Entertainment

JuanGa’s ‘El Noa Noa’ Just Got A Modern Trancey Twist In A Remake From Georgel & Esteman And I Don’t Hate It

While it’s been three years since the iconic Mexican singer Juan Gabriel’s alleged death, JuanGa’s legacy is still alive. Every time a sequin is handsewn onto a garment, Juanga gets another pair of golden angel wings. He doesn’t need anymore, guys! To usher in a new generation of Juanga stans, Mexican singer Georgel, and Colombian singer Esteman have put a modern twist on the 1980’s classic “El Noa Noa.” 

While Juan Gabriel’s sexual orientation was subject to speculation during and after his life, it goes without saying that his flamboyant style with his bold sequins and whimsical touches found a comfortable home in the LGBTQ+ canon. His persona evoked a sense of liberation that was inaccessible to queer Latinxs at the time. What makes this version of “El Noa Noa” different, and what marks a clear evolution of LGBTQ+ folks in the Latinx community, is that both Georgel and Esteman are out and proud. 

This song is personal for Georgel.

Georgel and Esteman teamed up with producer Juan Pablo Vega to create a unique and fresh cover of “El Noa Noa.” The music video premiered this week on Billboard. 

“I grew up thinking of Juan Gabriel as the greatest artist in Latin America,” Georgel told Remezcla. He and his husband, Guillermo Rosas were friends with Juan Gabriel who they remember by his real name, Alberto. Georgel believes the ’80s bop was Juanga’s way of giving the public a tiny taste of who he really was. 

“‘El Noa Noa’ was an international hit during the ’80s and a social phenomenon for the LGBTQ+ community,” he said. “It gave strength to the phrase, ‘ser de ambiente’ (being part of the LGBTQ+ community) and in my opinion, it was a window into the world where [Juan Gabriel] always wanted to live.”

To revamp the legendary hit would be a huge undertaking. Georgel enlisted the help of another gay Latinx artist, Colombian singer and songwriter Esteman to give “El Noa Noa” a modern electro-cumbia update. 

“There was immediate chemistry, artistically speaking,” Esteman told Billboard. “He told me he wanted to do the song with me, and I thought it was a great idea to bring this classic song to our generation.”  

“El Noa Noa” was ahead of its time.

Georgel and Esteman decided to go with a retro-futuristic music video which is no surprise since “El Noa Noa” was way ahead of its time. The song envisioned a world where patrons of a Juarez nightclub could dance and be themselves freely. 

“In my opinion, it’s the most fun, it’s the most uptempo, it’s the one that our Mexican and Latin culture remembers as a party song,” Georgel told Billboard. 

Whether intentionally or not, it’s hard not to imagine a place not too different from an LGBTQ+ nightclub with ball competitions or the sexual freedom kept safely hidden between the walls of the infamous New York City nightclub Studio 54 in the 1970s. 

Out of this world.

In the video, Georgel and Esteman ride around in a sportscar wearing sequined bomber jackets. After getting stranded on the highway they discover a glowing red door that transports them to a Juarez club with drag queens, astronauts, galaxies, and choreographed dance. Complete with voguing and aliens, the new “El Noa Noa” brings the surreal feeling of the song to life by showing viewers a different world, one that might even be better than this one. 

“It looks like we’re on another planet but basically, it’s to show that when you go to ‘El Noa Noa,’ everyone is different,” Esteman told Billboard. “The best part is the message it sends of accepting each other in this diverse world, where everyone is welcomed and where we have freedom of speech.” 

New generation. New freedoms.

While “El Noa Noa” may have been an unspoken LGBTQ+ anthem in the 1980s, in 2019, what was unsaid can now be spoken. Georgel and Esteman couldn’t be better messengers to continue Juanga’s legacy of freedom, liberation and being as extra as you can be. 

In the world that they have created, even if it only exists in a 4 minute music video, everyone finally gets to be themselves in a way that many people of Juanga’s time could not. Even if it still just a fantasy (because hello, there are 71 countries where it is illegal to be an LGBTQ+ person) there was a time when even suggesting the fantasy could have dangerous consequences. “El Noa Noa,” now. “El Noa Noa,” forever. 

“What’s beautiful about bringing it back in this day and age is that we are showing it to a new generation, reviving it and making it alive again with two voices that are part of the LGBT community,” Georgel said. 

This Year Marks The End Of A Decade: Here Are The Most Viewed Latin Music Videos Of The 2010s

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This Year Marks The End Of A Decade: Here Are The Most Viewed Latin Music Videos Of The 2010s

JBalvin / Instagram

It’s November 2019, which means we’re only a few weeks away from the 21st century’s second decade’s official close. To commemorate that we’re something like 99% of the way through the ‘10s, we wanted to look back at the biggest happenings in music over the decade that we’re about to bid goodbye to. 

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and re-visit the 2010s most played music videos.

As we head into the roaring 2020s, we look back at the decade’s top Latin music videos worldwide according to VEVO. Take a trip down memory lane with us and let’s relive all the memories attached to the hits that we couldn’t stop bumping from 2010 to 2019. 

1. Despacito – Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee

It’s not really surprising that this 2017 hit by Boricua powerhouses Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee landed on top of the list. The song was played on every radio station, it was listed in every top-ten chart, every single bar played it. The song single-handedly introduced the word ‘despacito’ to the whole world. Justin Bieber’s English version boosted the song’s crossover success there’s no denying that, but it was the single’s rythm and Fonsi’s voice that captivated listeners worldwide. 

2. Bailando – Enrique Iglesias feat. Descender Bueno, Gente de Zona

The summer of 2014 was defined by this song. And its video, became the first Spanish-language video to hit a billion views. With its flamenco undertones and Spanish guitar, the collaboration with Cuban rappers Gente de Zona and Descender Bueno added a unique flair and rythm to the song. ‘Bailando’ was later recorded in Spanglish with Sean Paul, and in Portuñol with Luan Santana. 

Shot in the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo, the video combines Spanish flamenco dancers with its traditional-inspired dresses and handclaps with a modern and laid-back fiesta on the streets. 

3. Mi Gente – J Balvin and Willy William

The collaboration between the Colombian reggaetón titan J Balvin and French DJ, producer and singer Willy William became an instant hit worldwide. If you didn’t hear this song played on a night out in 2017, it’s because you weren’t going out. The song was later remixed with Beyoncé for an even more successful release. 

4. Chantaje – Shakira feat. Maluma

The queen of belly dance did it again in 2016. When perhaps two of Colombia’s most famous musicians collaborated on this club-ready bop, the result was an international hit. The video sees Shakira show off her signature sensuous moves, luring the Medellín ‘pretty boy’ from a bodega and into a bar. 

5. Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) – Shakira

The reworking of Cameroonian band Golden Sound’s 1986 hit “Zangaléwa” by the Colombian pop queen and South African Afro-Fusion group Freshlyground, served as the official soundtrack of 2010’s World Cup in South Africa. The video saw cameos from fútbol idols like Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi and Gerard Piqué —who would later on become the singer’s husband. The song —and the video— were recorded in mutliple languages and was the first ever music video released in 3D.

6. Échame La Culpa – Luis Fonsi feat. Demi Lovato

The 2010s were definitely a great time for the Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi. In November 2017, he was back at it again with another banger alongside pop star Demi Lovato. In the video the duo dance all night in what appears to be an abandoned warehouse party. The clip hit 17 million views on its first day out.

7. Mayores – Becky G feat. Bad Bunny

The chart-topping club hit ‘Mayores’ established Becky G’s status from “emerging” to pop-star. The song started as a joke about her relationship with Sebastian Lletget —a fútbol player 4 years older than the singer. Assisted by the king of Latin trap himself, the song was bound to become a hit. The video sees Becky G going home with an older man before tying him to the bed and scamming him, just to hop on Benito’s luxury car to escape into the night. 

8. Ay Vamos – J Balvin 

This song quickly became a reggaeton classic. The catchy line “peleamos, nos arreglamos, nos mantenemos en esa pero nos amamos,” resonated with just a few of us millennials and our complicated relationships. The video itself showed Balvin and his love interest in a torrid love-hate relationship and we bear witnesses to the couple’s pranks, fights and romantic moments. 

9. Calma – Pedro Capó, Farruko

“Vamos pa’ la playa, pa’ curarte el alma…” became everyone’s motto over the summer. The pop ballad is a slow, rythmic song, that invokes a Caribbean romance on the beach. Iconic rapper Daddy Yankee was a part of the remix which was released in October of last year. The video sees both singers biking, drinking, partying and just all in all having a great time on the beach —making all of us, city rats, jealous af. 

10. Vente Pa’ Ca – Ricky Martin feat. Maluma

Shot in Miami’s iconic South Beach, the track’s video showed the famous duo take a selfie before heading to a summer pool party. The party-worthy song topped every chart in Latin America in 2016. Ricky’s voice assisted by Maluma’s flairmade the song a pop hit which was played on every radio station all year round.

These Latino One Hit Wonders Came And Went But They’ll Always Have A Special Place In My Heart

Entertainment

These Latino One Hit Wonders Came And Went But They’ll Always Have A Special Place In My Heart

YOUTUBE

A lot of singers and bands have had one ephimeral hit. They had a song that occupied a top post on the charts and then slipped away into anonymity.

Growing up in the 90s and early 00s, hits like la “Macarena” from Spanish duet Los del Río, were huge. You heard it everywhere, from the radio to commercials, to kids’ birthday parties, to FIFA’s Worldcup. The song still holds a top position in Billboard’s Hot 100. Or how about early 00s inescapable hit “Aserejé”? The catchy moves were almost as viral as the nonsensical words.

What makes a song a one hit wonder?, you might ask. Catchy words and a catchy rhythm! The words are easy to remember and repetitive. This little formula is what gets us hooked on a song. Usually the lyrics are pretty simple – except for Aserejé, we really wouldn’t be able to explain how, or why we still remember every piece of gibberish in the song but alas! We do. 

The 90s and early 00s definitely had some iconic ‘one hit wonders’ that marked many generations. The people on this list made it to the top for a moment in time only to disappear into obscurity soon after. 

1. Macarena – Los del Río

Yeah, yeah, they’re not Latino but we’re including them because if you’re hispanic and were around in the 90s, you would know that La Macarena became a staple at EVERY latino gathering, and it will continue to be until the end of time. I dare you to go to a quinceañera or a wedding where they don’t play la Macarena at least once. 

2. Aserejé – Las Ketchup

Ok, not Latinas either, soz. But did you know that the Spanish girl band Las Ketchup recorded ‘Aserejé’ in 5 different languages, including Chinese? That’s how big this song was. It was rumoured that the song was satanic and there were so many theories as to whether the lyrics were backward words to some black magic ritual. In reality, the author Manuel Ruiz “Queco” revealed that the words are actually a play on the lyrics to “Rapper’s Delight” by Sugar Hill Band. You know, the one that says “I said a hip hop, Hippie to the hippie…”. —Lol, no obscure dark meaning here, not today Satan.

3. La Bomba – Azul Azul

This song truly was the bomb. By Chilean group Azul Azul, ‘La Bomba’ was top of the charts 19 years ago now! The song made it into Billboard’s top 100 latin-american songs of the decade 1990-2000. The lyrics were catchy and the dance moves too! What else do you need to make a hit?

4. El Tiburón – Proyecto Uno

Just by reading the name of the song we can picture the silly “shark” dance everyone makes to the words, ‘Ahí está, se la llevó el tiburón…’. Truly, baby shark has nothing on this tune. Dominican-American group Proyecto Uno became a hit with their unique blend of merengue with techno, dancehall, reggae and hip-hop rap—all of this pre reggaeton. The group won  Billboard Latin Awards, Premios Lo Nuestro and even an Emmy with this song. 

5. Otro día más sin verte – Jon Secada

27 years ago, ‘Just Another Day’ was the top balad of the moment. The song quickly made it to #5 in Billboard’s Hot 100. 3 months lates Jon Secada released it in Spanish, and all hell broke loose. The singer recorded a special with Oprah, toured Europe and his CD reached the Top 10 Best-Selling albums in the 90s.

6. 1, 2, 3 –  El Símbolo

What did we tell you? Catchy lyrics, and catchy dance moves. That’s all Latinos need to make a song their party favorite. El Símbolo was an Argentinean band of latin-pop formed in 1993. But it wasn’t until the year 2000 when they released “1, 2, 3” that their fame rose to world-class levels. 

7. El Baile del Gorila -Melody

“Las manos hacia arriba, las manos hacia abajo y como los gorilas…”. What can I say? The 90s were a time of strange songs. This little Spanish girl was 10 years old when she suddenly became a worldwide sensation. In every party, people would rush to the dance floor to imitate the video’s ape-inspired dance moves. After this song went platinum in Spain, we never saw Melody again until 2018, when she released a reggaetón single. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.

8. Quítame a ese Hombre del Corazón – Pilar Montenegro

Better known for being part of the 80s group Garibaldi, Pilar Montenegro became a musical sensation as a solo artist with her love song ‘Quítame a ese hombre’ in 2001. The singer, who was also a telenovela star vanished from the public eye after the success from her song died out.

9. No Rompas Mi Corazón – Caballo Dorado

Another classic latino wedding song is “No rompas mi corazón”, the Spanish equivalent to “Achy Breaky Heart”. The original song by Billy Ray Cyrus was recorded in 1992 and was a huge success in America. Caballo Dorado’s version released in 1997 became a staple in every latino celebration. You’ll catch people dancing to it in weddings, graduations and quinceañeras. There is even a World Guinness record to the largest number of people dancing in one place, and it’s to this song. It’s rumored that Caballo Dorado and Billy Ray Cyrus will release an anniversary duet version of the song.

10. Cha Cha by Chelo

Remember this hit from way back in 2006? ‘Hey muchacha, give me your Cha Cha‘. The Boricua took his song to every party, and even performed during 2006’s Miss Universe pageant. But that was about it, we never heard from Chelo again.

One or more of these songs are sure to spark some memories of a different time. They have become ingrained in people’s minds, they’re party staples. You’ll listen to them at a quinceañera, or a wedding and they still have the power of uniting people of different ages in singing their —more often than not— stupid but catchy lyrics. And then they’ll leave you wondering, ‘What ever happened to that singer?’