Tomasa del Real
Photo: Maria Jose Govea
Tomasa Del Real On Bringing Her Take On Reggaetón, NeoPerreo, To Coachella
Chilean rapper Tomasa del Real has been making waves with her bold female-empowering take on reggaetón, which she has dubbed "NeoPerreo;" "perreo" is Spanish slang for the way you dance to reggaetón. From making music in her bedroom to starting an underground movement in Latin music and culture, she is ready to introduce you to her big sound and growing crew.
A tattoo artist from the small town of Iquique, Chile, she began uploading tracks and DIY videos on SoundCloud and YouTube for fun in 2013, which caught on and led her to rerelease them as a debut album, Bien Y Mal, in 2016. That same year, she also coined the term NeoPerreo and began to really catalyze the movement around it, connecting with even more rappers, like Madrid's Ms Nina, the two of whom collabed on "Y Dime" in 2019.
In 2018, her NeoPerreo Records teamed up with Los Angeles-based indie record label Nacional Records, home to other Latino artists like Aterciopelados and Ana Tijoux, and she dropped her second album, Bellaca del Año. Over the last two weekends, del Real brought her big energy to Coachella to make her debut at the fest, so we caught up with the rising rapper to learn more about the big moment and bringing NeoPerreo to California.
You recently made your Coachella debut, how did you feel to share your music at such an iconic festival?
It was an amazing experience, and I'm happy that such a big festival is recognizing and featuring artists from the underground music scene.
What was the most inspiring part of your first Coachella experience?
I love seeing people have fun while I'm performing, and the audience was having a lot fun with us!
A lot of people, myself included, were excited to see such a diverse musical lineup this Coachella, especially in terms of Latin music. What does it mean to you to be one of the international/Latina artist at the fest, and to be bringing NeoPerreo to California?
I think the fact that there are more international and diverse artists on this lineup goes to show how accepting this generation is in general. I'm so excited to bring NeoPerreo to Coachella and show the audience this new way to "perrear."
How do you explain NeoPerreo to someone who is unfamiliar with it? What does it feel like to be an important part of this female-led musical movement, especially when considering the gender imbalance in the larger reggaetón space?
[The term] NeoPerreo was born when I was trying to explain the type of music I was making. It was inspired by reggaetón, but I didn't want to appropriate it since I'm not from Puerto Rico. And this style of music was being made by people who were born in the digital age, who were always connected to each other and to music through their computers. I wanted to say that it was a "new" way to "perrear." Because this music is made to party.
Can you tell us a little bit about your most recent album, Bellaca del Año; how did you choose who to collaborate with, and what was the biggest thing you were trying to achieve with that project?
I wanted to make an album that was hot and catchy, and I think Bellaca del Año is that. I wanted people all around the world to know about NeoPerreo and know about the NeoPerreo crew, who is out here making music that we can party to.