Entertainment

Santiago, Chile Is The World Capital Of Dembow: According To Spotify, No Other City Listens To As Much Reggaeton As This One

According to Spotify, Santiago, Chile is the world capital of reggaeton. Panamá and Puerto Rico may have been the birthplaces of the genre, and Colombia it’s biggest producer, but Chile’s capital city, Santiago, is the indisputable capital of the genre right now, with over 400 million plays per month. 

Every single song in J Balvin and Bad Bunny’s collab album ‘OASIS’ made it into Chile’s Top 50.

credit Instagram @jbalvin

This year’s biggest reggaetón collaboration saw two icons of the genre, Bad Bunny and J Balvin, drop OASIS, an eight-track album which was pretty much the soundtrack to the summer of 2019. Every single song from the album dubbed “la joya del género urbano” by many critics, made it into Chile’s Top 50 on the very first day of being released (!!!). Surprising no one here, given that both J Balvin and Bad Bunny are trailblazing icons of the Latino genre and some might even argue that their influence in mainstream fashion and culture is reaching ‘icon’ status as well. “What we are seeing with reggaetón in Chile is a great testimony to the absolute powerhouse that is Latin America when it comes to building and delivering audiences for Latin artists,” said Mia Nygren, Managing Director for Spotify in Latin America.

With over 400 million plays per month, Santiago, Chile is the biggest reggaetón listener in the world.

credit Twitter @spotifynews

Twice as many reggaeton songs are played in Santiago as they are in the second biggest reggaetón loving city: Mexico City — which has nearly double the size of its Chilean counterpart. To put that into perspective, Santiago, Chile is responsible for 10% of all reggaetón streams in the world. In this city, the average reggaetón listener will play 126 songs a month, which is more than double the average amount of songs listened to by fans in orther cities where the genre is also popular. The artists who are getting the most streams in Santiago are worthy of a reggaetón hall of fame: Bad Bunny, Anuel AA, J Balvin, Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, Nicky Jam, Karol G, Don Omar. The giants of the genre are joined by newer artists such as Sech, Lunay, Myke Towers, Rauw Alejandro, Jhay Cortez, Tainy, Zion y Lennox and Dalex.

The city has been home to hardcore reggaetón fans since the genre’s early days. 

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Reggaetón was born in the late 90s and early 2000s. What’s now referred to as “old school reggaetón,” emerged as an iteration of reggae, dancehall and hip-hop but with Afro-Latinx roots. Santiago has been home to some of the genre’s most loyal fans since the old days. In the early days of reggaetón or, ‘reggae en español’ as it was called for a while, a specific subculture of Chilean youths emerged. The genre was most popular amongst working, middle class teenagers known as Pokémones.

Pokémones are the original Reggaetón fans, their loyalty to the reggae-inspired beat goes back to the early days of the genre.

Credit Instagram @yotambienfuipokemon

Self-proclaimed ‘Pokémomes’ called themselves that for the way they wore their hair. Long and spiky and swept to the side like a character of the anime series. Pokémones had idiosyncratic music choices that were complemented with a particular aesthetic and unique style. In Santiago, reggaetón-loving teenagers would come together in parties of around 4,000 people to listen to their preferred music. Back in the day, pokemones would dance to the dembow of Jowell & Randy, Wisin & Yandel and Acrangel, the original OGs.

Only last year, Mexico City held the top spot as the “world’s music-streaming Mecca”.

Credit Twitter @cheriehu42

Before Santiago was crowned ‘the world capital of reggaetón’,  Mexico city held Spotify’s “largest listener base worldwide”. According to the streaming service, in 2018, a lot of major artists owed their high figures to Chilangos and their love of streaming music. Adele for example had nearly 5 hundred thousand listeners in Mexico City, making it her top city even ahead of London (which only recorded 323 thousand listeners). Another surprising artist to have Mexico City as his top for Spotify listeners was Ed Sheeran with nearly 9 hundred thousand listeners.

Chilean Opera Singer’s Song Touches Hearts Amidst Country State Of Emergency

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Chilean Opera Singer’s Song Touches Hearts Amidst Country State Of Emergency

Frustration over the now-suspended price hike on subway tickets in the Chilean city of Santiago erupted into widespread fury over three weeks ago. Unrest broke out in the country as anger over Chile’s economic inequalities.  Despite its status as one of the most prosperous and stable countries in Latin America, many Chilean citizens have experienced the weight of quickly rising living costs, skyrocketing debt and corruption. Now, violent protests which have resulted in the deaths of over 20 people, have upended Chile putting it in a state of pause as military personal have descended on the streets and the Chilean government has enacted a curfew.  

In a peaceful show of protest, Chilean opera singer Ayleen Jovita Romero, a soprano, performed a heartrending rendition of “El Derecho de Vivir en Paz,” or “The Right to Live in Peace.” In recent decades the song, first released in 1971, has become the country’s national song of protest.

A viral video of Romero has been making the rounds this week after her October 21 performance was shared online.

The video shows Romero putting on a performance of the song on a balcony during the government-imposed curfew which was started after days of clashes amongst protestors and police in Santiago. Since the video’s posting online, it has been viewed over millions of times across the globe and has drawn attention to Chile’s economy-related clashes.

For the past three weeks, Chile has experienced mass protests across the country and specifically in its capital city. 

Spurned by the country’s rising costs of living, the violent protests have resulted in at least 20 deaths and approximately $300 million in damages. On October 18, the government made the decision to declare that it was in a state of emergency and imposed a curfew on Santiago and nearby areas. As of now, the curfew still remains and citizens are required to be inside of their residences from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m.

Speaking about her now-viral performance, Romero shared with Instagram users her reasons for sharing her son.

“We are demonstrating in a peaceful manner during this curfew, all of the neighbors here are supporting the cause, singing and playing their beautiful instrument,” she wrote in a post to her Instagram page. “I invite other artists to do the same in their homes, the people appreciate it and it does them well ❤️ It’s necessary.”

Romer’s performance received a positive and support reaction from the city and those who were lucky enough to witness her sing the song. 

In a video captured by Ernesto Pinto and shared by the Facebook group El Canto Nuevo de Chile, Romero can be seen singing the song as onlookers watch quietly before breaking out into applause. Pinto’s clip was shared to Pinto’s clip was shared to Twitter by a user on Wednesday and has since been viewed over 4 million times.

“El Derecho de Vivir en Paz” has a significant history for the Chilean people. 

The song, which was first recorded and released by beloved folk singer and political activist Víctor Jara was released in 1971. It was originally written in protest of the Vietnam War and was dedicated to the Vietnamese communist leader Ho Chi Minh. The song took on a new and significant meaning in 1973 when the Pinochet regiment took power of Chile and Victor Jara was publicly tortured in front of prisoners for his support of President Salvador Allende. 

Speaking to CNN about her performance, Romero said that she felt that “It was very sad to see how the streets were getting empty. It made me feel helpless, and the first thing I did was to put on the song, ‘El derecho de vivir en paz,’ of Victor Jara. She went onto say that she” came out on the balcony to sing for the people. Never thinking this would go viral. It was beautiful, as people were silent during the song.”

When she was done and listeners broke out into cheers, the song began again with more musicians and singers joining in. “More musician neighbors joined, each one with his part — a violinist, an accordionist, and another singer made all the neighbors sing,” the opera singer told CNN. “It was beautiful and emotional.”

Speaking to CNN about her performance, Romero said that she felt that “It was very sad to see how the streets were getting empty. It made me feel helpless, and the first thing I did was to put on the song, ‘El derecho de vivir en paz,’ of Victor Jara. She went onto say that she” came out on the balcony to sing for the people. Never thinking this would go viral. It was beautiful, as people were silent during the song.”

When she was done and listeners broke out into cheers, the song began again with more musicians and singers joining in. “More musician neighbors joined, each one with his part — a violinist, an accordionist and another singer made all the neighbors sing,” the opera singer told CNN. “It was beautiful and emotional.”

From Latin Trap ‘Rude Boy’ To Harvard Speaker: Bad Bunny Was Invited To Give A Talk To Harvard Students

Entertainment

From Latin Trap ‘Rude Boy’ To Harvard Speaker: Bad Bunny Was Invited To Give A Talk To Harvard Students

This year has seen Bad Bunny jetsetting from country to country on his long-awaited European tour. Last week, however, the king of Latin trap made a special visit that wasn’t included in his tour itinerary. Bad Bunny was invited to Harvard University to share his insights and career advice with a few lucky students, aspiring musicians and creatives.

credit Instagram @badbunnypr

Bad Bunny attended Harvard University last week —but not as a student or to film a new music video, the rapper was invited to give a talk on music and activism.

credit Instagram @badbunnypr

The Puerto Rican artist offered a talk at Harvard University last week, in which he discussed the way he wants to open up space for activism and protest within his music and his presentations. Benito Martinez —the rapper’s real name— also talked extensively on inclusion, which has been a strong element in music videos. He touched upon his gender-flexible art, which has positioned him as somewhat of a queer icon, and his wish to create socially inclusive spaces. 

The talk was hosted by ‘No Label’ a platform that has become an essential key in the music industry to provide space that allows artists to be themselves.

credit Instagram @badbunnypr

The talk that El Conejo Malo imparted last Friday at Harvard, was part of a monthly series called Uncut by No Label —an agency that curates “nontraditional spaces for artists to share ideas they actually care about.” The creative agency ‘No Label’ has fostered spaces for artists like Travis Scott, JID, Cousin Stizz —and most recently Bad Bunny— to develop themes from creativity, to criminal justice reforms.

The talk was directed by a Harvard scholar who studies Reggaeton and the impact it has on the island of Puerto Rico.

credit Twitter @ZalUIbaorimi

Last Friday’s talk was directed by Professor Petra Rivera-Rideau, a scholar who studies race and ethnic identities and popular culture in Latin America and U.S. Latina/o communities. Rivera-Rideau is the author of the book “Remixing Reggaeton: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico”, which studies the political history of reggaeton on the Caribbean island.

This was Bad Bunny’s second visit to an academic institute during the month of October.

credit Twitter @mcdonaldscorp

Benito’s been doing the rounds in the academic sphere as of late. He first visited an academic institute on the 10th of October, when he appeared by surprise in the city of Hialleah, in Miami-Dade County, to announce a scholarship program aimed at low-income Hispanic students, whom he recommended not to abandon studies .

The famous reggaetonero called on the 300 students gathered in the auditorium of the institute “to continue studying and give the best of oneself to succeed in life.”

Benito is known for taking a stand and taking to the streets to demand change.

credit Twitter @blockholy

Earlier this summer, while on a break in Ibiza, the Latin trap star tweeted that he was putting the tour on hold to join protestors in Puerto Rico. Using the hashtag #RickyRenuncia, Bad Bunny and thousands of other Puerto Ricans called for the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, who was embroiled in a corruption scandal.

The urban music icon took to Instagram to share his political views and to rally his fellow Puerto Rican followers to join the protests.

credit Twitter @blockholy

“For years, decades, the system has taught us to stay quiet,” said Bad Bunny in one of two Instagram videos posted in July and since deleted. “They’ve made us believe that those who take to the streets to speak up are crazy, criminals, troublemakers. Let’s show them that today’s generations demand respect […] The country doesn’t belong to them, it belongs to all of us.”

Residente, Ricky Martin and Olga Tañon joined Bad Bunny in protests against Roselló.

credit instagram @ricky_martin

Bad Bunny was just one of the celebrities (along with Ricky Martin and others) who was on the ground in Puerto Rico calling for the governor’s resignation—which he eventually (and reluctantly) gave. “Yesterday marked me forever,” he wrote in Spanish on Instagram. “I had never felt so much pride in my life! However, the fight continues PUERTO RICO!”

That was not the first time Bad Bunny confronted the island’s head of state.

credit instagram @ricky_martin

In January, Bad Bunny and fellow Puerto Rican rapper Residente, showed up unannounced to the governor’s mansion in the wee hours of the morning, to address the island’s high crime rate. Back then, they only had diplomatic words for Rosselló; but in their brand new track “Afilando Los Cuchillos”, or “Sharpening The Knives,” Bad Bunny shares his most politically incisive commentary yet. “Let all the continents know that Ricardo Rosselló is an incompetent, homophobic liar,” spits Bunny in Spanish: “A delinquent, no one wants you…not even your own people.”

Bad Bunny is an example of what a well-rounded artist can accomplish and how empowering his work can be. Whether he’s selling out arenas, taking the time to protest for causes he believes in, or speaking to students about the industry, we can’t wait to find out what the ‘callaita’ singer has in store for us next.