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Maluma Drops A Surprise Album Featuring His Alter Ego, Papi Juancho

Last week, so many of us were wondering what the actual f*** was going on with Maluma. The reggaetonero had appeared to delete his Instagram (where were we supposed to get our daily thirst traps?!) and there were rumors he had done so in haste after hearing that his ex-girlfriend was dating soccer superstar Neymar.

But it turns out that Maluma was simply building to a major climax – the surprise release of his fifth studio album, PAPI JUANCHO.

Maluma surprised his fans on Friday with a new album.

Maluma gave his fans a very happy Friday with the release of a new, surprise album – PAPI JUANCHO. The reggaetonero announced the new album in an Instagram Live at the stroke of midnight.

“This year has been, like, full of surprises, and they’ve not been that positive,” he said. “I wanted to give a good, very positive surprise.”

PAPI JUANCHO is Maluma’s fifth studio album and was produced alongside longtime collaborators Rude Boyz. Although the album features Maluma’s alter ego as the main star, it also includes several guest appearances from a number of reggaetón royals, including Justin Quiles, Lenny Tavarez, Myke Towers, and Jory Boy. PAPI JUANCHO was made during quarantine between the singer’s hometown of Medellín and Miami, his U.S. base.

The album arrives just nine days before Maluma is set to take the stage in New York for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, where’s been nominated for the best Latin video (“Que Pena” with J Balvin).

“I’ve been working like crazy making new music,” Maluma said of the 22-track set. “When quarantine started, I was in Europe, and then I had to postpone the whole tour, so I went back to Colombia … I started recording by myself again, the way I used to do it when I started my career. I was, like, connected with myself, remembering my roots because I was there in Medellín.”

The album features Maluma’s alter ego – Papi Juancho.

Papi Juancho, whose title riffs off Maluma’s nickname of “Juancho” (short for Juan Luis) is apparently also the singer’s alter ego. And he features this side of him quite heavily in several tracks.

Maluma — whose real name is Juan Luis Londoño Arias — got back in touch with “this little kid, this little dreamer” who started out in the reggaeton game 10 years ago, he told the New York Post. “I was feeling that energy again,” he said.

Just last week, Maluma had deleted his Instagram and fans were left with nothing but conspiracy theories.

Despite a week of politics, where the Democratic National Convention was meant to be center stage, Maluma became a trending topic on Twitter – before he even released his album. His Instagram, which has more than 50 million followers, had gone dark and fans were left wondering what was going on.

Speculations and rumors began circulating. Was it because his ex Natalia Barulich was dating footballer Neymar? Or because Neymar dissed Maluma by posting a video of his team singing his new single “Hawái” – a breakup song — on Instagram?

Turns out Maluma was simply gathering steam prior to the surprise release PAPI JUANCHO.

Despite quarantine, Maluma has been keeping himself busy.

While most of the world has been on lockdown thanks to Coronavirus, Maluma has been keeping himself busy. PAPI JUANCHO is Maluma’s third album in as many years, following 2019’s widely successful 11:11 and 2018’s F.A.M.E.

The album includes Maluma’s recent single “Hawái” and April’s “ADMV,” which he released with a video where he appeared as an old man. Last year, Maluma also joined Madonna on her Madame X track “Medellín.” He’s scheduled to perform as part of MTV’s remotely organized Video Music Awards on August 30.

“All I could do during lockdown in Medellin was work alone in my studio,” Maluma told Billboard in an exclusive interview. “That’s why this album has so much of my true essence; because I did so much of it alone.”

And Madonna isn’t the only superstar diva who’s been paying attention to Maluma: Jennifer Lopez reached out to him to make his movie debut in the upcoming romantic comedy “Marry Me.”

“I wanted to become an actor,” he said, “and then Jennifer Lopez called me and said that she wanted me to be part of this project.” Maluma shot his scenes in New York, including one during his sold-out Madison Square Garden concert last October. Lopez herself joined him onstage to sing “No Me Ames.”

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