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!’”

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The Long Awaited Trailer To JLo And Maluma’s ‘Marry Me’ Is Finally Here

Entertainment

The Long Awaited Trailer To JLo And Maluma’s ‘Marry Me’ Is Finally Here

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

One of the year’s biggest collaborations is starting to make more progress after being largely shut down thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. Of course, we’re talking about the upcoming highly-anticipated Jennifer Lopez film, Marry Me, which also stars Maluma in his acting debut.

Although we still have a while to wait before the movie makes its big screen debut (not until 2021), we’re finally getting our first look at what the duo will look like on screen along with other exciting details about the project.

Marry Me finally has an official trailer and JLo and Maluma fans couldn’t be more excited.

It seems like we’ve been hyped up for this film forever – and thanks to Coronavirus, we kinda have. But finally, Universal has released the teaser for Marry Me, and it reveals a few new details about the film and its cast. Along with J.Lo, the film stars Owen Wilson, Sarah Silverman, and Colombian singer Maluma in his major feature debut.

The film was originally announced last summer and production began in October 2019 but much of it was shut down once the Coronavirus struck. The film is directed by Kat Coiro (It’s Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaDead to Me) and features original music by Lopez and Maluma, which sounds too perfect to be legal, sorry.

To celebrate the cinematic milestone, López and Maluma have reported that they are recording a full-length soundtrack of original songs. Maluma Baby is hyped from the time he’s spent in the studio with J.Lo (who wouldn’t be?), telling a reporter last year, “It’s been such an amazing experience also working, doing music. I mean we never stop.”

So here’s everything we know about the film so far.

Credit: Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Based on the graphic novel by Bobby Crosby, the film is described as a “modern love story about celebrity, marriage and social media.” López plays musical sensation Kat Valdez, who agrees to live-stream her marriage with her fellow superstar Bastian (Maluma — fictional or not, this is officially the hottest couple on Planet Earth and we can’t unsee it) in order to boost the sales of their new single and duet, “Marry Me.”

When she finds out that Bastian has been cheating on her, however, she freaks out and decides to marry a stranger in the audience watching: divorced high-school math teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), who was dragged to the event by his daughter. The unexpected sequence of events leads the two down a path toward unexpected true love.

Even with a new movie coming out, both JLo and Maluma have been hard at work in the studio.

Just last month, Maluma surprise released his latest album – PAPI JUANCHO. It’s 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.

Meanwhile, JLo has teased new music in recent weeks. Jennifer Lopez posted a picture with producer Ryan Tedder over the weekend in which she promised that new music is “just around the corner.”

The snap, in which Lopez is sporting dark red lips and a messy up hairdo alongside the OneRepublic leader and veteran songwriter/producer — rocking a black Mad Tasty hat — doesn’t offer much more detail about what the duo are cooking up, but Lopez seems pretty psyched.

“Can u feeeeeel it… new music just around the corner!!” Lopez wrote.

It would be a welcome return for Lopez, who has only released a remix of “If You Had My Love” so far this year, as fans wait for her to announce a release date for her as-yet-untitled ninth studio album. Lopez’s last full-length was 2014’s A.K.A., which featured the singles “I Luh Ya Papi,” “First Love” and “Booty.”

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

Entertainment

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

Jason Koerner / Getty Images

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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