This is Tomasa Del Real, a Chilena who is redefining reggaetón.
The tattoo artist-turned-Rhianna-of-South America is churning out crazy addictive songs about sex, drugs, the internet, and forlorn love.
Once a male-dominated genre, Tomasa has emerged on the scene as one of the new faces of reggaetón. It’s not just her low-budget yet ingenious music videos that’ll get you hooked, it’s her sultry, upbeat rhythms that will make you a hardcore fan.
What does reggaetón even mean in 2016?
Reggaetón evokes names like Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel, and Don Omar – but it’s not 2005 anymore. A new regime of reggaetón has risen. No longer a genre associated with clubs tucked away in barrios, acts such as NAAFI, Rosa Pistola, Farina, and Tomasa del Real have turned reggaetón into a mainstream favorite. Del Real told The Fader she believes reggaetón is now Latin America’s pop music.
Every aspect of her music is unique.
Released back in February, her heart-wrenching yet insanely catchy “Tu Señora,” featuring Stockholm- based Talisto, is about dealing with a long distance relationship. The very DIY video goes back and forth from what looks like the snowy Patagonia to the beaches of Iquique, Chile. You can check out her debut album, “Bien y Mal,” on YouTube.
She’ll definitely make you want to dance.
Tomasa’s songs range from slow and haunting to fast and jolting. They’ve become the soundtrack to perreo, a popular dance similar to grinding. To top it off, her goth-alt-90s-Chicana vibe makes her a style an original.
Wondering what “perreo” means?
CREDIT: CREDIT: TUMBLR / SOURCE: lagiocondasmile
Perreo is a dance that has origins in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In the last couple of years, perreando has become surprisingly mainstream among dance parties and clubs in Latin America.
Del Real’s personal story is also inspiring.
Del Real (real name: Valeria Cisterna), says kids used to tease her by calling her Tomasa, but she eventually took to the name because it sounded both masculine and feminine. She said that she feels like “a man but very much a woman.”
She wasn’t always a musician. The 29-year-old originally studied design in Santiago and became a traveling tattoo artist. Making her away across South America, she would ink during the day and DJ reggaetón parties at night.
She’s also a poet.
Watching Tomasa sing in her sports bra and exercise shorts, it’s clear to see that this woman is destined for stardom. Her poetic modern day lyrics are relatable, like in “Es de Noche,” when she sings: “No me dejes sola, por favor, que sin Internet no como y me muero.”
She studies her craft.
A self-described “reggaetón nerd” Tomasa told The Clinic that she researches reggaetón every day. She spends the morning lying in bed blasting reggaetón, and regularly texts with friends about the latest remixes.
And her star continues to rise.
After building underground fame in South America the last couple years, Tomasa’s popularity has finally spread across Latin America and beyond.