Entertainment

Maluma Breaks His Silence On The Latin Grammys Controversy And Spills The Tea On So Much More

The Latin Grammys came under fire in September when they snubbed Colombian singer Maluma and other reggaeton artists, while nominating non-Latinx musicians from Spain like Rosalia instead. Maluma, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, Natti Natasha, Nicky Jam released statements in defense of reggaeton, arguably one of the most popular genres in the world right now, on social media. 

Now the “11 PM” singer has finally spoken out about the controversy that rocked the industry. Maluma hasn’t been entirely excluded from the Latin Grammys, winning his first last year for Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album for F.A.M.E. He’s received 11 Latin Grammy nominations in his career. However, his most recent effort and fourth studio album 11:11 was snubbed entirely despite earning various nominations for other awards. 

Maluma breaks his silence on the Latin Grammys controversy. 

“To be honest, I don’t feel like I’m a part of the Academy. Like, I don’t know, they want me out,” Maluma told Entertainment Tonight. “The whole genre, reggaeton music, we change lives. We’re doing amazing things for the world, and I feel like they don’t see it.” 

Maluma isn’t wrong, in 2018, Rolling Stone claimed reggaeton is more popular than ever, but because of that, there’s industry-wide panic that the genre could take over and muscle out other markets like pop and rock. 

“Between 2016 and 2017, the number of Spanish-language entries on the Hot 100 jumped from a mere four to 19. So far this year, there have been at least 16 more charting singles,” the publication said. 

Maluma’s fears of an industry backlash against reggaeton just might be true.

If reggaeton reigns supreme than other genres will begin to disappear because they are no longer profitable for artists and labels. 

“Even Mexico — which used to be a pop and rock market for a long time — is turning into an urban market. When everything becomes a monoculture, it’s dangerous for the sake of artistry,” Juan Paz, a former major-label employee said. 

However, artists like Jesus Navarro, the lead singer of Mexican pop-rock trio Reik, said some musicians are just upset the former underdog is now reigning supreme. 

“Four or five years ago, pop music was still the ruling genre, it was the king, it had the radio stations and the magazines,” Navarro said. “Pop artists used to look down on reggaeton artists. And when they finally start to collaborate with those acts, some are still not very willing to immerse themselves in the sound and the nuances.”

One of the people Rolling Stone interviewed, even called out Maluma, who has had three consecutive number one albums on the Top Latin Albums chart and had the second-biggest streaming debut for a Latin album in 2019, by name. 

“Unfortunately at the end of the day, record labels’ jobs is not to expand culture,” adds Tomas Cookman, head of the Latin-music-focused indie label Nacional Records. “They’re out to make a buck. If Maluma’s big you’ll find other labels trying to sign their version of him.”

Maluma and other artists feel dissed by the Latin Recording Academy. 

“It’s kind of sad because we all appreciate and we all respect the Academy. When we see the nominations, it’s like, ‘What did I do wrong?’ Like, [it’s] so random and so weird and not being a part of it, you feel like you’re not part of the Latin Academy,” Maluma said. “That’s why we wanted to talk about it and see what’s going on with the Academy. I think it has to change.”

J. Balvin, a reggaeton superstar, who was the most-streamed artist on Spotify worldwide in 2018, said that reggaeton has been historically denigrated. 

“I know there’s a lot being said about reggaeton and the phrase ‘without reggaeton there is no Latin GRAMMYs,'” Balvin elaborated. 

“What we want to say is, they [the Latin Recording Academy] utilize our media power because we drive the masses. But, that doesn’t mean that because we have such a strong following that our music is the best, or the best produced, or the best written. But, there is a history that dates back many years, where our genre has been denigrated.”

Maluma is hopeful that the Latin Grammys and industry will change and grow to respect reggaeton. 

“I think it’s going to happen, actually, because we have to talk about it,” the 25-yea-old singer said. “It’s something happening inside the Academy, but I think next year, I hope we all will be there.”

As Hector Rubin Rivera, the senior director for A&R at Warner Latin, acknowledged, there was a time when salsa music was dismissed as “urban.” 

“Salsa music for Latinos was urban music back when [the famous salsa label] Fania started [in New York in 1964],” Rubin told Rolling Stone. “They were as rebellious and revolutionary as the reggaeton guys. Back then I’m sure everyone felt the same way — ‘Everybody’s paying attention to salsa, bro, but I’m trying to do ballads!’”

Maluma Spills The Tea On His Relationship With J Balvin, Starring In A Movie With J Lo And What His Future Holds

Entertainment

Maluma Spills The Tea On His Relationship With J Balvin, Starring In A Movie With J Lo And What His Future Holds

Especial

It’s safe to say that Colombian music artist Maluma has got this success thing covered. If we’re looking at his online following, the Latin pop star has over 47 million followers on Instagram and his YouTube channel has a combined total of 13 billion views. His ticket sales are another huge win. Maluma has been selling out arenas around the world for years. This includes New York’s famous Madison Square Garden where the star just played a sold-out show in October of 2019. If these marks of professional achievement weren’t enough, the Latin star also recently added the accolade of “Pop Sensation of the Year” to his resume after it was awarded to him by “GQ Magazine.”

In his interview with the respected publication, Maluma talked about his surprising global fan base, his upcoming move to the big screen and his determination to stay true to HIS kind of music.

In the interview by Julyssa Lopez (photographed by William Ukoh), Maluma’s beginnings in the music business were explored. While he first had ambitions to be a professional soccer player, the Colombian decided at 17 years-old to use his natural charisma to pursue music instead. Using the first two letters of his mother’s, father’s and sister’s names, he took on the stage name Maluma to honor his family and began performing at local quinces.  

He started off using lighter reggaeton beats and blended in hip-hop and Latin trap. During this time, other music professionals pressured Maluma into exploring genres and styles he wasn’t comfortable with. However, the pop star was very confident in who he was as an artist — even while he is exploring his own sound — so he didn’t give into this pressure. 

“I think people at the beginning were confused because they thought I was strictly a reggaeton artist,” Maluma explains in the “GQ” interview. “My genre is the genre I do—it’s salsa, it’s reggaeton, it’s hip hop, it’s R&B, my genre is the genre of Maluma.”  

Staying true to his own sound has been a smart strategy because it has helped the pop star reach fans in unexpected places around the world. 

During his “GQ” interview, he recalled a large group of fans waiting for him outside the Madison Square Garden performance back in October. According to the interview, this group of fans was memorable because they had flown to New York all the way from China — a country that Maluma didn’t even realize already had access to his music.

In the interview, Maluma explained that the Chinese fans shared news of his huge fan base in the People’s Republic. However, he had never visited the communist country so they had to make the trip all the way to the US in order to see him. In the interview, Maluma says he promised to make it a priority to visit China in the future to meet these new fans; showing just how far-reaching his popularity already is.

Maluma’s ability to blend his style with different artists has also allowed him to collaborate with some of the biggest names in music.

As the “GQ” interview points out, Maluma’s absurdly popular music has featured a number of musicians from Ricky Martin, Ty Dolla $ign and Madonna to Steve Aoki, Jason Derulo, and Shakira. However, his more widely talked about collab came about this past year and the attention surrounding it was mainly caused by a supposed rivalry. In September, Maluma and J Balvin released the song for “Qué Pena” and made harmless fun of each other in the accompanying music video. 

Still, according to the “GQ Magazine” interview, there is a perceived rivalry between the two. 

“I never felt anything bad toward him, but all the attention on the genre and people created this tension between us,” Maluma says of Balvin. “I said to him, ‘Yo, bro, come on, I used to listen to your music when I was 14 years old. I used to go to quinceañeras, if you were performing there. I used to see you performing, I was your fan, cabrón.”

While 2019 was an phenomenal year for Maluma, 2020 will only be better thanks to his big move to the big screen. 

For his first shot at the movies, the Pop Sensation of the Year was hand picked by a fellow Latinx superstar. According to his interview with “GQ Magazine,” JLo chose Maluma to star in the film, “Marry Me,” opposite the superstar. Due out next year, the movie features JLo as a jilted pop star who marries a random person (Maluma) after being stood up by her fiance. Of course, shenanigans ensue. We can’t wait to see the chemistry and humor this duo brings to the big screen.

15 Times Reggaeton Artists Served The Most Iconic Fashion Moments

Entertainment

15 Times Reggaeton Artists Served The Most Iconic Fashion Moments

Dsquared

Reggaeton has grown 1000% from 2009 to 2019. With the genre making waves all over the world, it is little wonder that high end brands such as Chanel, Balenciaga and more, are turning to Reggaetoneros to promote their clothes to a “new” market; Latinos. As the genre has started to grow and ripen, so too has the genre’s biggest exponents’ style. From Medellin to Paris, and Puerto Rico to New York Fashion Week, our fave urbano singers have served some iconic lewks, and we rounded up our favorites for you to gawk at.

1. Bad Bunny’s Latin Grammys 2019 Outfit

Wearing a diamond face mask, red glasses, and long red coat with silver butterfly accents, Bad Bunny put everyone on their feet with this never-before-heard version of “Callaita” at the 2019 Grammy Awards #iconique

2. J Balvin in Off-White for Blanco

Just this week, the Colombian powerhouse dropped his brand new track ‘Blanco’, and hinted at a new solo album after the success of ‘Oasis’, his collab with Bad Bunny. The video served all white looks in a minimalistic vibe, during the video he wore a luxe, minimal Off-White boiler suit and we can only wish we could afford it. Maybe a Home Depot version will do for us.

3. Ozuna in Fendi at the 2019 Billboard awards

He already made it clear in the song ‘Solita’, “Conmigo todo Gucci, todo Fendi,” unsurprisingly, he lives by his own words. The Puerto Rican wore a comfy Fendi fit to perform at this year’s Billboard Awards where he won 11 prizes and was nominated for 25 categories.

4. Karol G in Tusa —basically every look

The queen of reggaeton served candy floss-colored LOOKS in her video ‘Tusa’ and slayed with Nicky Minaj. Is there anything more iconic? #Diosa

5. Becky G for Paper Magazine

The Inglewood native is a true style icon. In this cover story for the legendary fashion, popular culture, nightlife, music, art and film magazine, PAPER, she wore a muted monochromatic look and we STAN.

6. Maluma at the 2019 MET Gala.

This year Maluma made history after becoming the first Colombiano to set foot on the MET Gala’s pink carpet. And the stylish reggaetonero was obviously not about to disappoint his loyal subjects with a bland outfit. He wore a beaded pink and silver suit designed by Moschino.

7. Basically every look from Maluma’s F.A.M.E tour.

The pretty boy from Medellin can wear everything from skinny-jeans-and-boots-Jagger to aggro neon post-streetwear and look flawless—but we’ve got to say it, the dapper, suited up look he sported for his F.A.M.E. tour, really suits him.

8. Natti Natasha ‘Queening’ in her collab with Forever 21.

Nothing like a powerful woman who knows her worth and owns it. Earlier this year, Natti teamed up with Forever 21 to work on a collection focused on female empowerment, the size inclusive capsule collection included slogan tees, hoodies, biker shorts, accessories, and more. The queen in a ‘queendom’ top is a next level slay.

9. Bad Bunny’s all white look

This look stirred the internet into a frenzy, fans wondered whether his coat was real fur or synthetic -and two years later, I guess we’ll never find out. What’s true is that the white-out look is going down in history as one of the reggaetonero’s most iconic choice of clothes.

10. That time J Balvin made Chanel, street cool.

There was a time when J Balvin was Chanel’s favorite bad boy. Before the passing of Chanel’s designer and creative director Karl Lagerfeld earlier this year, J Balvin was seen hanging out and attending shows with the fashion titan. This era was a much chicer and simple time for Balvin’s style and we can’t say we don’t miss it.

11.  Becky G ‘Lady in The White Dress’

I mean, the beat, the hair, the dress, the GLAM! This was a total slay, no more words needed.

12. J Balvin at The Louis Vuitton show in Paris.

J Balvin back at it with the Paris Fashion Week outfits. The urbano singer was invited to attend the famous streetwear designer, Virgil Abloh’s very first show as Louis Vuitton’s creative director and his look was a utilitarian-chic dream. Definitely one for the books.

13. Bad Bunny’s ‘Si estuviesemos juntos’ video look

As much as Bad Bunny loves an acid tie-dye, or a neon-hued streetwear look, it seems like he also has some love for the classic, dapper look. The look is classic, yet timely when worn by the chart-topping Conejo Malo.

14. Daddy Yankee in Dior for ‘Con Calma’ Remix

There’s nothing more luxurious than a custom Christian Dior silk shirt. The ‘Gasolina’ singer usually errs in favor of caution when he chooses his clothes (not so much when it comes to jewelry), but on this occasion he went all out with a pastel-hued,floral print shirt and it quite suits him.

15. Ozuna, Anuel, Daddy Yankee and Karol G in matching outfits at the Billboards.

The all star team dressed up in matching neon-green outfits to perform their track “China” at this year’s Billboard awards and they look like a fashionable Latino Power Ranger squad —a show we’d definitely watch.

16. All of Becky Gs MTV EMA looks

Becky shed her ‘good girl’ look in favor of showing off the chic woman she’s turned into. At this year’s MTV EMAs she wore an elegant suit complete with a pussy bow shirt, skin baring bodysuits and a couple of uber chic mini dresses. We’re loving this renewed fierceness.

17. Maluma’s ‘Courtside Formal’.

The Colombian singer took in a Knicks game from court-side seats dripping in 1977’s finest finery, all designed by Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. And he looked fabulous if I do say so myself.