Nuevo Culture

This Week In Latin Music: Maluma, Jennifer Lopez Take NYC; Soda Stereo Plots Tour

In case you missed it, here are some highlights from this week in Latin music — now with a Spotify playlist!

Maluma Welcomes Jennifer Lopez to the Stage at Madison Square Garden
Colombian pop star Maluma sold out Madison Square Garden for his second time ever on Friday night, during the New York City stop on his 11:11 world tour. But not long before his big concert, he was spotted on Jennifer Lopez’s Instagram, rehearsing lines alongside Lopez and Owen Wilson for their upcoming movie, Marry Me.

Lopez would later surprise Maluma fans at his Friday night show: dressed in a shimmering floor-length gown, she emerged onstage through a trap door, with a microphone in hand. Together she and Maluma regaled fans with a performance of her 1999 duet, “No Me Ames” — which originally co-starred Lopez’s ex-husband, Puerto Rican salsa king Marc Anthony. Sporting a classy gold blazer, Maluma went from reggaeton playboy to somber balladeer; but he regrettably stumbled over a few of Anthony’s lines, which Lopez tactfully recovered by singing them herself.

Unbeknownst to the audience at MSG, they had their own role to play in the new J.Lo film. Upon wrapping their theatrical duet, Maluma informed his fans in Spanish that a camera crew had captured the whole scene for use in the movie — but Lopez would have to film her extravagant trap door reveal just a few more times. Unmoved by Hollywood magic, the New Yorkers audibly groaned — but ultimately complied, and with generous applause.

Surviving Members of Soda Stereo Plot 2020 Tour With Juanes, Chris Martin, Benito Cerati and More
Fronted by the legendary singer-songwriter Gustavo Cerati, Argentine rock band Soda Stereo wrote phenomenal songs that resonated well past their heyday in the Eighties and Nineties. After the band separated in 1997, singer-guitarist Cerati, drummer Charly Alberti and bassist Zeta Bosio went their separate ways, only to reunite once for a fleeting 2007 tour. Upon Cerati’s untimely death in 2014, further reunion rumors were put to rest — that is until Thursday afternoon, when Alberti and Bosio announced that Soda Stereo would return to the road in 2020.

“Gustavo is a present absence,” they wrote in a public statement, shared via Twitter. “He said that no matter how much we try, we will never stop being Soda. And so it seems to be … [We] want to celebrate these songs. Vibrate them together. Friends from all over are going to accompany us.”

For their upcoming Gracias Totales tour, which kicks off on Feb. 29, 2020 in Bogotá, the band has invited a rotating cast of vocalists to perform Soda Stereo songs in Cerati’s stead. The star-studded list includes Cerati’s son Benito Cerati; Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who previously performed with Alberti and Bosio in 2017; Colombian megastar Juanes; Chilean songstress Mon Laferte; Café Tacvba’s Rubén Albarrán; Oscar-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla; Babasónicos frontman Adrián Dárgelos; Andrea Echeverri of Aterciopelados, and León Larregui of Zoé. Visit the band’s website for more details.

Chilean Trap Star Gianluca Makes Breakthrough in New ‘Yin Yang’ LP
Latin America has spawned countless musical movements in the 2010s, but in many ways, Chilean music has experienced its own distinct revolution. Enter Gianluca: the 22-year-old trap star hellbent on transcending the sonic confines of urbano with an artsy swagger. His debut album Yin Yang, out now via foundational Chilean imprint Quemasucabeza, is an exploratory collection of songs melding Gianluca’s impeccable trap flow with influences from reggaeton, gospel, electropop and ambient music. With production helmed by Pablo Stipicic and long time collaborator Tytokuch, Yin Yang stretches the borders of Latin trap in ways not heard since last year’s Bad Bunny game changer, X100PRE. In our latest interview, Gianluca explains the Taoist concept that informed his new album, as well as the making of the title track, featuring synth-pop queen Javiera Mena.

Natti Natasha, Romeo Santos Ramp Up the Drama in Bachata-fied ‘La Mejor Versión de Mi (Remix)’
In her 2019 ballad, “La Mejor Versión de Mi,” or “A Better Version of Me,” Natti Natasha coped with a bitter break-up by committing herself to loving her self. But in his brand new bachata remix, international casanova Romeo Santos roleplays her penitent ex-boyfriend, ready to earn back the woman he once did wrong. “The best version of you, I did not deserve it,” he croons, “I recognize every failure, I spoiled your heart.” Still, Natasha is determined to close the door on their relationship once and for all — and in a high-drama, telenovela-worthy move, she leaves Santos kneeling lonely in the pouring rain. “Now I start enjoying the roses a little bit more,” she sings. “Please, don’t insist on me, don’t try it/If I already know that you never keep what you promise me.”

Jarina De Marco Plays Dirty in New Video for ‘Knock Out’
Spanglish electro-pop luminary Jarina De Marco plays a femme fatale in her dizzying reggae-dance track, “Knock Out.” It is the latest single off her 2019 EP, Malcriada. In the Myrna Pérez-directed video, the artist rakes in dollar bills at a seedy strip club — and joins a violent revolt by bikini-clad employees against their male patrons. “Look up, don’t touch, don’t fuck with us,” she warns, over a deceptively ‘lax rhythm. “We whine it up, light you up, knock you out.”

Maluma performs with special guest Jennifer Lopez at Madison Square Garden on October 04, 2019 in New York City.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images