Entertainment

Maluma Drops A Surprise Album Featuring His Alter Ego, Papi Juancho

Last week, so many of us were wondering what the actual f*** was going on with Maluma. The reggaetonero had appeared to delete his Instagram (where were we supposed to get our daily thirst traps?!) and there were rumors he had done so in haste after hearing that his ex-girlfriend was dating soccer superstar Neymar.

But it turns out that Maluma was simply building to a major climax – the surprise release of his fifth studio album, PAPI JUANCHO.

Maluma surprised his fans on Friday with a new album.

Maluma gave his fans a very happy Friday with the release of a new, surprise album – PAPI JUANCHO. The reggaetonero announced the new album in an Instagram Live at the stroke of midnight.

“This year has been, like, full of surprises, and they’ve not been that positive,” he said. “I wanted to give a good, very positive surprise.”

PAPI JUANCHO is Maluma’s fifth studio album and was produced alongside longtime collaborators Rude Boyz. Although the album features Maluma’s alter ego as the main star, it also includes several guest appearances from a number of reggaetón royals, including Justin Quiles, Lenny Tavarez, Myke Towers, and Jory Boy. PAPI JUANCHO was made during quarantine between the singer’s hometown of Medellín and Miami, his U.S. base.

The album arrives just nine days before Maluma is set to take the stage in New York for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, where’s been nominated for the best Latin video (“Que Pena” with J Balvin).

“I’ve been working like crazy making new music,” Maluma said of the 22-track set. “When quarantine started, I was in Europe, and then I had to postpone the whole tour, so I went back to Colombia … I started recording by myself again, the way I used to do it when I started my career. I was, like, connected with myself, remembering my roots because I was there in Medellín.”

The album features Maluma’s alter ego – Papi Juancho.

Papi Juancho, whose title riffs off Maluma’s nickname of “Juancho” (short for Juan Luis) is apparently also the singer’s alter ego. And he features this side of him quite heavily in several tracks.

Maluma — whose real name is Juan Luis Londoño Arias — got back in touch with “this little kid, this little dreamer” who started out in the reggaeton game 10 years ago, he told the New York Post. “I was feeling that energy again,” he said.

Just last week, Maluma had deleted his Instagram and fans were left with nothing but conspiracy theories.

Despite a week of politics, where the Democratic National Convention was meant to be center stage, Maluma became a trending topic on Twitter – before he even released his album. His Instagram, which has more than 50 million followers, had gone dark and fans were left wondering what was going on.

Speculations and rumors began circulating. Was it because his ex Natalia Barulich was dating footballer Neymar? Or because Neymar dissed Maluma by posting a video of his team singing his new single “Hawái” – a breakup song — on Instagram?

Turns out Maluma was simply gathering steam prior to the surprise release PAPI JUANCHO.

Despite quarantine, Maluma has been keeping himself busy.

While most of the world has been on lockdown thanks to Coronavirus, Maluma has been keeping himself busy. PAPI JUANCHO is Maluma’s third album in as many years, following 2019’s widely successful 11:11 and 2018’s F.A.M.E.

The album includes Maluma’s recent single “Hawái” and April’s “ADMV,” which he released with a video where he appeared as an old man. Last year, Maluma also joined Madonna on her Madame X track “Medellín.” He’s scheduled to perform as part of MTV’s remotely organized Video Music Awards on August 30.

“All I could do during lockdown in Medellin was work alone in my studio,” Maluma told Billboard in an exclusive interview. “That’s why this album has so much of my true essence; because I did so much of it alone.”

And Madonna isn’t the only superstar diva who’s been paying attention to Maluma: Jennifer Lopez reached out to him to make his movie debut in the upcoming romantic comedy “Marry Me.”

“I wanted to become an actor,” he said, “and then Jennifer Lopez called me and said that she wanted me to be part of this project.” Maluma shot his scenes in New York, including one during his sold-out Madison Square Garden concert last October. Lopez herself joined him onstage to sing “No Me Ames.”

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Maluma Lands Cover Of “Elle” And Talks About Why It’s So Hard To Make New Friends

Entertainment

Maluma Lands Cover Of “Elle” And Talks About Why It’s So Hard To Make New Friends

Jeff Kravitz/MTV VMAs 2020/Getty Images for MTV

It seems like Maluma has long gotten the short end of the stick. As J Balvin and Bad Bunny rocketed to international superstardom, Colombian pop star Maluma hasn’t quite enjoyed the same level of mainstream recognition that they have. I mean who can forget his snub at the 2019 Met Gala…that was just heartbreaking to watch.

Although he’s just landed the cover of Elle magazine (the first time it’s ever featured a man), many are still asking why a pop star as talented and gorgeous as Maluma hasn’t reached the same level of fame? Well, in his interview with Elle, we get a few answers to some of world’s most pressing questions for Maluma.

Maluma has become the first ever man on the cover of Elle magazine.

Colombia’s superstar reggaetonero landed the cover of Elle’s February 2021 issue, becoming the first man to ever achieve the honor – and he shared a lot about his life – from his music, his 2020 experiences and his friendship with Jennifer Lopez.

And Maluma himself also seemed excited about the cover. “IT’S MALUMA BABY!!!!! Thank u @elleusa for making me the first male on the cover of the magazine, this means a lottttt to me!” he wrote on social media alongside the cover photo, which features the global superstar rocking green hair.  

“Let’s keep dreaming and achieving,” he added. 

Although the Colombian singer-songwriter’s world tour was suspended last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Maluma’s popularity has continued to skyrocket. (He even dropped a collab with The Weeknd last fall.)

In the interview, he reflected on 2020 and how it’s impacted him and his career.

Credit: MICAIAH CARTER / Elle

“2020 has been a very difficult year for all of us, but I feel like this was my best year so far, musically, artistically, and personally,” Maluma told Elle, and he couldn’t be more right.

“I was talking the other day with my parents, and they were very happy because I’ve stayed a long time in Colombia, but they were also a little bit worried because they didn’t know what was going to happen with my work,” he continued, reflecting on the time he’s spent at home amid the pandemic. “My job is being on tour, but for me this has been very positive, being here in Colombia. I feel very connected again with myself.”

The singer also opened up about building connections with others, especially in the music industry.

“I don’t really like having new friends,” he said. “I try to make friends in the industry, but it is very hard. Sometimes I feel like they want to be my friends, but once I show them my back, they stab me.” 

“I prefer staying safe with my friends, where I always feel comfortable. When I didn’t have any money, they were there for me, inviting me to their house for lunch. They’re the ones who were laughing at me, and now they are enjoying my success,” he continued. “That’s life—just being grateful for everything that has happened.”

Though he didn’t name names, many were quick to speculate about who Maluma may be referring to.

While Maluma didn’t explicitly name anyone in the industry, Anuel AA appeared to diss him in Bryant Myers’ “Gang-Ga” remix in 2019. In the song, Anuel rapped, “Nunca flow Maluma / Siempre real G,” in which Anuel essentially meant he had a “real flow.”

The Puerto Rican artist added more fuel to the fire by writing on Instagram, “Flow Maluma = Pa las baby.” Around that time, Bad Bunny also tweeted Anuel’s verse.

Maluma later addressed the lyrics during an interview with Molusco, saying, “No me importa, la verdad. No me importa,” which translates to “I don’t care, in all honesty. I don’t care.” He joked for Anuel and Bad Bunny to call him, adding, “I don’t know why they did it. I’m still confused.”

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Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Photo via selenagomez/Instagram

Good news, Selenators! Word on the street is that Selena Gomez will soon be dropping her first-ever Spanish language album. The rumors started after Gomez dropped a surprising (and beautiful!) new Spanish-language single, “De Una Vez”.

Soon after the single dropped, rumors of a full Spanish-language studio album began to swirl when murals promoting “De Una Vez” and a yet-unreleased single “Baila Conmigo” popped up across, Mexico.

To make matters even better, Selena already dropped “De Una Vez”‘s music video.

The lush and imaginative video has been garnering praise for its inclusion of Latin American visuals and symbols. Gomez hired Tania Verduzco and Adrian Perez to direct her video–a husband and wife team who hail from Mexico and Spain, respectively and go by the moniker Los Pérez.

Of hiring Spanish speakers to direct her video, Gomez revealed to Vogue online that the decision was intentional. “If I was going to completely immerse myself into a project inspired by Latin culture, I wanted to work with native Spanish speaking creators,” she said.

And indeed, Verduzco and Perez tried to infuse as much Latin spirit into the video’s conception as possible.

“Magical realism has always been part of the Latin culture, whether it be in art or telenovelas,” Gomez told Vogue. “I wanted [to capture] that sense of a supernatural world.”

They accomplished this sense of magical realism by utilizing motifs from Mexican folk art, like Milagro, which is symbolized by the glowing heart that is beating within Gomez’s chest throughout the video.

“We wanted to play with powerful language and images. We designed the heart—we call it the Milagro in Mexican culture—and its light to be a metaphor for the healing throughout the story,” Verduzco told Vogue.

Selena Gomez fans are especially excited about this project because Gomez has long hinted at her desire to release a Spanish-language album.

Back in 2011, Gomez tweeted about her plans to eventually record an entire album in Spanish. “Can’t wait for y’all to hear the Spanish record;) it’s sounding so cool,” she wrote.

She retweeted the sentiment on Thursday with the comment: “I think it will be worth the wait”–which many fans took as confirmation that a full studio album is on its way.

It’s worth noting that Gomez has already dipped her toe into the Latin music scene with 2010’s “Un Año Sin Lluvia” and 2018’s DJ Snake, Ozuna and Cardi B collab, “Taki Taki”.

As for the difficulty of recording songs in a second language, Gomez said that it was a practice that came naturally.

“I actually think I sing better in Spanish. That was something I discovered,” she said in an interview for Apple Music. “It was a lot of work, and look, you cannot mispronounce anything. It is something that needed to be precise, and needed to be respected by the audience I’m going to release this for.”

She continued: “Of course I want everyone to enjoy the music, but I am targeting my fan base. I’m targeting my heritage, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

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