Gloria “Goyo” Martínez is saying na (na na) to going it alone…
The Afro-Colombian singer/rapper, who co-founded the Colombian hip-hop group ChocQuibTown 20 years ago, has officially marked the beginning of a solo career by releasing her new single “Na Na Na.”
The dembow-infused, club-ready track is a perfect introduction to what Goyo’s project as a soloist is all about: female empowerment.
“With ChocQuibTown I could also sing about empowering women — but to say it alone and in my own words, it just has a different impact,” she tells Billboard. “Writing on my own has allowed me to reflect, analyze and really think about what I want to say,”
Launching her own career doesn’t mean she’s leaving the trio, which also includes her brother Slow and her husband Tostao. The trio are still very much committed to ChocQuibTown and, are even set to release a new single in April.
But having her very own independent project is something Goyo has been planning for quite some time.
“We’ve always considered ourselves a group where we can also respect each other’s individuality. For example, Slow likes the production side more and is often producing for other artists. I wanted to invite our fans to my world and give them the opportunity to know the woman behind Goyo.”
Timing was everything Goyo explains, and she’d have to find the right song to aunch her solo career. After many studio sessions searching for the song, inspiration came when she sat with Rauw Alejandro‘s go-to producer, Mr. Nais Gai, artist Fuego and her brother Slow during a writing camp at her favorite studio House of Hits in Miami.
“When we all come together, because we’re Afro, we always say that Wakanda is in the house. That day, they were showing me some beats and I suggested instead we start from scratch. So we brought in some instruments and built a structure. My brother stopped by and created a melody and it was pure magic,” she says. “I wrote the song’s first verse on the spot. The end result is a song that I love and I believe many women will adopt as their own anthem.”
Going solo coincides with the release of her upcoming album and HBO documentary, En Letra de Otro, where she re-imagines classics like Shakira‘s “Antologia,” Tego Calderón‘s “Pa’ Que Retozen” and Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong‘s “Summertime.”
“The creative process for this project was easy in a sense — because I just had to revisit my roots and remember those days when I used to stay up to watch Shakira videos. Or during the pandemic, my vocal coach asked me to sing “Summertime,” and it really had a huge impact on me — because it was around the time when George Floyd was killed,” Goyo explains. “Recording this album pretty much trained me, and gave me an idea of what working alone would be like.”
For now, fans can listen to Goyo’s new single “Na Na Na.”
En Letra de Otro is out DSPs and on HBO March 4, with additional projects (as a solo artist and with ChocQuibTown) to be announced later this year.
“I’m ready to explore a new side of me and reach new ears. Sometimes, you just have to what your heart tells you to do.”