he says to Billboard.
At 11, he began writing his own music, at 16, he began his career, and at 22, he became more involved with the industry. Now, with three years in the music biz and collaborations with artists such as J Balvin and Zion & Lennox, the rising Puerto Rican artist presents his debut studio album dubbed Famouz.
Released May 24 via Universal Music Latin, the set is home to 13 tracks that perfectly sum up Jhay’s sound. “I want my music to reach a famous level. It’s not about the money or the celebrity status,” he says. “I just want my music to be exposed. At this point in my career, I feel very confident about the color of my sound,” he adds, stating that Latin urban fusions with hip-hop and R&B come from his musical influences such as Don Omar, Drake and Travis Scott.
Famouz also includes his “No Me Conoce (Remix),” featuring J Balvin and Bad Bunny. “J Balvin was the first person I had in mind for the remix. I called him and he said yes,” he says. “Two days later, he called me on Facetime and told me a friend of his liked the original and wanted to jump on the remix, and it was Bad Bunny!”
With a career that spans less than five years, Jhay has already opened for Balvin during his 2018 Vibras Tour and scored a Latin Grammy for his role as a songwriter on Tito El Bambino’s 2011 album, Invencible.
Meet this week’s Latin Artist on the Rise below.
Name: Jesus Manuel Nieves Cortez
Major Accomplishment: “It’s a dream being where I am today. Many would say winning a Grammy is a major accomplishment but for me, it’s my album.” Famouz debuted at No. 11 on the Latin Rhythm Albums chart dated June 8.
Recommended Song: “No Me Conoce (Remix)”
What’s Next: “Visit my fans in other countries, keep promoting my album and film the music videos for my upcoming singles. We also have some surprises coming up on the side, such as a collaboration with Karol G that’s not on the album.”