Karol G is opening up about love through her music…
The 29-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer/songwriter has released her new single “Ay DiOs Mio,” which she co-wrote with Danny Ocean.
During the writing process, the track morphed into a tale of how she met her fiancé, rapper Anue lAA.
“I sat down with Danny and he came up with the idea of ‘She wrote me,’” Karol told Billboard during an exclusive Zoom interview.
“I said, ‘What? No. Not ‘she wrote me.’ In this song I’ll tell the story of how I met Ema [short for Emmanuel, Anuel’s real name]. The song starts from the moment Ema first wrote me a DM on Instagram and how he sent me DMs in Instagram and WhatsApp, until the day we met and went out. And when we went out, in the middle of dancing, and whether I’d go home with him or not.”
“Ay DiOs Mío [Oh My God],” produced by longtime collaborator Ovy On The Drums, is reminiscent of “Tusa,” Karol G’s smash hit with Nicki Minaj, in the use of a slow intro that then breaks into a slow, sensual reggaetón.
Working with Danny Ocean, however, was a departure for an artist used to writing alone. “But that’s the way you grow and evolve,” adds Karol G. Evolving, she says, has been front of mind since the COVID-19 epidemic and lockdown.
“There is so much pressure that you start losing your way,” she says. “Trying so hard to fit in was making me lose myself, doing a million things at the same time but with no direction. … Understanding myself has been the most important thing during these times, and I can tell you with absolute conviction that I’m Carolina again, the one who did music at home 14 years ago, and it’s connected to the entire concept of my [upcoming] album.”
Manuel Medrano is bringing his live show to the internet.
Rappi, a growing on-demand delivery platform that operates in nine Latin American countries, will begin hosting live performances, starting with a concert by the 32-year-old Colombian singer/songwriter on June 19.
Medrano’s one-hour show will be accessible live, for a small “entrance” fee, to Rappi’s 25 million registered users, spread across its home base of Colombia (5 million registered users), Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.
“Rappi has a significant number of users who use the platform recurrently,” says Sebastian Ruales, global head of SuperApp for Rappi. “Now, they can also find their favorite artists. It’s an added value for the Rappi platform where you’ll be able to do your transactions and also go the events you want to go to. We are offering Rappi users a platform where they can connect with what they want to see. And we offer artists a monetizable platform where they can connect directly with over 25 million people. It’s a model with very clear monetization.”
Rappi’s sheer scale and ease of use could make it a game-changer in the digital live entertainment business, particularly in Latin America, where it operates.
The company, launched just five years ago, becoming only the second Colombian startup to reach “Unicorn” status when it raised $1 billion in 2018, and it has been expanding its capabilities at a fast pace.
Originally launched as a delivery app – think GrubHub, Instacartand Uber Eats— it now takes its inspiration from apps like China’s WeChat, which combines a messenger service, social media, online shopping and payment to create a completely integrated mobile ecosystem.
For artists, it’s guaranteed income. Rappi can either charge a small fee per viewer (which goes to the artist), or it can offer the concert for free to more people with sponsorship support.
In Medrano’s case, fans will pay a small fee for a 50-60 minute concert filmed in a state of the art Rappi studio that conforms to all health requirements during the COVID-19lockdown.
“We’ve been wanted to do a show since the beginning of the lockdown, but we wanted it to clearly be a concert — not a livestream — a concert that originated from a platform specialized in concerts,” says Medrano, who hasn’t done any livestreams since the beginning of Colombia’s strict lockdown orders took effect in March.
“I’m about playing live. That’s what I enjoy most,” adds Medrano, who is known for his soulful, guitar-accompanied ballads and his deep distinctive voice. When Medrano and his manager, Fabio Acosta, began to explore options, they encountered Rappi as an alternative. “When they told us they wanted to launch a livestream button, we were really intrigued and we got together.”
For artists, Rappi’s appeal lies in its huge user base, but also in the ability to monetize.
Rappi does not take a percentage of earnings, but a “small take” to cover production costs and use of the platform.
“Our model is not to make money,” says Ruales. “I win because I offer a value proposition for users, where artist fans we’ll be able to watch their artist and will want to join Rappi. Rappi acts as a big microphone that amplifies the audience.”
For Medrano, that will mean singing and playing his guitar in front of potentially millions of paying customers versus simply YouTubeusers. “I’m going to perform in my most intimate format, playing my songs with just my guitar,” he says. “That’s how I write, that’s how I got started, but it’s a part of me fans rarely see anymore as I’m always touring with my band.”
Beyond Medrano, Rappi is already planning ahead and is closely to finalizing contracts with 19 other performers, including musical acts, YouTubers and influencers. The company now has a team devoted to livestreams and has partnered with booking agencies to find the best talent.
“It’s ambitious, but it’s new and we’re learning and taking it step by step.”
The 31-year-old Dominican rapper and singer deleted every post on his Instagram account to make way for his new single “Barbaro,” which premiered exclusively on Billboard.
Earlier this week, Mozart La Para began teasing his nearly 4 million fans on the social media app with his new music and video. “New season, another vision,” he expressed.
He first shared a WhatsAppchat he had with Tainy, introducing part of the beat. “I have a beat that I worked on with Supaand Sky, I know that if you grab it, you’ll kill it,” wrote the producer to Mozart before sending an audio message with the beat. Mozart replied, hinting at the single’s name, “that song is ‘BARBARO.’” He also shared photos and snippets of what would be the music video officially dropping Friday.
“Barbaro,” which is an expression like “wow,” is a song loaded with melodious beats, keeping true to Mozart’s urban essence and fused with flairs of Brazilian funk.
It’s co-produced by Tainy, Supa Dups, and Sky Rompiendo.
The music video, directed by Elliott Muscat, is another gem, giving us major ‘90s vibes with colorful VHS and kaleidoscope effects.