From Bad Bunny to Kali Uchis and Farruko, Here Are 21 Songs That Defined 2021
This year was a defining year for new music. It gave us: Indie Pop, Reggaeton, Corridos and many more new favorites and refreshing collaborations — these are the 21 songs we couldn’t get enough of.
No other song this year had the impact “Pepas” had. This song was a sleeper hit that went viral and slowly but surely, became a party anthem for Latinos around the world. As most countries started to open back up, “Pepas” became the rallying cry of people looking to have a good time. While Farruko has been in the game for many years, he’s been able to showcase his versatility and skill to create hits in any genre and “Pepas” is another gem added to his repertoire.
Rauw Alejandro had arguably the best year of his career with his album “Vice Versa” and “Todo de Ti,” which is his biggest hit to date. Rauw channeled his inner Bruno Mars and delivered a timeless pop single that made his versatility stand out in the Reggaeton game where not many have dared to go pop and do it well.
The biggest artist worldwide released 3 albums last year, but didn’t stop feeding us this year with singles. “Yonaguni” stands out as a classic Bad Bunny record: melancholic, perreo-infused, and with Benito’s baritone front and center. The kid from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, had all of the world singing Japanese lyrics about a remote island.
The record-breaking single “Botella Tras Botella” took the world by storm by cracking Billboard’s Global 200 at number 10. Gera MX and Christian Nodal are proof that la unión hace la fuerza, and that Rap and Regional Mexican can coexist and create a hit for the ages.
La Bichota recruited Mariah Angeliq for a duet that will never get old. “El Makinón” stands out from KG0516 as a Karol G hype song for girls to break all the rules and being independent. With over 560 million views and counting, Karol G and Mariah Angeliq gave us the perfect entrance song as we walk into the club.
Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Mora had a hit with “Volando” from his debut album “Primer Día De Clases,” but the Remix took it up a notch with verses from Panamanian star Sech and frequent collaborator Bad Bunny. Similar to the themes of “Yonaguni,” “Volando Remix” is about that person you’d drop everything and fly out to if they give you a call.
Feid released his highly-anticipated album “Intershibuya: La Mafia” this year, and fan-favorite “Si Tú Supieras” had been teased enough on his social media that the Medellín singer-songwriter finally dropped it as a bonus track. The song went #1 in Feid’s native Colombia, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for El Ferxxo as we head into 2022.
The beat from “Muñeca” is inescapable, and Villano Antillano and Ana Macho gave the girlies and song to get ready to before they go out. Villano and Ana Macho are redefining what can be done in the Urban/Reggaeton landscape by representing the LGBTQ+ community and doing it well, “Muñeca” is just the first taste at their lyrical ability and Villano keeps having more bars than Sixth Street in Austin.
22 million views later, Spanish singer C. Tangana’s Tiny Desk Concert was iconic to say the least, to the point that Pucho recreated the set up for his Latin GRAMMYs performance, where he took home 3 Latin GRAMMYs for his album “El Madrileño.” For the version of “Me Maten” and “Los Tontos” for NPR’s Tiny Desk, C. Tangana recruited what we call The Flamenco Avengers aka Kiko Veneno and Antonio Carmona, for a performance that inspired a generation, but also artists like Camila Cabello, who was inspired by this performance for her upcoming album.
Indie-pop band The Marías released their album “CINEMA” which comes packed with incredible tunes, but according to our interview with lead singer María Zardoya, “Hush” is their magnum opus, and the song that truly took them to the next level and we agree.
“Lo Siento BB” is hitmaker’s Tainy at his best: the Puerto Rican producer was able to bridge two worlds that are completely different, but once he’s able to work his magic they fit perfect sonically. Tainy was able to bridge Julieta Venegas’ sound of pop ballads and alternative rock and have her meet Bad Bunny’s atmospheric Reggaeton club anthems.
Kali Uchis has been in the game for quite sometime, but it wasn’t up until this year’s massive hit with “Telepatía” that the Colombian singer finally got her well deserved flowers. While “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)” was released on November 2020, it wasn’t up until this year that Kali made history as the first solo female artist to hit number 1 on Billboard’s Latin chart in nearly a decade. Read our interview with Kali Uchis and her breakthrough year here.
Alvaro Diaz’s “Felicilandia” is a must-listen, and “Llori Pari” is a good introduction to Sadvarito’s world where perrear y llorar is law. The Tainy-produced track gave us a simp anthem for the ages, where Alvaro and Feid lament not knowing where baby girl went and doing their best to try to find her.
“Fiel” was one of those songs that went viral organically on TikTok and became a huge hit as places started to open up and restrictions were being lifted. Many people started to do the dance to Jhay Cortez’s verse “Tu’ tas dura sin ir al gym/ Tacos Louiboutin” and it was only right for Wisin and Los Legendarios to capitalize on the hit by adding heavy-hitters Anuel AA and Myke Towers to do some verses for the song.
Emo rock meets Regional Mexican on Eslabón Armado’s “Jugaste y Sufrí” with Danny Lux. The song took TikTok by storm, and landed both acts a #1 on Billboard’s Songwriter Chart. Sad Sierreño for the win! Read our interview with Danny Lux here.
The track by Amaarae was a vibe on its own, but Kali Uchis’ on the remix took it up a notch with her bilingual lyrics. The song blends perfectly Amaarae’s representation of Africa’s new genre Alté, and Kali Uchis brings in her Colombian flavor infused with R&B for a song that will have you singing about money too.
Easily Medellín’s national anthem. “Poblado” was a local Colombian hit by newcomers Crissin, Totoy El Frío and duo Natan y Shander. After the song blew up in Colombia, it was only right to add Colombian stars J Balvin, Karol G and honorary Paisa-riqueño Nicky Jam to take it global.
The Latin GRAMMY winner for Record of the Year and Song of the Year became the protest anthem for Cubans all of the world. Giving a spin on the Cuban regime’s slogan of “Patria o Muerte,” Cuban singers Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno, Yotuel, Maykel Osorbo and El Funky teamed up to sing about the much needed freedom of speech Cubans in the island desperately need.
Jhayco keeps pushing the genre forward with out-of-the-box collaborations, and “En Mi Cuarto” is one of them. The EDM-infused Reggaeton track produced by Skrillex and Tainy is at the intersection of going to the beach before heading to the club since it fits both atmospheres.
For Eladio Carrión and Bizarrap, 2021 was arguably the best year of their careers: Bizarrap became Latin GRAMMY nominated producer with his BZRP Music Sessions and Eladio kept releasing heat throughout the year, culminating with the release of his highly anticipated album “SAUCE BOYZ 2.” The #40 music session was the first time a Puerto Rican artist collaborated with Bizarrap, and the rest is history.
Grupo Firme have been consistently releasing music, and “Ya Supérame” is the one we needed with some tequila shots on the side. The despecho anthem is relatable as ever, where they sing to that person that needs to get over you with the quickness.
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