If you’ve seen Guadalajara-born corridos tumbados singer Peso Pluma everywhere lately, that’s because he is everywhere. The 23-year-old “Ella Baila Sola” sensation is taking regional Mexican sounds he always heard growing up — he counts the late Sinaloan singer Ariel Camacho as a major influence — and crafting a deeply-distinct sound. Peso Pluma’s voice, almost like una trompeta that floats atop all his songs, is his biggest strength — apart from his inimitable flow, of course.

Because of this, his rise to the top isn’t surprising for his fans, but it still took the singer “a while to assimilate” his meteoric success.

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While “Ella Baila Sola” keeps breaking records, such as becoming the first regional Mexican song to hit #1 on Spotify’s global chart, Peso Pluma didn’t always want to be a singer. In fact, his biggest dream was actually to become a pro soccer player. The singer’s story before fame is surprising in more ways than one, so we’ve rounded up all the tea.

Peso Pluma started out writing his “emotions” down in a diary as a kid

Back when he was still Hassan Emilio Kabande to his family and friends, the “AMG” singer told Billboard that he had a childhood diary that served as “therapy” for him. He told the outlet, “Ever since I was a kid, I would write down my emotions because it was like therapy for me… I used to have a diary and my friends would make fun of me — because that’s considered ‘girly’ — but it worked for me.”

Eventually, some of those diary entries would “rhyme,” and no doubt became the precursor to his hit songs today. The singer also plays the guitar — he learned at 15 by watching YouTube tutorials.

Meanwhile, he told Variety that he realized he would like to work in music at 13 or 14 years old. He didn’t necessarily dream of becoming a singer in his “Peso Plumita” days — he imagined himself working behind the scenes. He also had a wide-range of musical influences growing up: he went to high school in San Antonio, Texas with a “large community of Chicanos,” listening to corridos just as much as The Weeknd and Post Malone.

While he counts Drake as his “top artist,” he says his musical tastes reflect being on “both sides of the border.”

While Peso Pluma did always love music, his biggest dream was to become a pro soccer player

Later on, the singer found himself in the studio writing and producing — and was eventually signed to label Prajin Records. In fact, Prajin Records president George Prajin attests to seeing Peso Pluma making songs in the studio for “many years.” Still, unbelievably enough, the 23-year-old actually has another major talent he considered pursuing professionally: playing soccer.

As explained by Cabra Futbol, Peso Pluma revealed in a podcast with Jesús ‘Canelo’ Angulo that his “dream” was to be a soccer player. He continued, “I always wanted to be a soccer player… I played in “básicas” for [Club Deportivo Guadalajara soccer club] Chivas.”

In fact, he says he ended up rising to musical fame because of “destiny,” but still remembers playing with soccer stars like JJ Macías. He also says he played right wing back in the days.

Today, Peso Pluma is a global sensation that is taking part in bringing regional Mexican sounds to the world stage, alongside other acts like Natanael Cano, Eslabón Armado, Grupo Frontera, and many more. In short, they’re letting everyone else know how awesome Banda music and corridos are — but we already knew that.

The Guadalajara-born singer has a tour lined up that will run from July to October 2023, visiting cities like Inglewood, Atlanta, and Hidalgo. The star continues to release stellar collaborations, such as his smooth track “Chanel” with Becky G (who famously invited him onto the Coachella stage) and “Por Las Noches” with Argentine singer-rapper Nicki Nicole.

Of course, there’s also his now-iconic collab with Natanael Cano titled “PRC,” and yes, the TikTok-viral “Ella Baila Sola” even our abuelitas know every word to: