Muluma: Latin America’s Rising Heartthrob

maluma-Photo Credit: Raynner “Phraa” Alba

Maluma is a rising musician from Columbia. His style of music combines reggaeton with electronic, pop, and trap influences. With a long list of collaborations with Madonna, Ricky Martin, JLo, and more, this popular artist is creating music for the long-term. Maluma was born on January 28, 1994, as Juan Luis Londono Arias. As a youngster, he became interested in music and started recording songs when he was 15-years-old. He composed his first song, “No Quiero” and began performing in competitions. Later on, his song “Farandulera” caught the ears of many local listeners on the airwaves and Sony Music signed the young artist.

On August 7, 2012, Maluma released his first studio album titled Magia. The 19-track album was released under Sony Music and featured six singles. Upbeat songs like “Obsesión” and “Miss Independent” gave the young artist footing in the reggaeton scene. The track titled “Taboo” to date has generated close to 200 million views on YouTube. 2014 and 2015 saw a flurry of partnerships with the artist. He collaborated on the 2014 FIFA World Cup songs, “Ole Brazil.” Several months later, he was a judge on the show The Voice Kids. At the beginning of 2015, Maluma released his mixtape PB.DB The Mixtape. The 9-track record had four singles that were released earlier. “La Temperatura” was the leading single that reached several commercial Latin music charts.

Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy was Maluma’s breakthrough album in October 2015 with its release. The conceptual album was meant to show two sides of his personality. With a mix of romantic ballad songs and spicy, sexual songs, the album generated a lot of interest. The songs “Sin Contrato” and “El Tiki” especially caught the attention of many listeners through streaming platforms from listeners across Latin America. With features from artists like Arcangel, Farruko, and Leslie Grace, the album gained traction with a variety of sounds.

Papi Juancho_maluma

F.A.M.E. brought Maluma into the mainstream of reggaeton music with its release in May 2018. Maluma merges his vocals with electro-pop influences. The 15-track album features guest appearances from Prince Royce, Timbaland, Sid, and Jason DeRulo. Lead single “Felices los 4” saw fans throughout Latin America, but gained international recognition for the salsa version featuring Marc Anthony. “Corazon” set the way for “El Prestamo” to peak on US and Latin American music charts. Maluma’s short film, X, gives insight into the celebrity life of the artist. This 26-minute video featured three trap-influenced songs, “Cuatro Babys”, “GPS” and “Vitamina”. It revolved around a young woman meeting Maluma. As they start dating, his lifestyle within the music industry puts stress on their relationship. The young woman gets caught up with an enemy and in the couple’s attempt to escape, Maluma is killed. The video generated a greater promotion and back-story to F.A.M.E.

Nearly one year later Maluma released his fourth album, 11:11. With 16-tracks and four lead singles, this album was received by fans and critics with more positive feedback. Maluma collaborated with a diverse amount of artists like Ricky Martin, Ozuna, Ty Dolla Sign, and even Madonna. Out of the four singles, “11 PM” gained the most traction on US and Latin billboards.

Maluma released his fifth studio album Papi Juancho on August 21, 2020. This is his longest album to be released to date with 22-tracks. Nine musicians make guest appearances on the album like Jory Boy, Justin Quiles, and Myke Towers. Singles “Hawai” and “ADMV” have accompanying videos to drive the story of the LP. Maluma is gaining traction throughout Latin America as a vibrant urban-pop artist. His style of reggaeton and other musical influences give him a broad area of creativity to expand on and play with. Whether reflecting on his newfound celebrity status or working towards more career moves, Maluma is showing fans that he’s not planning on stopping anytime soon.

Written by: Carlton Rolle

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