The Hispanic community takes pride in its vibrant and colorful music. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, here’s an appreciation, in no particular order, of some Latino hits from 2021:
“911” by Sech
Artists like J Balvin and Luis Fonsi are pretty well known in America – I hope Sech will be next. Sech has always been a genius, and many in the Hispanic community have been playing his hits at hangouts and parties for quite some time now. One of his most viral songs of the year, “911,” has catchy reggaeton beats and a strong percussion chorus, so it’s hard not to dance to it. The words “si estás herida pues llama al 911” translate to “If you are injured, call 911”.
“Otra Noche Sin Ti” by J Balvin and Khalid
When I saw this song appear on my Spotify stream, I screamed. What an iconic collaboration. The guitar melody combined with the bass synthesizer results in a relaxing pop song with a Latin twist. Vocally, J Balvin and Khalid’s voices naturally fit together as they both sing softly in Spanish and English. The song is about missing an ex, but honestly the tune of the song is so satisfying, the lyrics are irrelevant.
Sebastián Yatra’s “Pareja del Año” and the Myke towers
This song instantly went viral in the Latinx community and has a unique melody from the strings of the violin. Who would have thought that violin and reggaeton could sound so good together? This song is about a person who just played, saying it’s such a shame because she could have been “the couple of the year”.
“Mal de Amor” by La Doña and Los Texmaniacs
This modern mariachi style song is about someone who hasn’t been treated right in a relationship. The singer puts the ex-lover in his place in a manner that is both elegant and savage, lashing out at them in a graceful and dignified tone. Part of the lyrics is “Je te jette”, followed by a classical accordion. Mariachi music originates from western Mexico, and this song preserves a musical style that has long been part of Hispanic culture and is fun to sing along to.
Bad Bunny’s “Yonaguni”
Bad Bunny is the current king of Latin rap and reggaeton. This song adapts to all moods, and its cold tempo is calming and uplifting. This heartbreaking song has one of the most interesting pieces of content – it’s about taking a flight to Yonaguni, an island in Japan. Just off the island, there is a submerged rock formation named “Yonaguni Submarine Ruins”, the origins of which are unknown. The Puerto Rican artist also sings in Japanese at the end of the song. Everything about this song is captivating and creative.
[From tuxedos to quilt cloaks: The evolution of men’s fashion at the Met Gala]
“A Millón” of the Marías
This piece is perfect for alt-pop fans. The music starts out almost silent and turns into a catchy techno chorus with a Bossa nova type beat. Bossa nova is a mixture of jazz and samba music, originating in Brazil. The singer also has a mystical and subtle voice that instantly draws you in. The lyrics match the beat in every way – it’s about the thrill of a new romance or a crush.
“KESI” by Camilo and Shawn Mendes
This collaboration makes you want to fly to a tropical island and stay there forever. This pop song has a Caribbean influence as it incorporates a fun and carefree marimba style, and it’s about falling in love with someone. Camilo has such a unique voice, and Mendes singing so delicately in Spanish is so worthy of passing out.
“Qué Más Pues?” »By J Balvin and Maria Becerra
Leaning towards the hip hop side of reggaeton, this hit contains a quick-witted dialogue between J Balvin and Argentinian singer Maria Becerra. Beyond any reggaeton song that makes you want to dance, the outro brilliantly associates Becerra’s voice with a synthesizer.
[Burger King’s Chase Hudson Meal is surprisingly not that bad]
“Ella No Es Tuya (Remix)” by Rochy RD, Myke Towers and Nicki Nicole
This vibrant trap song is about a man who “simps” for a woman who doesn’t want to be tied up. She is open and honest about not wanting anything serious and reminds the man that she owes him nothing by saying that she is not his. This song has an energizing vibe and honors just wanting to have fun with crisp percussion and piano chords.
“Telepatia” by Kali Uchis
I’m bending the rules by including “Telepatía”, which was released in November 2020. However, I feel like this song was played nonstop in early 2021. You’ve probably heard this song on TikTok. Kali Uchis switches from Spanish to English so easily in this jazzy pop track. Every time I hear this song my mood is instantly elevated and I can’t help but sway to the beat.
It’s hardly a taste of what contemporary Latin music has to offer. There isn’t enough space here to cover the depth and richness of the tote genre. In this Hispanic Heritage Month, immerse yourself in these songs and more.