Rauw Alejandro Earns First No. 1 on Any Billboard Chart with “Vice Versa”

Rauw Alejandro is celebrating a big first

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican rapper, singer and composer has notched his first No. 1 on any Billboard albums chart as Vice Versa, his sophomore effort, debuts atop the Top Latin Albums chart dated July 10.

Rauw Alejandro

Vice Versa was released on June 25 via Duars/Sony Music Latin. It starts with 21,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending July 1, according to MRC Data.

His debut set, Afrodisiaco, debuted at No. 30 and eventually peaked at No. 10 on the 50-deep tally.

Vice Versa, like everything I do, was created from the heart,” Rauw Alejandro tells Billboard. “The main difference is that I was willing to take more chances and experiment more than when I did Afrodisíaco, which was a lot more traditional.”

The Top Latin Albums chart ranks the most popular Latin albums of the week in the U.S. based on multimetric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album.

Nearly all of Vice Versa’s starting sum is powered by streaming activity. The album registered 20,000 SEA units, which equals 29.1 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks. Album sales and TEA units comprise less than 1,000 units combined.

Vice Versa bends Rauw Alejandro’s usual reggaetón structure by integrating synth-pop, drum’n’bass and dance rhythms to the 14-track set produced by Mr. NaisGai, Tainy and Caleb Calloway; the project also features artists Anitta and Lyanno.

“There were two challenging parts to making this album,” Rauw Alejandro adds. “Being able to separate the artist from myself and the second one was deciding which track was going to be the first single. I wanted every track to be the first single.”

Vice Versa was preceded by two singles on Hot Latin Songs: the No. 3 high “Todo De Ti” (June 12-dated tally) and “2/Catorce,” with Mr. NaisGai (which reaches a new peak of No. 11 on the current chart). Concurrently, two other tracks debut on the airplay-, streaming- and digital sales-blended list: “Sexo Virtual” at No. 20 and “Aquel NapZzZz” at No. 48.

“Todo De Ti” also sees progress on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, pushing 36-32.

Over on the Billboard 200Vice Versa arrives at No. 17, marking the Puerto Rican’s highest-charting entry there.

Prince Royce Teams Up with JonTheProducer, Mau & Ricky & Piso 21 for New Single “Doctor”

Prince Royce is playing doctor

The 31-year-old Dominican-American singer/songwriter has teamed up JonTheProducer, Mau & Ricky and Piso 21 to release the single “Doctor.”

Prince Royce, JonTheProducer, Mau & Ricky & Piso 21

JonTheProducer, the French-American producer whose real name is Jon Leone, reeled in Mau & Ricky, Prince Royce, and Piso 21 for his first-ever track as an artist.

Acoustic guitar riffs and pop-urban melodies, bring to life this slow-tempo bop about a man who’s not only trying to overcome a heartbreak, but realizes it was his mistake.

“I wanted to heal your heart but I ended up breaking it/ For trying to be a doctor/ I ended up f—ing with your feelings,” says the chorus.

The clever music video shows all eight artists trying to cope with their broken hearts at home.

“Doctor” comes on the heels of Jon’s signing with Good Family Group in a joint venture with Sony Music Latin.

Marc Anthony Developing Music for Sofia Vergara’s Animated Film “Koati”

Marc Anthony is bringing his music to the big screen…

The 52-year-old Puerto Rican Grammy-winning and his Magnus Studios team are joining Sofia Vergara’s animated feature comedy, Koati.

Marc Anthony

The project’s soundtrack, executive produced by the salsa music icon and produced by Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Julio Reyes Copello, will include 10 original songs by notable names in Latin music and will be released on the Magnus/Sony Music Latin labels and distributed by Sony Music Latin worldwide.

Produced by Upstairs Animation, Latin WE Productions and Los Hijos de JackKoati follows three unlikely heroes — Nachi, a free-spirited coatí; Xochi, a fearless monarch butterfly; and Pako, a hyperactive glass frog — as they embark on an adventure to stop wicked coral snake Zaina (Vergara) from destroying their rainforest homeland and friends.

Produced simultaneously in English and Spanish, the voice cast includes Oscar nominee Adriana Barraza (Babel), Joe Manganiello (Justice League), Eduardo Franco (Stranger Things) and actors-musicians Evaluna Montaner (Club 57) and Sebastián Villalobos (Soy Luna). 

The film, which is due to be released later this year, was developed by producer-creator Anabella Dovarganes-Sosa, executive producer-chief story consultant Melissa Escobar and executive producer and lead actress, Vergara. Luis Balaguer and Felipe Pimiento will also act as executive producers. Timeless Films handles sales.

Latin American talent runs through the project from director Rodrigo Pérez-Castro, production designer and visual development artist Simón Varela, writer and cultural consultant Ligiah Villalobos, and producer Julio Reyes Copello, who also composed the film’s score.

Anthony said: “I am thrilled to join Sofia in a project where for the first time a renowned team of Hispanic producers, music stars, comedians, and actors come together outside of Hollywood to create an animated movie set up in the Latin American rainforests, which I feel is really exciting and long overdue. I will leave no stone unturned on the music being authentic and celebrating the amazing story and message of Koati. It’s time to show the world, and share what we Latinos have been enjoying for years in a very fun, inspirational film.”

Vergara added: “Koati is a beautiful animated film full of fun and exotic characters that will make you laugh and also touch your heart. I couldn’t dream of a better partner than Marc Anthony to bring this project to life with authentic and powerful Latin American music. Our team is very proud to finally share Koati with families around the world very soon!”

Anthony is the top-selling tropical salsa artist of all time. The two-time Grammy and six-time Latin Grammy winner has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide.

Natalia Jiménez Signs with Sergio Lizárraga’s Management & Booking Company LM Events

Natalia Jiménez has new representation…

The 39-year-old Spanish singer-songwriter, who is beloved in Mexico, has signed a management and booking deal with LM Events, the management and booking company headed by Banda MS manager and founder Sergio Lizárraga, according to Billboard.

Natalia Jiménez

The move marks the first time in recent memory that such a prominent pop act enters a management agreement with a company that specializes in the Regional Mexican market. The deal underscores how fluid and collaborative genres have become in Latin music, with the former demarcated lines between sounds and formats, and now business, increasingly fading.

“He [Lizárraga] has been a pioneer of the genre with Banda MS, taking them to international success, and he’s proven his mettle by remaining relevant in a very difficult industry,” Jiménez tells Billboard. “I think it’s a fascinating challenge and I’m 100% vested in this pairing.”

Jiménez rose to prominence as the lead singer of hit Spanish pop group La Quinta Estación. Since launching her solo career in 2011, she’s placed three albums on the top 10 of Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart and six songs on the Hot Latin Songs chart, including No. 1 “Lo mejor de mi vida eres tú” with Ricky Martin.

And for the past decade, Lizárraga’s Banda MS has been one of the top groups in Latin music, in any genre, with 19 top-10 hits on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart.  They are also Mexico’s top-touring banda act and ended 2018 as the country’s most streamed act on Spotify. Last year, the band made history by pairing up with Snoop Dogg in the hit track “Que Maldición.” The fusion track marked the first time a major Mexican banda collaborated with a major American rap act, and landed both acts their first top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs track.

However, signing Jiménez or bridging pop and Mexican music, wasn’t something that Lizárraga was actively looking for. He and Jiménez met in 2019 when the singer and the group recorded a new version of “El Color de Tus Ojos,” a Banda MS hit, as part of Jiménez’s album México de mi Corazón, an homage to Mexican music that featured prominent acts from different genres.

Jiménez wanted to record the track with the full band, so Lizárraga invited her to their home base of Mazatlán to record in his studio. There was a feeling of mutual respect, and last year, Jiménez called Lizárraga and asked if he’d be interested in handling her. “I was surprised at first; I wasn’t sure whether to take her seriously,” says Lizárraga. “Then, we met and I took it very seriously indeed. I know it’s a different genre, but in the end, it’s the music business and a lot of things overlap.”

Lizárraga is widely seen as one of Mexican music’s most successful executives. He helms Banda MS’s label, Lizos Music, launched in 2013, and also opened up LM Events as a management and booking subsidiary for the band and other groups.

“We have a lot of plans [with Natalia],” he says. “I have great songwriters in my team, and she can sing rancheras, mariachis, ballads, which is our expertise. I’m giving her a huge team to work with, in every department, and I’m bringing my honesty, which is flag. Finally, I plan to devote myself entirely to her new music.” Jiménez’s upcoming album is México de Mi Corazón 2, which will be produced by Armando Ávila, who worked on the first set.

She continues to be signed to Sony Music Latin, which also has a close relationship with Banda MS; the label was in charge of distributing and marketing the Snoop Dogg collaboration.

“This is a new and fascinating direction for me, particularly because regional Mexican music is the genre I’m most enjoying right now,” said Jiménez. “This is a woman who, musically speaking can sing anything, in any genre. I definitely feel the pressure,” laughs Lizárraga. “But I like a good challenge.”

Jiménez was previously signed to Westwood Entertainment, the company that manages Carlos Rivera and Reik, among others.

Maluma Releases Bilingual “Hawái” Remix, Featuring The Weeknd

Maluma’s is (re)mixing things up with The Weeknd

The 26-year-old Colombian singer/songwriter has joined voices with the Canadian singer on a remix of Maluma’s chart-topping single “Hawái.”

Maluma x The Weeknd

On Wednesday, Maluma and The Weeknd surprised fans by announcing the collaboration, sharing a photo together across social media.

Less than 24 hours later, the bilingual “Hawái” remix and accompanying video officially dropped via Sony Music Latin/RCA Records.

Marking their first-ever collaboration, The Weeknd kicks off the remix by singing in English. “So now he’s your heaven? You’re lying to yourself and him to make me jealous / You put on such an act when you’re sleeping together / All this cause I said I don’t want marriage,” he croons before flaunting the infectious chorus in Spanish. This also marks the first time the Canadian singer has sung in Spanish.

“I have always admired The Weeknd so it feels nothing short of a dream come true to have him collab on ‘Hawái’ remix,” Maluma said in a press statement. “He brought another flow to it and sang in both Spanish and English which is impressive.”

Co-written by Maluma alongside Keityn, Edgar Barrera, and Bull Nene and produced by Rude Boy, the romantic urban bop, originally released in July, is about a relationship that couldn’t work out and one of the exes “moved on” but it’s all an act.

The original music video, filmed in Miami by Jessy Terrero of Cinema Giants, shows Maluma arguing with his girlfriend, breaking up, a confrontation at her wedding with another man, and a surprising plot twist. The remix video, also at the helm of Terrero, was filmed in Los Angeles and features both artists.

“Hawái” is currently in its ninth week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. The song earned Maluma just his second No. 1 on the list among his 40 chart entries.

Residente Signs Multi-Year Venture with Sony Music Entertainment to Launch 1868 Studios and Create Authentic Latinx Content

Residente is expanding his empire…

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican rapper, singer, writer, filmmaker, and member of Calle 13, whose real name is René Pérez Joglar, has signed a multi-year venture with Sony Music Entertainment to launch 1868 Studios.

Under the new deal, Residente and Sony Music Latin/Iberia will create, produce and globally distribute original content that focuses on bringing the authentic representation of cultural narratives including Latinx stories in front of and behind the camera.

Residente will lead the charge when it comes to creative aspects of the partnership. He’ll write and direct inclusive television shows, films and other on-screen content that will be distributed across multiple platforms.

1868 Studios commits that Residente will collaborate with an international creative consortium of writers, directors, on-screen talent, musical artists, and visual artists to provide creative services for a robust slate of new projects.

Sony Music Entertainment will provide its expertise in content creation, marketing and monetization to enhance the scale and scope of the studio’s work.

“There are much more important things than talking about million-dollar businesses in the midst of a pandemic, where unemployment is becoming a larger issue daily,” said Residente. “But, together, we are announcing that under this venture there will be employment opportunities for Latinos around the world.”

He added, “Throughout my career, I always knew that rap would be the vehicle that would lead me to fulfill my true passion, cinema. We are going to make films, TV series, documentaries and all kinds of visual content, where the main priority will be creativity. I am proud to have friends like Rob Stringer, Afo Verde, and Tom Mackay, who understand the great power of the intangible values of art.”

“Residente is a creative genius whose work has inspired the global music industry for many years and whose vision has inspired LatinX creators and communities all over the world.” said Afo Verde, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music Latin, “This partnership enables us to channel his vast expertise and develop engaging and diverse content for audiences everywhere.”

Residente made history as one of the most Latin Grammy-winning artists as a member of the group Calle 13 and as a solo artist. He attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, which helped fuel his passion for cinematography, which he has incorporated into his music career.

His work has garnered the respect of his industry colleagues through his approach on award-winning music videos and feature-length films, including his own documentary called Residente which chronicles his journey to make his first solo album.

He has been acknowledged for his contributions to many philanthropic causes and organizations and serves as an ambassador of Amnesty International and was the recipient of the Recognition Award at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in 2015.

Marc Anthony’s “3.0” Becomes First-Ever Salsa Album to Earn RIAA’s Diamante Certification

Marc Anthony is shining bright like a diamond…

The 52-year-old Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, the best-selling tropical salsa artist of all time, has earned a spot in the annals of music history with his 2013 album 3.0, which at the time was his first salsa album in a decade.

Marc Anthony

The album, which was considered a risky release at the time with tropical music beginning to fade in popularity due to the resurgence of reggaeton, has became the first salsa album ever to be certified “Diamante,” the RIAA’s highest certification for a Latin album, for shipments of over 600,000 copies in the U.S. alone.

Anthony announced the major accomplishment on his Instagram page, posting a slideshow of photos that feature him cozying up to the Diamond plaque and grinning from ear to ear.

“Wow 3.0 First Salsa album ever to reach Diamond Status,” Anthony wrote in his caption. “Thanks to my team and everyone that worked on the album y Gracias a mis fans por siempre apoyar mi música y hacer este uno de sus favoritos. God bless!”

This major milestone for the project is only its latest accomplishment.

In 2013, 3.0 became the top-selling release of the year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The hit single from the album, “Vivir Mi Vida,” also spent 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart, becoming the first tropical single in a decade to top the chart and the longest-running No. 1 tropical song in the history of the chart.

“It’s a huge honor for us at Sony Music Latin to work with Marc,” Sony Music Latin Iberia Chairman and CEO Afo Verde said as he presented Marc Anthony his RIAA Diamante plaque in a virtual ceremony. “He continues to break records time and time again and creates new ones all on his own. His music is forever. He’s proven that his recordings, from birth and even five, 10, 20 years later, are everlasting and will be sung by everyone for a lifetime.”

Anthony also talked about the milestone, revealing the confidence boost the success of the project gave him all those years ago.

“The arrival of this new achievement in this particular time is truly gratifying and inspiring for me,” Marc said. “3.0 was an album that I considered risky at the time of its release. The Latin music industry was beginning to shift and the main attention was going to other genres. The album was embraced by everyone in such a powerful way. That response gave a boost of reassurance in my career and my instincts as a music creator.”

With this accomplishment under his belt, Anthony is now working on new music.

Rauw Alejandro & Camilo’s “Tattoo” Reaches No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Airplay Chart

Rauw Alejandro has inked another chart-topper…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican singer, rapper and songwriter and Camilo have earned their second No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart as “Tattoo” rises 4-1 on the September 12 survey.

Rauw Alejandro x Camilo

“Tattoo” sits at the summit with 13 million in audience impressions, up 23%, earned in the week ending September 6, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

The original version of “Tattoo,” released February 13 via Sony Music Latin, was produced by Los Honeyboos (Rafa Rodríguez, Daniel Rondon) and Mr. Nais Gai. It’s one of 17 tracks of Rauw Alejandro’s live album Concierto Virtual en Tiempos de COVID-19 Desde el Coliseo de Puerto Rico which peaks at No. 8 on the current Latin Rhythm Albums chart and at No. 10 on the overall Top Latin Albums chart.

“Tattoo” was assisted by its pop-tinged remix with Colombian Camilo, released July 11. It was also produced and composed by Los Honeyboos and Mr. Nais Gai and composed by Alejandro, Camilo, Elena Rose, José M. Collazo, Eric Pérez Rovira, Eliel Lind Osorio, Aneudy Maysonet and Evaluna Montaner.

“Tattoo” concurrently peaks at No. 7 on the current Hot Latin Songs chart, which blends airplay, digital sales and streaming data, a career high for the Puerto Rican.

“Tattoo” also sees improvement elsewhere on the Latin charts: It equally climbs 4-1 on Latin Rhythm Airplay and moves 13-12 on Latin Streaming Songs despite a 2% decline in streams.

The song is part of a TikTok challenge with over 2.6 million videos posted by users. Its hashtag #TattooChallenge has garnered more than 633 million views.

HBO to Premiere the Carlos Santana-Executive-Produced Music Documentary “Fandango at the Wall” This Month

Carlos Santana is bringing the fandango to the U.S./Mexico border wall, and HBO, this month…

HBO will premiere the heartfelt music documentary Fandango at the Wall, executive produced by the 73-year-old Mexican Grammy-winning musician/guitarist, at the end of the month.

Fandango-at-the-Wall

Directed by Varda Bar-Kar and executive produced by Santana, Quincy Jones, Andrew Young and Kabir Sehgal, Fandango at the Wall follows the journey of Grammy-winning musician Arturo O’Farrill and Grammy-winning producer Sehgal in Veracruz, Mexico, where they recruit musicians for a live album recording at the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The project, which also includes a live album and a book, was inspired by the annual Fandango Fronterizo Festival, founded by Jorge Francisco Castillo and held at the Tijuana-San Diego border featuring the 300-year-old folk music tradition, son jarocho that fuses indigenous, Spanish and African traditions.

For Leslie Cohen, Senior Vice President, Content Acquisitions at HBO and HBO Max, “the film’s meaningful story and magical music will resonate deeply with our audience.”

Producer Doug Davis said in an official statement, “HBO has long demonstrated a commitment to documentarians like us who make socially-conscious films that explore important issues like immigration and identity.”

Celebrating friendship and unity, the film introduces the region’s son jarocho music, blended with big band arrangements, through interviews and concert footage including son jarocho artists Andrés Vega, Martha Vega, Ramón Gutiérrez, Wendy Cao Romero, Tacho Utrera, Fernando Guadarrama and Patricio Hidalgo.

Sehgal elaborated: “Paradoxically, our film shows how the border can become a place of friendship and amity by harnessing the power of Afro-Mexican music known as son jarocho. I’ve been making music for decades, and I’ve never experienced a more enveloping and transformative art form.”

Director Varda Bar-Kar also expressed appreciation for HBO’s commitment to “provide a platform for diverse filmmakers who tell compelling stories with authenticity, artistry, and layered meaning.”

Produced between Tiger Turn Productions and Sony Music Latin, in partnership with the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, Fandango at the Wall premieres at 8:00 pm ET on Friday, September 25 on HBO Latino with five additional HBO broadcasts scheduled in the subsequent days. HBO Max will stream in the U.S.

Sony Pictures Television Developing Drama Series Inspired by ChocQuibTown That Explores What It Means to Be Afro-Latino

It looks like art will be imitating ChocQuibTown’s life…

Sony Pictures Television Latin America is developing Somos Los Prietos, a new drama series based on the Colombian hip-hop group, consisting of rapper CarlosTostaoValencia, singer/rapper GloriaGoyoMartínez and rapper/producer Miguel SlowMartínez.

ChocQuibTown

The series will examine racism in Latin America and explore what it means to be Afro-Latino.

The new series, which was announced during the American Black Film Festival, is set in Condoto, a town on Colombia’s Pacific coast.

Somos Los Prietos follows a group of adolescent friends of Afro-Latin descent as they struggle with the challenges of poverty and racism and seek to avoid the recruitment efforts of local armed commandos while trying to form a band and take part in a festival organized by their favorite group, ChocQuibTown. Along the way they confront their family, friends, underhanded racism, violence and their own fears to finally define their identity and find their place in the world.

It marks the first cross-company collaboration – referred to internally as “One Sony” – between Sony Pictures Television’s international production arm and Sony Music Latin, which counts the Latin Grammy-winning Afro-Colombian trio among its roster of artists.