It has been almost a week since Super Bowl LIV. Everyone was talking about the J.Lo and Shakira halftime show and the unapologetic Latin performance. Shakira’s appearance was arguably the most successful. Her single “Whenever, Wherever” reached the No. 1 spot on the charts and she created a viral TikTok dance challenge called #ChampetaChallenge.
It all started when Shakira posted a video teaching the choreography of her Super Bowl halftime show.
Champeta is a form of music and dance that originates from the Caribbean coastal region of Colombia. It is traced back to people of African descent who lived in Cartagena before spreading in influence to Barranquilla.
Then, Shakira posted a behind-the-scenes video of her staff learning her halftime show dance.
Everyone looks like they are having so much fun learning this dance that it makes you want to give it a shot. Her video is captioned, “Directors, producers, cameramen,… all of them learning to dance Champeta. #ChampetaChallenge.” Smart.
With that behind-the-scenes video, the #ChampetaChallenge was born and soon found a home on TikTok.
Maluma is teaming up with the biggest star in the solar system for his new single “Rumba (Puro Oro Anthem).” As part of an Earth Day campaign with Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, the Colombian superstar joined forces with the sun. He’s also coming on a decade in the music industry. In an exclusive interview with Latido Music, Maluma talked about the inspiration behind “Rumba” and the hottest collaborations of his career.
“Rumba” is part of Maluma’s campaign with Michelob.
“Collaborating with the sun was great,” Maluma tells mitú. “Maybe I’m the only artist in the world who has the opportunity. It’s a big thing for me. I enjoyed the process. I also enjoyed working with Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold. They love the same things that I love like helping the world. I feel grateful.”
Maluma recorded “Rumba (Puro Oro Anthem)” for Michelob to celebrate the beer brand’s ULTRA Pure Gold lager that’s brewed with 100 percent renewable electricity from the sun. The warm reggaeton track was recorded featuring sounds from the actual sun. Maluma wrote it with Keityn and Edgar Berrera, who also composed “Hawái” with him.
“These two guys are geniuses,” Maluma says. “When we work together we’re a dream team. When this campaign came to the table, I told them that I needed a big song. I recorded it in Turks and Caicos around three weeks ago. The song came out great. I love it.”
This year Maluma will be celebrating 10 years in the music industry.
This year, Maluma will be celebrating a decade in the industry since the release of his debut single “Farandulera.” After dropping his breakthrough album Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy in Oct. 2015, Maluma is one of the artists that helped globalize Latin music. He’s happy to be a part of the movement, but he also recognizes the stars that came before him.
“It’s not like we started this year or last year,” Maluma says. “This has been work that started with Ricky Martin’s ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ and Shakira like 15 or 20 years ago. I feel like I’m part of it. I feel proud of it. I feel like we still need to do more things, more big things.”
Next up, Maluma’s fans can see him on tour this fall.
As for what’s next, the “Rumba” music video will be released on Earth Day, April 22. Maluma is also hitting the road this fall for his Papi Juancho Tour in the U.S. The tour kicks off in September and runs through late October.
“Coming back to the stage is something that I really need,” Maluma says. “I miss being with my fans. I miss hugging them. I miss going on tour. I miss the whole lifestyle. I can’t wait to see you guys on tour and sing of course for the first time all my new songs that I released this year.”
Since Maluma is also celebrating 10 years in the industry, we had him break down some of the biggest collaborations in his career.
Maluma will make his big-screen debut in Marry Me with Jennifer Lopez in Feb. 2022. The movie was pushed back to that date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two singers also collaborated on songs for Marry Me like “Pa’ Ti” and “Lonely.”
“I always wanted to work on a big project,” Maluma says. “In a big movie. I had a couple of opportunities to work on other things, but I said ‘no’ because I was waiting for this big moment. Thanks to Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson and the whole team to make me part of the movie. I have a lot of beautiful moments. She’s great. She’s such a master for me. She taught me many things when we were working together. I would say from the beginning to the end, the whole experience was great.”
Maluma teamed up with Canadian superstar The Weeknd for a Spanglish remix of “Hawái.” They pushed the song to No. 12 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart. Maluma helped The Weeknd with his Spanish in the remix.
“At the beginning, the first vocals he recorded, I had to tell him to change a little bit,” Maluma says. “The ‘Instagram’ part because he was saying it in the wrong way, like pretty bad Spanish. I sent him the vocals, like the way he had to say it, and then he changed it. He’s great. He’s super talented.”
For his latest album 7 Días En Jamaica (#7DJ), Maluma teamed up with Jamaican star Ziggy Marley for the song “Tonika.” He performed the song for the first time with Bob Marley’s son at the Latin American Music Awards last week.
“That was great working with Ziggy,” Maluma says. “He’s one of my favorite artists too. I always wanted to work with him because I’m a huge fan of Bob Marley. It’s one of the best things I could’ve done in the album. He put the Marley DNA in my project and that was great.”
Maluma and Colombian icon Shakira have teamed up on a number of collaborations, including the hit singles “Chantaje” and “Clandestino.” They also worked together on “Trap,” another cut from Shakira’s El Dorado album.
“I love working with Shakira, but I have to be honest, it’s not easy because she loves everything to be on-point,” Maluma says. “She’s super strict with everything that she does. I would love to work with her again. She’s a master for me too. She’s one of the first big stars that helped me and wanted to work with me. I’m forever grateful to her for giving me the chance to work with such a big artist.”
The gender disparity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) jobs remains wide in Colombia. As of 2019, Colombian women hold 32.9 percent of all STEM jobs in the country.
Nicole Chapaval, the VP of education at Platzi, wants to get more women into STEM. As someone who found herself in tech, Chapaval understands what it takes for women to break into the industry.
Chapaval’s own passion for computer science started in her youth. Despite wanting her parents’ reservations about her career choice, she went to school to study software engineering.
“I learned how to code with Platzi. I was a student back in 2012 before I worked here,” she told mitú.
Platzi is a professional learning app targeting people ages 22 and older.
Instructors for the app are teaching livestream courses on programming, marketing, design, and business. The classes are available in English and Spanish.
Chapaval took an interest in content optimization practicing her coding on a personal blog while taking online courses. Starting out as a student advocate, the two founders of Platzi noticed her dedication and started to involve her more in the team.
As Platzi expanded, so did Chapaval’s job description.
Chapaval has been successful in her career. Yet, despite the success, she has seen the gender disparity firsthand. It has only further inspired Chavapal to work to get more women in their tech careers.
“One of my first jobs was in a company that was doing mobile applications and in this company there were 15 male developers and myself,” she says.
Wanting to engage with her male colleagues, Chapaval admitted to feeling weird when her enthusiasm was not reciprocated.
“I was always very extroverted and wanted to meet everyone [but] they didn’t want to talk with me,” she says.
Chapaval teaches 60 percent of computer sciences courses hoping to attract more women to the field.
“I think that representation is very important. So I try to be very vocal and very present with everything that we do in social media and in content creation,” she says.
Whether it be attending company livestreams or podcasts, it is imperative for Chapaval to have women witness others in the field to show the possibilities they can achieve.
Prideful, she also amplifies the achievements of other Latinas in STEM, like that of Diana Trujillo. Yet, she still expresses a need for more women to get managerial roles.
“I am very proud of Trujillo,” she says. “She’s from my hometown and she was in the NASA project that launched the Perseverance Rover. These kinds of things are great!”
Thirty-six percent of Platzi‘s more than 1 millionstudents are women and it is growing.
“That’s very low,” she says, “but we doubled that percentage from 2018 so we still have a long way to go.”
A key step needed to attract more students is accessibility, both financially and in content. Platzi, Chapaval mentions, offers free programming courses that aim to be accessible to those with low internet connection in all parts of Colombia and Latin America.
“It’s not just about what you are learning as an individual, but also as a team or a group,” she says. “That also adds to the working ecosystem of Latin America.”
Regardless of gender, age, or background, Chapaval believes “education is very important if we want to break these blockers.”
In fact, two crucial skills she believes everyone should know is programming and English. “I like to say that both skills have to do with communications; communication with machines and with other people in the world,” she says.
In a time when remote jobs are pertinent due to the pandemic, having communication skills is a valuable asset for STEM careers in any country.
“Programming should be a basic skill that schools teach as well because it’s not only [beneficial] to be a developer,” Chapaval says. “It helps you understand how to solve problems in a logical way.”
Chapaval is grateful for her personal growth in STEM and hopes that Platzi can help others grow.
“I hope [students] can create what they dream of with the coding skills that they can get with us and can show it to the world,” she says.
“Latin America is a lovely region and a lot is happening here,” she says. “I hope that if this community can get to know each other and create the next big companies and big solutions for problems that we have right now, I would [be] fulfilled.”
As the gender disparity in STEM slowly expands, Chapaval continues to vouch for women to speak up and push through in the field.
Proudly Chapaval says, “Latinas are very extroverted, and the tech and software engineering world needs more extroverted people [like us] to add to their ecosystem.”
The App Store featured Platzi for Women’s History Month.