First Stream Latin: New Music From El Alfa, Juliana, Omar Apollo & More
First Stream Latin is a compilation of the best new Latin songs, albums and videos recommended by the Billboard Latin editors. Check out this week’s picks below.
El Alfa, Sabiduria (El Jefe Records)
El Alfa proves versatile on his fourth studio album, Sabiduria, honing in on a grab bag of Latin sounds, from ranchera to reggaetón. On “Rumba y Fiesta,” the dembow star taps into guaracha alongside Puerto Rico artist Valentino, delivering a rave-worthy record, while “Goyard” slows El Alfa’s roll, centering trap instrumentation. But despite the variations, El Alfa stays true to the mile-a-minute sound that brought him to where he is today — giving listeners new takes on classic dembow rhythms on cuts like “Bendecido,” featuring Colombian artist Farina, and the tongue-in-cheek “Panama,” assisted by Chael Produciendo. — NEENA ROUHANI
Jotaerre, Karol G & Alejo feat. Moffa, “Un Viaje” (Jungl/Fly Empire Music/UMG Recordings)
The new wave of Latin artists is coming strong in 2022, especially after receiving the stamp of approval from Karol G. In her latest collaboration, called “Un Viaje,” the Colombian artist joins forces with Puerto Rican newcomers Jotaerre, Alejo, and Moffa, all of which got on the radar after they all posted videos hanging out together in Medellín. Co-produced by Crismo La Vision, Toño, VersaVibes, and kidkeva, “Un Viaje” is a melodious reggaetón single that narrates that feeling one gets when they have a new crush. “You have me on a trip/I think you’re my drug,” goes the catchy chorus, which connected with fans on social media. — JESSICA ROIZ
Omar Apollo, “En El Olvido” (Warner Records)
“[My parents] had been telling me I need to sing like that more, so I was excited for them to hear it,” Omar Apollo previously told Billboard referring to “En El Olvido,” an achingly beautiful heartbreak ballad that’s tucked in his full-length album, IVORY. The only track he sings in Spanish on the set, the 24-year-old artist no canta mal las rancheras, as we say in Mexico. The stripped-down corrido suits him well, as these folk songs are often sung with pathos, to the point where the pain is almost tangible. “En El Olvido” is no exception, and it leaves us wanting more of this from Apollo. — GRISELDA FLORES
Mocedades & Emmanuel, “Dónde Estás Corazón” (Fonovisa)
When Spanish group Mocedades recorded the Luis Martínez Serrano classic “Dónde Estás Corazón” in 1982, its author had already been dead 12 years. But the song gained new popularity for new generations in its cover by the then-most-heard vocal group in Latin music. Forty years later, a new iteration of Mocedades (which includes a founding member and new members), has re-recorded “Dónde Estás Corazón” with Mexican icon Emmanuel as part of its upcoming, reimagined collection of hits alongside guest artists. Produced by Jacobo Calderón (whose father Juan Carlos Calderón produced Mocedades’ biggest albums), the new “Dónde” is a mix of ’90s throwback (peppy horns, keyboards and big strings) married to great vocals — both solos and harmonies — and performed with a gusto and joy that make us want to get up and sing along. Following a single with Gloria Trevi, this bodes well for the upcoming Mocedades revamps. — LEILA COBO
TIMO & Pitizion “Canción de Amor” (Universal Music)
Colombian Latin pop group TIMO and Colombian singer-songwriter Pitizion join forces to create a memorable collaboration for their new single “Canción de Amor.” A song that is not about love (although the title might suggest it), the track is about accepting that there is no such thing as the “perfect” love. The thumping beat, combined with Timo’s sweet vocals, perfectly complement Pitizion’s raspy voice to narrate this story. “I’m tired of seeing people dance, to see flying hearts in the photos/ Love doesn’t last forever, nothing is forever/ Another drink please” they sing. — INGRID FAJARDO
Ozuna & Boza, “Apretaito” (Aura Music/Sony Music Latin)
Ozuna has joined forces with Panamanian rising artist Boza for his new single “Apretadito.” Produced by Latin hitmakers Chris Jedai and Gaby Music, and co-written by the Puerto Rican artist and Boza, the track is a catchy reggaetón jam with captivating hooks about an independent woman. The colorful music video, directed by Nuno Gomes, shows the two artists performing the track while they’re surrounded by a group of beautiful plus-size women, sending an important message of inclusivity and empowerment. — J.R.
Paulo Londra, “Chance” (Warner Music Latina)
Argentine artist Paulo Londra follows up his alt-rock “Plan A,” which he released last month, with an urban-tinged R&B track that puts Londra’s lyricism and versatility at the forefront. The second single since his grand return to the spotlight after being sidelined by a legal battle, Londra proves he hasn’t lost his mojo. Penned by Londra and Federico Vindver, “Chance” is a love at first sight type of song that will make anyone swoon. Meanwhile, this week, Lodra’s “Plan A” logged a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Argentina Hot 100 chart (dated April 9). — G.F.
Juliana & Humbe, “Muchachitos” (MUN Records)
Colombian artist Juliana and Mexican artist Humbe, the former of whom won best new artist at the 2021 Latin Grammys and the latter of whom was nominated in the same category, have laced their mesmerizing vocals for “Muchachitos.” The sweet ballad, accompanied by romantic guitar and piano melodies, highlights their powerful harmonies together,. The song, penned by the two talented artists, is a motivational letter to their younger selves, where they sing about the ups and downs in their lives and share key life lessons. “Muchachitos” will be included on Juliana’s upcoming album Dos, Dos, Dos. — J.R.
Natanael Cano, NataKong (Rancho Humilde/Los CT)
Less than a year since he dropped his set A Mis 20, Natanael Cano is back with the new album NataKong. The 18-track set reflects the raw emotions that take over him when he records music, which he narrates with bold and brooding lyrics. He opens the set with the ultra personal trap song “Free Nata,” where he talks about feeling nostalgic and details his comeback. “I don’t feel the emotions I felt when I started/ Time passes slowly, I have to hang in there,” he raps. “This song I sing so you can be on the lookout for my comeback/ And for you to know that money wasn’t the only thing I wanted.” Half trap and half corridos tumbados, the album allows the 20-year-old singer-songwriter to thrive in both worlds, and express himself via hard-hitting rap verses or nostalgic corridos. No need to choose between trap or corrido: Cano shows he can do both. — G.F.
First Stream Latin: New Music From El Alfa, Juliana, Omar Apollo & More First Stream Latin is a compilation of the best new Latin songs, albums and videos recommended by the Billboard Latin editors. Check out this week’s picks below. El Alfa, Sabiduria (El Jefe Records) El Alfa proves versatile on his fourth studio album, Sabiduria, honing in on a…