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.
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.