Nuevo Culture

10 Years After Hitting No. 1, 3BallMTY’s ‘Inténtalo’’s Legacy is Still Alive

This is our weekly compilation of newly released bite-sized song reviews from our talented music writers. Discover new favorites, read nuanced criticism of the week’s hottest releases, and much more. Who knows, you might walk out of this with a new fave or two. In this installment, we’re celebrating female and femme-identifying acts exclusively in light of International Women’s Day. Some of the featured artists include riela, Andrekza, Francisca Valenzuela, and Villano Antillano. The genres covered range from reggaeton bangers to R&B tunes to empowering pop songs. Follow our playlist featuring these tracks and more on Spotify or Apple Music.

riela – “indirecta”

With a third and final promotional single ahead of the release of her sophomore EP, llorar y perrear, riela pivots from the R&B sounds of the first two (“if you let me” and “sola”) and showcases a more aggressive flow. The Panamanian-Cuban singer-songwriter’s voice glides over the trap beat, shifting from a brief rap to high notes over the course of the track. She lets it be known she’s not here to waste time or for games, either in relationships or in music. — Juan J. Arroyo

Francisca Valenzuela – “Hola Impostora”

Celebrating Women’s History Month, Chilean singer-songwriter Francisca Valenzuela releases the playful single “Hola Impostora.” Lyrically, the song details how women sometimes experience imposter syndrome once they reach the destination they’ve been working towards. Known to be outspoken about feminism and celebrating women empowerment throughout her career with her platform Ruidosa, Valenzuela remains honest about the important causes she advocates for. Jeanette Hernandez

Villano Antillano – “Veo, Veo”

Villano Antillano is making waves within el movimiento’s rap scene in Puerto Rico and changing the tides by spearheading the queer movement within the genre. In an all too often cis-het dominated world, the trans-femme artist is creating art that transcends the stagnant and producing empowering perreo anthems that speak to both the beauty and horror of the realities faced around growing up queer in the Caribbean. On the latest single, “Veo, Veo,” trap beats meet a rhythmic reggaeton melody as Villano spits a heavy flow on the joy found in being unphased by haters, admired even undercover and what it’s like to be undeniably untouchable at their craft.  – Jeanette Diaz

Charly Gynn – “Pal Que Quiera” feat. Mikeanyway, Danny Damn

After years raising hell in underground perreo melees, Mexico City goddess Charly Gynn has finally released her highly anticipated debut EP La Fiesta de la Virgen, featuring the full might of her Tempvs Music crew for a collection of slinky cumbiatón bangers. On “’Pal Que Quiera,” Gynn casts a devilish spell of dance floor shenanigans, summoning Mikeanyway of reggaeton boy band #Mexasinpartys for a sticky sweet verse while producer Danny Damn infuses the beat with bright percussive flourishes. – Richard Villegas

Flor de Toloache – “Penélope”

In their newest effort, Flor de Toloache pays tribute to rock music in their mariachi style, which gives us a fair idea of how they put their own spin on the genre. The renowned outfit leads Draco Rosa’s original into a gentle territory by taking their trad mariachi instrumentation and deconstructing it, letting their beautiful harmonies drive this ballad and harness a special emotional power. Keeping things simple works on “Penelope,” allowing the song’s sentimental gravitas to pull the listener in. Marcos Hassan

The Tiarras – “They Don’t See Us”

Austin’s The Tiarra Girls are opening a new chapter in their career with new music and a rebranding. Now known as The Tiarras, the Baltierra sisters are back with a new single just in time for their SXSW performances, and it’s a playful number set to send you on a reflexive spiral while making you dance. “They Don’t See Us” screams “‘70s” with its disco-splashed rhythm, wah-wah guitars, and organ pads. Here, they’re fed up with society dismissing them for being young women and musicians bringing their singular point of view to the table, and their antidote is creating their own spaces of joy. – Cheky

Andrekza – “Oro Negro”

After the one-two punch of last year’s two EPs, Lado A and Lado B, Adrekza is back before you miss her with a new single, “Oro Negro.” This time the Venezuelan siren shelves her usual R&B/pop sound for a more dancehall groove that fits her voice like a mic cover. The track is an ode to her native country, waxing nostalgic about the “drums in Choroni” and yearning for the next moment she can visit her hometown. It’s another notch in her belt, reflective of her wide-ranging talents and a sure sign that she has more gold to share with listeners. — Juan J. Arroyo

Monsieur Perine – “Nada”

After their surprising viral TikTok hit for 2015’s “Nuestro Amor,” Colombian eclectic fusion band Monsieur Perine is back with their guitar rhythmic pop single “Nada.” Produced by Rafa Sardina (Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, Calle 13), “Nada” gives the chameleon-like band’s audience the first taste of their new highly-anticipated upcoming album due this spring. The heartbreak song’s music video is separated into three parts. The first chapter shows us how the vocalist is taking a journey by herself after a breakup; the second shows her arriving alone at a bar recognizing that it’s okay to be alone; the third features her burning old memories to start anew. A powerful and much-needed statement after love ends. — Jeanette Hernandez

Letón Pé – “Dale”

Ahead of her performance at this weekend’s Isle of Light festival in Santo Domingo, rising Dominican R&B chanteuse Letón Pé has dropped a sleek and vibe-heavy new single titled “Dale.” All about taking bold chances and wasting no minutes on the clock, the song’s propulsive message is made all the more effervescent by producer Piek’s beachy combos of fluttering synths and resonant kick drums. – Richard Villegas

Gaby Moreno – “Nobody’s Wrong”

Rocking with an acoustic guitar is no easy endeavor, but Gaby Moreno does it with excitement and unique touch. “Nothing’s Wrong” manages to balance a carefree vibe with lyrics addressing weariness about arguing for argument’s sake. Little guitar riffs take the song beyond folk clichés, and Moreno’s voice communicates emotions in layers that the lyrics only hint at. There’s a melancholic vibe through the rocking chords that showcases a one-of-a-kind songwriter. Marcos Hassan

Las Decapitadas – “Cumbia Feminista”

Las Decapitadas, a new Mexican quartet formed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, dropped a raw cumbia-punk anthem just in time for the International Women’s Day demonstrations in Mexico and all over the world. “Cumbia Feminista” serves two purposes: it depicts chillingly and in detail the dangers they experience in the streets just for being women, and it’s a call to action to tear down the patriarchy to once and for all get rid of a culture that kills. – Cheky

Badi Assad, Luedji Luna, Assucena, Simone Sou – “Feminina”

“Feminina” is an ode to the woman (and the music, a feminine noun in the Portuguese language) by Brazilian singers of different backgrounds. Engulfed by a vast percussion set, from the metallic noises of the berimbau to the rounded kicks of water drums, up-and-coming Luedji Luna and Assucena team up with interpreters Badi Assad and Simone Sou. The result is an intricated, tangled harmonic encounter that shapes one of the many possible feminine figures: mothers, daughters, muses, girls, women of all sorts, and from all over the world. — Felipe Maia

Isabela Merced ft. Kayfex – “Agonía”

You might recognize Peruvian-American actress Isabela Merced from last year’s Netflix action-thriller Sweet Girl and several Nickelodeon-related roles. However, she’s certainly made a name for herself as a multi-hyphenated talent with the release of her 2020 EP, the better half of me. The singer teams up with rising Ayacuchan DJ and producer Kayfex on her newest track, “Agonía,” an infectious, dance-oriented electronic pop meets reggaeton melodrama adorned with elements of traditional Peruvian music. Its stunning video (directed by Gustavo Ramirez) pays homage to Andean art and culture, from closeups on breathtaking historical cathedrals to the pre-Hispanic era-inspired textiles created by designer Ani Álvarez Calderón. – Nayeli Portillo