Nuevo Culture

PREMIERE: Seba Otero & Irepelusa Embrace Silver Linings in ‘Malabar’

Seba Otero is here to remind us that there’s a silver lining in every chaotic hardship. Recognizing life’s ups and downs, the Puerto Rican artist channels grace and empathy through his newest single, “Malabar,” featuring the Venezuelan-born artist Irepelusa, premiering exclusively on Remezcla today (Aug. 31). 

“There is no denying that the world we are living in is falling apart,” he tells Remezcla. “My generation had to be the child of the crisis, due to the mismanagement of resources, the normalization of violence, and a system that feeds on keeping us in precariousness… and that is an immense burden. One can be optimistic but not naive, and it is hard to be optimistic nowadays. ‘Malabar’ is that—the possibility of a tiny shelter under a hurricane that does not dissipate.”

“Malabar” was thought of as a glimmer of hope at the start of the pandemic. It embodies hopeful lyrics to help maintain an equilibrium despite the world’s challenges. On the surface, “malabar,” the verb for the action “malabarismo,” refers to the art of games of dexterity and agility, and it also translates to juggle or jugglery. But in the track, we see it transformed into a more emotional concept. With sentimental lyrics like, “Descansa pequeño / Es duro vivir / La noche es oscura / Pero el sol va a salir [Rest little one / It’s hard to live / The night is dark / But the sun will rise],” the song serves as encouragement to fight-on life’s challenges and to continue searching for a silver lining through it all.

Produced under the wing of Otero and Eduardo Cabra, the song features percussions, synths, and electronic elements blanketed with a booming bass that amplifies the song’s emotional message. Moreover, the production elements were designed to echo the juggling action. For example, the “Bomba de Tiempo” singer says they purposely added dialogue between percussion instruments with synthesizers that go in and out to align with the song’s title, giving an extra touch of magic to accompany the new track.

“‘Malabar’ is about not losing hope when we are overwhelmed by the world, by what surrounds us, by what we live, by good and bad experiences,” the song’s collaborator Irepelusa says. “And it is to grasp all that even though it is very hard, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and there is always that desire to believe and trust and know that everything is going to be okay. That after the storm comes the calm.”

The official minimalistic visualizer shows two hands juggling what appears to be the two artist’s heads and clouds. The floating heads sing the song’s lyrics as the hands bounce the elements from one palm to another. At the song’s half-mark, the hand holds Irepelusa’s head while she sings the song’s heartfelt bridge before Otero continues the track. 

Up next, the Puerto Rican artist is preparing his next EP alongside Cabra, due at the beginning of 2024. At the same time, he’s continuing to produce music for other artists. “The plan is to continue working my way into the field of production and composition for artists,” he concludes.

Watch the official visualizer for “Malabar” below.