In the past 12 months alone, 27-year-old Myke Towers has had nine top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart and 13 tracks on the Billboard Global 200, including three top 20s: “Caramelo” with Ozuna; “Bandido” with Juhn and “Pareja del Año” with Sebastian Yatra. Towers has also scored hits with Anitta and Selena Gomez crafting pop-leaning singles that sharply contrast to his stark, heart-felt solo raps.
His chameleonic abilities, coupled with a distinctive, deep tenor, is what makes Towers stand out in a crowded sea of Puerto Rican urban acts. Following an exclusive global distribution deal with Warner Latina and Warner Records via Whiteworld Music, Towers released his first album under the deal this May, Lyke Mike. The project was inspired in part by Towers’ admiration for Michael Jordan, and even includes 23 tracks (an ode to Jordan’s jersey number) that narrate Towers’ story as an artist who came from the ground up — and is eager to keep growing.
Myke Towers (born Michael Torres) learned to rap on the basketball courts in Río Piedras when he was a kid who delivered papers to make money. He was inspired by reggaetón duos Zion & Lennox and Wisin y Yandel, though later took cues from underground rappers like Venezuela’s Canserbero. By 19, Towers began uploading his own lyrics-driven music to SoundCloud. He says writing with pen and paper helps: “Seeing a blank sheet and extracting something from it is a challenge.”
In 2018, after a lackluster stint with an independent label, Towers felt he had hit a dead end, so he approached Orlando “Jova” Cepeda and José “Tito” Reyes, founding partners of the Puerto Rico-based label/production/management company Whiteworld Music. “We saw an original, humble, focused artist,” says Reyes. “He was underestimated, like an ugly duckling,” adds Cepeda. “He was the opposite of the [reggaetón] genre. Quiet. We steered him toward music people wanted to hear.” Towers says their belief in his skill was transformative. “It doesn’t matter how much talent you have. You need structure.” In February, after a two-year courtship, Warner Latina and Warner Records jointly signed Towers through Whiteworld to a global distribution deal that Warner Records co-chairman/COO Tom Corson called “one of our most important signings of the past year.”
Coming in the fall is Michael, Towers’ fourth album, that he says is more “sentimental” than April’s Lyke Mike, which explored hip-hop, trap and drill. To continue refining and diversifying his sound, he has been working with producers like Ovy on the Drums and Sky Rompiendo (Karol G and J Balvin, respectively) in addition to regular collaborators like Fara. He expects to tour before the year ends and already has plans for a third album this year to create a trilogy. “I’ve made it clear I can play two musical extremes, but I’m [still] on the rise,” says Towers. “A lot of people don’t think I’ve arrived yet.”