Could your weekend playlist use a little more seasoning? IndieLand Latin selects some of the best new music releases from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Keep track of the latest in Latin via our playlist on Spotify.
Afro B and Ozuna, “Drogba (Joanna)” — the Global Latin Version
Momentum for cross-Atlantic collaborations between reggaetoneros and artists associated with afrobeats has been growing steadily since at least 2018; one of last year’s standout singles was the J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Mr. Eazi collaboration “Como Un Bebe,” which brought together Colombia, Puerto Rico, London, and Nigeria. Afro B’s “Drogba (Joanna)” is more than two years old, but it got a second life this week thanks to a new verse from the Puerto Rican star Ozuna, who multi-tracks his light, child-like voice in pleasing formations. With any luck, these two singers will match the success of the “Djadja” remix — Maluma recently re-worked the two-year-old single from French-Malian singer Aya Nakamura, and it is now earning more than 1.5 million streams a day on Spotify alone.
John Legend with Mau y Ricky, “Bigger Love”
Legend eyed global dancefloors on the title track to his latest album, relying on the great Jamaican producer Di Genius to create a lean, pingpong-ing beat that could find a home in clubs around the Caribbean. The brother duo Mau y Ricky hopped on the single’s remix this week, peppering their Spanish verses with compliments and come-ons. Legend always tends to pitch his voice towards the rafters, but Mau y Ricky prefer a more personal approach, as if they’re crooning right in your ear.
Silvana Estrada, “El Agua y La Miel”
The Mexican singer Silvana Estrada originally recorded Lo Sagrado in 2016, working with the guitarist’s guitarist Charlie Hunter, who famously played the bass and guitar parts simultaneously on several songs from the classic D’Angelo album Voodoo. Estrada re-released Lo Sagrado, which was previously unavailable on streaming services, this week. “El Agua y La Miel” is handsome, vaporous folk music, full of circular, stop-start guitar parts and ramshackle drumming. Estrada’s piercing voice knifes through the haze, knitting everything together.
LASTMONDAY, Yo Tigerito!
LastMonday, a Dominican rapper from the Bronx, toggles seamlessly between throwback hip-hop and hard-nosed contemporary reggaeton on his new mixtape. The grimy bass line on “Gato De’lla” wouldn’t be out of place on a retro boom bap single; “KittyKat” pays homage to 50 Cent’s “Many Men (Wish Death);” “Montando” relies on the same sample as DMX’s “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” — and that’s just the first three songs. Elsewhere fans will catch snatches of Mike Jones’ “Still Tippin,’” 2pac’s “Ambitionz As a Ridah,” and Ja Rule’s “Always on Time.” LastMonday keeps the songs short and uptempo; all the familiar samples are a crutch, but they’re also ruthlessly effective.
Dua Lipa, J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Tainy, “Un Día”
English pop star Dua Lipa makes her first foray into the reggaeton pop universe in a new track with J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Tainy, titled “Un Día” (“One Day”). In English and Spanish, Dua Lipa and Balvin share a call-and-response between estranged lovers; Bad Bunny enters the picture, giving voice to their fantasies of the future. “One day you’ll love me again,” sings Dua Lipa, over a downtempo dembow. “One day you’ll realize I’m more than your lover/I’m your friend.”