In a bid to expand its trap footprint, Sony Music U.S. Latin has scooped up Latin trap pioneer Noriel, the unifying voice behind Trap Capos. The Puerto Rican artist, 23, is slated to release Trap Capos Season 2 early next year, which will feature tracks with Yandel, Zion & Lennox, Farruko, Prince Royce, Arcangel, Bad Bunny, Bryant Myers and Almighty Gigolo, among others.
Although Trap Capos Season 1 was the first trap album to hit the high echelons of the Billboard charts (it debuted at No. 1 on the Latin Rhythm Albums chart and at No. 7 on Top Latin Albums last year), Noriel is quick to say the genre’s success wasn’t just about him.
“We were all one group and we each contributed something to allow the genre to grow,” he says. “When the album came out we didn’t think it would grow that fast.”
Amidst the more sanitized version of pop-infused reggaeton that’s dominating airwaves, trap has continued to expand its fan base.
“I feel trap has become a kind of escape valve,” says Nir Seroussi, president of Sony Music US Latin. “With trap, there’s liberty to sing anything.”
Seroussi signed Noriel in Sony US Latin’s Miami offices Nov. 8 in a two-pronged deal that includes Noriel as a Sony artist, as well as his longtime producer, Santana, and his manager Jonathan Gandarilla, president of Ganda Entertainment. Trap Capos Session 1, which was produced by Ganda, has already been released on Sony.
“The relationship we’ve created with Nir and his interest as president of the label to take our product to another level is very tempting,” says Gandarilla.
Santana, an established Puerto Rican producer, started working with Noriel from the very onset, and eventually, showed his music to Gandarilla. His break-out song was “En su nota,” along with Bryant Myers, Baby Rasta, Bryatiago and Anonymus, one of the first trap songs out of Puerto Rico with an originally produced track. Released on December 25, 2015, it immediately connected, and to date, the lyric video alone has 12 million views.
Later, Noriel was part of Maluma’s controversial “Cuatro Babys” (which also featured Bryant Myers and Juhn), where the baby-faced Noriel spoke in graphic detail about sex with four women. The track peaked at No. 15 on Hot Latin Songs Dec. 31, 2016 and its video has over 800 million views on YouTube.
Trap Capos Season 2, he says, will strike a middle ground with songs that run the gamut from very graphic to more radio-friendly. “It’s part on an evolution, as with reggaeton,” says Noriel. “There’s pop song snow, but there still are more underground tracks. I have everything: romantic, underground and more commercial.”