Maria Becerra, the first Latin music artist to be a labelmate to Megan Thee Stallion, has released part of her debut album Animal Parte 1. The rising Argentine singer talked exclusively with Latido Music about working with Cazzu and sampling Luis Enrique on the project.

Animal Parte 1 follows her breakthrough hit “High.”

“I feel so happy,” she tells Latido Music. “It’s my debut album. The truth is this is a project that I gave a lot of love to. There was so much effort, so many days, and so many hours that I put in the studio.”

In Argentina, Becerra is one of the leading pop stars in the local trap music scene. The 21-year-old extended her reach beyond the country last July when she became the first Latin music artist to sign with 300 Entertainment, the home of Megan Thee Stallion. Her breakthrough hit “High” became a global smash when fellow Argentine singer TINI and Spanish artist Lola Índigo jumped on the remix.

“From that point, my life and career changed,” Becerra says. “Suddenly people were talking about me in places like France, Spain, Rome, and Mexico. My name was trending in other countries. It was incredible for me to make a song with two incredible women who I admire and love a lot.”

Becerra kicked off Animal with Argentine superstar Cazzu.

The self-proclaimed “La Nena de Argentina” kept the girl power coming in January when she released “Animal” as the lead single from Animal Parte 1. She teamed up with Argentina’s Latin trap music queen Cazzu for the alluring reggaeton banger.

“I love Cazzu so much,” Becerra says. “She’s an incredible woman and I have a lot of respect for her. She gave me very important advice and laid a path for women in Latin urban music. It’s amazing to me what she’s done for us. It’s incredible to be on a song with her.”

Becerra believes in sex-positivity, especially for women.

Animal Parte 1 is a visual project with all four songs having music videos to go with them. Like with “Animal,” the trap-pop “Cerquita de Ti” and the reggaeton romp “A Solas” are sensual songs. Becerra likes to speak about sex-positivity through her music.   

“I like to talk about situations that are sort of taboo with respect to sexual relationships,” she says. “The inspiration came from the word ‘Animal.’ All of these songs talk about love, passion, falling in love, wanting to have sex, and being sexually-liberated. All of that comes from an animal instinct of a person. That was my inspiration: to talk about things that are happening to everyone. That’s in our instincts.”

Listen closely and you’ll hear “Yo No Se Mañana.”

Of the three new songs, the most interesting is “Acaramelao,” where Becerra takes that trap-pop sound that she’s known for and blends in a bit of salsa music. It’s a fresh take on the hit “Yo No Se Mañana” by Nicaraguan singer Luis Enrique. Becerra mentions that her mom had a bit to do with that choice.

“My mom is a fan of salsa music,” she says. “Every time I went home, my mom told me, ‘Mari, why don’t you do music that’s happier?’ I was like, ‘What do you mean happier music?’ And she’s like, ‘You always make sad music like you’re crying. Why don’t you make happier music if you’re a happy girl?’ And I told her, ‘You’re right.'”

Becerra adds, “It was incredible to experiment with another genre. It’s salsa and trap. It has the influence of ‘Yo No Se Mañana’ in the chords. I sing a bit of the words in a nod to Luis Enrique. Hopefully he hears it and likes it.”

Animal Parte 2 is expected to follow this summer.

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