meta-scriptBad Bunny's 'YHLQMDLG' Breaks Records, Is The Highest-Charting Spanish Language Album Ever | GRAMMY.com
Bad Bunny's 'YHLQMDLG' Breaks Records, Is The Highest-Charting Spanish Language Album Ever

Bad Bunny performs on Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show"

Photo: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU/Getty Images

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Bad Bunny's 'YHLQMDLG' Breaks Records, Is The Highest-Charting Spanish Language Album Ever

The Latin GRAMMY winner's massive sophomore album just debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums charts

GRAMMYs/Mar 10, 2020 - 05:53 am

Puerto Rican rapper/singer/fashion hero Bad Bunny has made history with his recent (Feb. 29) sophomore album, YHLQMDLG, which was just revealed to have debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. His celebratory, hard-hitting celebration of reggaetón, other urbano stars/collaborators, Puerto Rico and being yourself—the acronym of the title translates to "I do what I want"—is now the highest-charting Spanish language album ever on the major all-genre chart.

What a great birthday present for the young Latin GRAMMY winner and 2020 GRAMMY nominee, who turns 26 on March 10.

Read: Bad Bunny Releases Sophomore Album 'YHLQMDLG,' Drops New Music Video For "La Difícil"

The "Vete" artist celebrated the historic moment with an Instagram post (see above) thanking his ever-growing fan base with a heartfelt note and photos of him rocking a very Bad Bunny look: stylish shades, an oversized shirt, long skirt and color-coordinating Nike Airforce Ones.

In a nod to the album's title, he wrote: "I MADE THIS [ALBUM] FOR ALL OF YOU THAT HAD FAITH IN ME!!! I MADE IT BECAUSE I FELT LIKE IT!!! I LOVE YOUUUUUU! HISTORIC #YHLQMDLG!"

More: How Bad Bunny Is Putting Latin Trap On The Map

According to Billboard, the 20-track LP (released on P.R.'s Rimas Entertainment) earned 179,000 equivalent album units in its first week, which accounts for the songs’ 201.4 million streams and 35,000 album sales during its massive debut. Additionally, it earned the No. 1 spot on the Top Latin Albums chart, a feat all three of his albums (including his 2019 J. Balvin collab, Oasis) have achieved. The outlet notes this is “the biggest streaming week ever for a Latin album, and the largest week for a Latin title since Billboard began tracking albums by equivalent album units in December of 2014.”

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Before YHLQMDLG, the highest a Spanish-language album had charted on the Billboard 200 was at No. 4—Mana's Amar es Combatir in 2006 and Shakira's Fijación Oral: Vol. 1 in 2005. Ricky Martin's 2011 album Música + Alma + Sexo did hit No. 3 in 2011, but two of its tracks were sung in English.

At the 2020 GRAMMYs, both Oasis and Bad Bunny’s 2018 debut album, X 100PRE, were nominated for Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album. He won his first-ever Latin GRAMMY at the 2019 Latin GRAMMYs, for Best Urban Music Album for his triumphant debut project.

Latin Music Industry And Artists Discuss The Genre's History, Cultural Impact And Future Trends At 2020 GRAMMY Week Panel

How The Latin GRAMMYS Brought Latin Music Excellence To The 2024 GRAMMYs
Peso Pluma attends the 2024 GRAMMYs

Photo:  Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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How The Latin GRAMMYS Brought Latin Music Excellence To The 2024 GRAMMYs

Latin music was celebrated throughout GRAMMY Week and on Music's Biggest Night. Read on for the many ways Latin music excellence was showcased at the 204 GRAMMYs.

GRAMMYs/Feb 9, 2024 - 09:56 pm

The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs may have occurred months ago and thousands of miles away, but the leading lights in Latin music also shined at the 66th GRAMMY Awards. From historic wins and meaningful nominations, to electric performances and interesting installations, Latin music excellence was everywhere. 

In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMYs in 2024, the exclusive GRAMMY House — the site of multiple GRAMMY Week events — included a significant installation dedicated to the Biggest Night In Latin Music.

The cylindrical display showcased some of the biggest moments in Latin GRAMMY history, including images, facts, and even a real Latin GRAMMY award. 

The celebration of Latin music continued throughout GRAMMY Week, with several Latin GRAMMY-winning artists also winning on the GRAMMY stage. Among the major moments at the 2024 GRAMMYs, Karol G won her first golden gramophone for her 2023 LP Mañana Será Bonito. "This is my first time at GRAMMYs, and this is my first time holding my own GRAMMY," the Colombian songstress exclaimed during her acceptance speech. 

Música Mexicana star Peso Pluma also took home his first GRAMMY; his album GÉNESIS won in the Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano) Category.

Premiere Ceremony presenter Natalia Lafourcade — whose Todas Las Flores won big at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs — also took home the GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album. She tied in the Category with Juanes

Premiere Ceremony performer Gabby Moreno also took home a GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Pop Album for her album X Mí (Vol. 1)

Beyond the stage, Latin artists graced the red carpet and the nominations list. For example, producer and songwriter Edgar Barrera was the only Latino nominated in the Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical Category.

10 Must-See Moments From The 2024 GRAMMYs: Taylor Swift Makes History, Billy Joel & Tracy Chapman Return, Boygenius Manifest Childhood Dreams

Mañana Y Siempre: How Karol G Has Made The World Mas Bonito
Karol G

Photo: Patricia J. Garcinuno / WireImage / Getty Images

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Mañana Y Siempre: How Karol G Has Made The World Mas Bonito

'Mañana Será Bonito' may have been the vehicle for Karol G's massive year, but the 2024 GRAMMY nominee for Best Música Urbana Album has been making strides in reggaeton, urbano and the music industry at large for a long time.

GRAMMYs/Feb 1, 2024 - 04:16 pm

For Karol G, 2023 was a watershed year. Her fourth album, Mañana Será Bonito, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 and took home the golden gramophone for Album Of The Year at the Latin GRAMMYs. Her many milestones also included a Rolling Stone cover, and signing with Interscope. At the 2024 GRAMMYs, Mañana Será Bonito is nominated for Best Música Urbana Album. 

The Colombian singer and songwriter was suddenly everywhere in 2023, but this moment is the culmination of a long, steady rise. Karol G has been on the scene for some time, and changing it for the better just by being who she is: an extremely talented woman making waves in a genre still dominated by men.  

Karol G has been a pivotal figure in the world of urbano since 2017, when she collaborated with Bad Bunny on the Latin trap single "Ahora Me Llama." It was a transformative moment for both artists, whose careers took off precipitously after its release. The track led Ms. G’s aptly titled debut album, Unstoppable, which went multi-platinum and peaked at No. 2 on both the U.S. Top Latin Albums and U.S. Latin Rhythm Albums charts. At the 2018 Latin GRAMMYs, Karol was awarded Best New Artist

2024 GRAMMYs: Explore More & Meet The Nominees

Although she came out of the gate in an unstoppable fashion, Karol G's chart-topping debut was the result of years of touring and recording. The artist born Carolina Giraldo Navarro was no overnight success.

She started singing as a teenager growing up in Medellín and, after signing to Colombia's Flamingo Records, chose the name Karol G and began releasing music. Early on, she flew to Miami for a meeting with Universal Records, but they chose not to sign her on the basis that a woman would not be successful making reggaeton — a severe miscalculation, that belies female pioneers and a blossoming roster of contemporary acts

Thankfully, she ignored them. A year after "Ahora Me Llama" and Unstoppable, Karol G won her first Latin GRAMMY. 

The star’s determination makes her a role model, but Karol G's career has also been defined by an inspiring integrity around her principles and artistic vision. By now, it is a well-known anecdote that she turned down the song "Sin Pijama" because it references marijuana use. Karol does not smoke, so the lyrics would not have been authentic to her as a person, or as an artist. 

This authenticity has doubtless been key to Karol G's success. Rather than try to fit an established mold, she brings a uniquely sunny swagger and sporty style to reggaeton. She projects a powerful and feminine energy, and her music often expresses a healthy sense of sexual independence and self-empowerment. This is an intentional part of her message, especially to her female fans.

"They teach us it’s wrong to celebrate ourselves for something we have," she told Rolling Stone of her musical messaging. "And it’s not. We have to be the first ones to give ourselves credit."

Like early collaborator Bad Bunny, Karol G is able to reach a global audience without having to change the language she sings in, her genre of choice, or her messages. Case in point: One of her 2023 accomplishments was becoming the first Latina to headline a global stadium tour, and the highest-grossing Latin touring artist of the year.

She also became the first Latina to headline Lollapalooza and, in between record-breaking tour dates, saw her song "WATATI" featured on Barbie The Album. (The soundtrack is nominated for Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media at the 66th GRAMMY Awards.)

In November, she closed out her big year with a sweep of the Latin GRAMMYs: Mañana Será Bonito received the award for Best Música Urbana Album and Album Of The Year; her Shakira collab "TQG" took home the golden gramophone for Best Urban Fusion/Performance. When she accepted her award for Best Música Urbana Album, Karol exclaimed, "How cool is it for a woman to win this?" 

Karol G’s wins made up a large part of an awards ceremony where women won big:  Shakira won Song Of The Year for her collaboration with Bizzarap, while Natalia Lafourcade won Record Of The Year and Joaquina took home Best New Artist. This was the first year that women won in all the general categories — something that suggests progress for the Latin music industry. The last time a woman won the Latin GRAMMY for Best Música Urbana Album was in 2013, when Spanish rapper Mala Rodríguez took home the award for Bruja. 

Watching the Latin GRAMMYs this year, it was easy to forget that women still have a long way to go to achieve parity with their male counterparts in the music industry. If you lost sight of that, the year-end Latin charts would bring you back to reality: Of the top 50 tracks on the Hot Latin Songs chart, 11 primarily featured women, but six of those tracks belonged to Karol G. Karol’s presence matters and she knows it. 

Karol G brings a powerful feminine energy to reggaeton and Latin trap, but also an unapologetic feminism. While this is explicit in her music, it's also clear in the creative partnerships she makes. She’s had many high profile collaborations with male artists, but just as many with a diverse roster of female artists from reggaeton OG Ivy Queen ("Leyendas") to Latin fusion pop singer Kali Uchis ("Me Tengo Que Ir," "Labios Mordidos"). In an arena so dominated by male artists, each collaboration with another woman is meaningful, but her collaborations with rising artists, such as Young Miko — who appears on the song "Dispo" from Karol’s Bichota Season — truly make a difference. 

Artists like Karol G increase the range of possibilities for artists in their wake, and for anyone in the music industry who flouts narrow expectations. Karol G knows that her victories have larger implications, and this eye toward the future has helped her reach unprecedented heights. "I understand how hard it is [for women to break through] because of how hard it was for me,"she recently told Billboard.

It wasn't easy for Karol G to get where she is today, but she has been opening doors for others — women, artists in reggaeton, artists in urbano and others —  every step of the way. From here on, the title of her album is ringing more and more prescient, and that’s mas bonito.  

2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Nominees List

Edgar Barrera, The Songwriter Behind 2023's Top Latin Hits, Shares How He Remains Grounded Amidst Success
Edgar Barrera

Photo: Courtesy Edgar Barrera

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Edgar Barrera, The Songwriter Behind 2023's Top Latin Hits, Shares How He Remains Grounded Amidst Success

Edgar Barrera is known for building musical bridges, blending unexpected genres and enabling fruitful collaborations. At the 2024 GRAMMYs, the prolific songwriter and producer is the only Latino nominated for Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical.

GRAMMYs/Jan 16, 2024 - 02:56 pm

The life of producer and songwriter Edgar Barrera was shaped by cultural dichotomy. Born in McAllen, Texas, and raised between the Lone Star state and the Mexican border town of Miguel Alemán, Barrera spent his days connecting cultures and languages, making a space for himself.

"I was born on the border. I'm always trying to adapt to Mexican or American culture, growing up in the middle of those two worlds," Barrera tells GRAMMY.com. "This is what I always end up doing in the songs and with the artists I work with, I adapt to them, I adapt to their world, I learn [from them]."

This duality and his innate code-switching ability defined his essence as a musician. In the music industry, Barrera is known among artists as a great bridge-builder between stars. He forges unexpected collaborations and blends genres in effortless ways.

For example, "Un x100to", the smasher collaboration between Grupo Frontera and Bad Bunny, became one of the biggest Latin songs of 2023. It won the Latin GRAMMY Award for Best Regional Mexican Song, climbed to the top of Spotify's global chart, and made its way to Billboard’s Hot 100’s Top 10.

The single is one of nine songs that has earned Barrera a nomination for Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical at the 2024 GRAMMYs. He is the only Latino in this group and has been nominated for all Spanish-language songs. "It means that Latinos are breaking those barriers and that Latin music is important to the industry," Barrera says of the nomination. "To be considered in that category is already a victory. I feel I am paving the way for a Latin songwriter to be in future nominations."

The nod came days before he received the inaugural Latin GRAMMY for Songwriter Of The Year. At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, Barrera received 13 nominations and won three awards, including Producer Of The Year, and was featured in a collaborative performance with Camilo, Manuel Carrasco, and IZA.

Ahead of the 66th GRAMMY Awards, Barrera discusses how his upbringing shaped his career and creative process, as well as the importance of recognition for Latinos in the music industry. 

 This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

2023 has been an excellent year for you. What are you the most grateful for?

It has been a great year in my career. I have to be thankful for life and to God. I’m grateful to say that I make a living from this.

 This is the only thing I know how to do; I am not good at anything other than making music. It is a blessing that people connect with the songs you create. What gives me the most satisfaction is knowing that people are enjoying, connecting, and experiencing the songs [I've worked on].

What did it mean to win the inaugural Songwriter Of The Year award at the Latin GRAMMYs?

I didn't think much about whether I was going to win or not. I was feeling happier and more excited because the Latin GRAMMYs were creating a category for those behind [the songs].

I said it that day they gave me the award; sometimes, the songwriter is the one who suffers the most in the entire music pyramid of how the industry is structured. The songwriter is the last one who gets paid and often doesn't get as much credit. For me, everything starts with a song. Without a good song, the artist is unknown; without a good song, the producer is unknown.

Music starts with a good song you can sing with just a guitar. That's what I like to do. I write the song, have it on guitar and vocals, and see what genre fits the best. That's why I always switch genres; I don't like to limit myself by saying that I only make urban, pop, or Mexican music. I'm not following trends but doing what feels right for the song.

What was your reaction upon discovering that you are the only nominee for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical one competing with Spanish songs at the 2024 GRAMMYs?

I was in Madrid, and even though I knew the GRAMMY nominations were coming up, I wasn’t on top of it because it is usually tough to be nominated for those categories. I didn't expect it.

We had a Zoom with all the composers nominated in that category to get to know each other, and I kept thinking, what am I doing in this Zoom with all these people who write songs in English, country songs, rap songs, or pop songs? Here I am with my songs in Spanish.

I am happy with [the nomination] because it means that Latinos are breaking those barriers and that Latin music is important to the industry. It has become the elephant in the room that you can no longer ignore.

To be considered in that category is already a victory. I feel I am paving the way for a Latin songwriter to be in future nominations. I feel I have some responsibility; I am representing Latinos at an important moment in the industry.

Coming from Miguel Alemán, Tamaulipas, a town with 20,000 residents with no songwriters or producers, the fact that I can make music and dedicate myself to it is already a victory. Everything is a blessing and feels surreal.

You have been nominated for your work in nine songs. Is there a specific song that has brought you the most satisfaction?

They have all fulfilled something specific. For example, Karol G is a Selena [Quintanilla] fan, and she wanted to make a song in cumbia ["Mi Ex Tenía Razón"], a genre I grew up with. [The song] is like that tribute to my roots. Having an artist as big as Karol G on that song is very special.

In songs like "Un x100to," [a collaboration between] Bad Bunny, and a band like Grupo Frontera from my hometown, [it feels special because] we have many friends and grew up with the same cultural background. Returning to McAllen, Tamaulipas, to support a local group and having one of the biggest songs of the year with one of the biggest artists of the moment is also very special to me. It shows the newcomers that it is possible to reach those places — even coming from the same place we did. I would never have thought that the song would be No. 1 worldwide.

When did you first realize that you had a talent for songwriting?

It has always been my plan. I didn't go to school; I've never had a plan B. I've always been very stubborn in what I do. 

I discovered I could write songs and liked writing songs when I was 15. I moved to Miami and started working from the bottom, lifting cables in a studio. I had to serve coffee. I went through the entire process to enjoy what is happening now. It didn't happen overnight. 

I've never let it get to my head. I have no recognition, paintings, or awards if you go to my studio. I mean nothing; there is none of that. I don't like to think about that. I'm in my house right now, and you don't see anything on the walls; they're blank. I want to work as I have since day 1.

You have won 21 Latin GRAMMYs. Where do you keep the awards?

Those awards are at my parents' house. I send everything there. I don't have any awards at my house. My wife also tells me that our home is a place to disconnect, not to continue thinking about work. That helps me to stay rooted.

To know that the day before, I could have been with the biggest artist in the world, I could be with Shakira, Karol G or Benito, whoever I am currently working with, but when I come home, I feel that I am an ordinary person who has the blessing of working with the greatest artists of the moment. Realizing that also resets you, it keeps me grounded.

Did maintaining a lower profile help you in your career as a songwriter?

I am very quiet and shy. I express myself better by writing than by speaking. I like that people gradually discover who is behind the songs. I like that some people find that I wrote a song, and they make the connection, like the movie's endings, when you start connecting all the dots. I don't like telling people I did this or that.

When working with an artist, I am very clear that I am an instrument; I work for them. I don't have any ego. When working with artists, I listen to them and help them translate what they want to say in the songs. That is my job, and I try to be a tool for them; I don't want to be the protagonist.

You are known for your ability to make unexpected connections between artists and topliners; where did this talent come from?

It comes very naturally to me; I do it unconsciously. For example, in the collaboration between Carin León and Maluma, ["Según Quién"], I ended up being the person who connected them. In their case, I sent the song to Carin's team and introduced them about a week later. We organized a meal, and I made them get to know each other before recording the song.

In ["De Vuelta Pa' La Vuelta"] by Daddy Yankee with Marc Anthony, I was with Yankee in the studio. Yankee told me he wanted to do something different, and I showed him this salsa song. He likes it and tells me he wants to record it and do it in salsa. I connected Yankee with Marc — two legends who know each other, but I will gladly make that [musical] connection if I can.

That is part of why I created my record label, Border Kid Records, which is like a border that connects [two places], like the bridge between the United States and Mexico; I am a bridge between the artists.

You are a big fan of the Swedish producer and songwriter Max Martin. What have you learned from his career?

I am Max Martin's No. 1 fan. To me, he is the greatest of all time, and what I like about him is that he is not bragging about his achievements.

It felt like such a great discovery when I found out how he was. I told my friends you like this song because this songwriter made it, so you are not a fan of the artist; you are a fan of the songwriter.

I dreamed that one day, my songs would have a similar effect in Latin music and the way people would discover me. He has always kept a shallow profile. I'm not comparing myself to him at all, but something that he has and that I also do unconsciously is constantly collaborating with people; we are always nourishing ourselves with new songwriters and producers.

I always check Max Martin's credits and see him working with new people. And that's all about not believing that you know everything but learning and always listening to new people that has something new to say.

What advice can you give to songwriters or singers starting their careers?

Always be authentic and do not follow trends. I differentiated myself from the songwriters and producers when I started because I didn't use many bad words [in my songs]. I always wanted to avoid jumping on that bandwagon, following a trend.

It is about doing things differently and creating your own trends. I am one of those who make a bachata or a merengue; when a merengue is not even trending, you make it a trend by [picking] the right artist and song.

What is Edgar Barrera's mark in music?

My lyrics are simple, honest, straightforward, and up-to-date; that's my trademark. Production-wise, if you hear a real instrument or a musician playing live, guitars, or things like that, that's always my mark.

 2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Nominees List

Pablo Alborán Reflects on His Latin GRAMMY History, Talismans & Lessons From 'La Cu4rta Hoja'
Pablo Alborán performs on stage at WiZink Center in Madrid, Spain.

Photo: Aldara Zarraoa / Redferns / GettyImages

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Pablo Alborán Reflects on His Latin GRAMMY History, Talismans & Lessons From 'La Cu4rta Hoja'

Pablo Alborán discusses his emotional journey with the Latin GRAMMYs — a total of 29 nominations and no wins — as well as the process behind his GRAMMY-nominated album 'La Cu4rta Hoja.'

GRAMMYs/Jan 8, 2024 - 02:59 pm

Spanish singer/songwriter Pablo Alborán has a unique history with the Latin GRAMMYs. Although he receives a nomination for each album he releases, he has yet to win a golden gramophone. 

At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, Alborán was the Spaniard with the most nominations. He received a total of five nominations, including Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, and Song Of The Year. Yet on the Biggest Night In Latin Music, none of the envelopes that announced the winner had Alborán's name. Since 2011, he has been nominated 29 times without a win; his most meaningful accomplishment, however, is the freedom to continue making music and having untiring support from his family, friends, and fans. 

"Refer to last year's #LatinGRAMMY post," Alborán wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter), followed by a series of smiling emojis after the ceremony.

At the 2024 GRAMMYs, Alborán's 2022 album La Cu4rta Hoja is nominated for Best Latin Pop Album. The record competes against Don Juan by Maluma, A Ciegas from Paula Arena, Pedro Capó's La Neta, Gaby Moreno's X Mí (Vol. 1), and Beautiful Humans, Vol. 1 by AleMor.

During his Latin American tour, Alborán sat down with GRAMMY.com via Zoom to speak about the lessons from La Cu4rta Hoja, his history with the Latin GRAMMYs, and his return to the stages in the United States.

In 2011, you received your first Latin GRAMMY nominations for Best New Artist, Best Male Pop Vocal Album for his self-titled debut LP, and Song Of The Year for "Solamente tú." What do you remember from that ceremony?

When they told me about the Latin GRAMMYs; it was an enormous thrill. I wasn't familiar with the Latin GRAMMY because my career just started. They called me and said, 'Hey, Demi Lovato is going to sing with you,' which was also very intense. 

I remember taking my parents [to Las Vegas], which was the terrible part because they dressed formally. My mother looked like Cinderella, my father looked like a prince, my brother... They were all there and seated a little farther from us. When they announced the winners…I looked back, and my parents' faces, poor things, they looked as if I had been killed. [Laughs.]They were outraged, trying to pretend they were okay so I wouldn't see them upset. I had Sie7e and his wife sitting next to me, the happiness they felt when he won the Best New Artist award; I was shocked at how happy and excited they were. 

I was genuinely happy, suddenly seeing their happiness after so much work. I understand there's a competitive aspect; we're human beings, but I've been watching the Latin GRAMMYs for many years, living how it is, enjoying, learning to enjoy under pressure.

Unlike in the past, you had no talismans for the 24th Latin GRAMMYs ceremony. Although you did not use any at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, you often use talismans such as eagles, twins, and silver clothes for luck. When did this practice start? It appeared that it became an obsession, as you constantly searched for signs everywhere.

It was a way to protect myself and hang on to something and, of course, be able to let go of it as well. Thank goodness I didn't win the Latin GRAMMY when I had all the eagle signs; otherwise, my house would be filled with eagle talismans (laughs). I could see myself getting hooked on the eagle stuff. We must put everything into perspective and live the experience without overthinking. I try not to be too superstitious about anything, anyway, because it's a kind of slavery.

It has been a year since the release of La Cu4rta Hoja. What have you learned from the album and its 11 songs?

Each album is a journey; it is a new experience. Each album teaches you something different, and this one has taught me to live at the speed of musical consumption and not lose the essence in the middle of this journey. 

Being able to innovate while simultaneously maintaining your roots and supporting what you like in music —that balance will always be more challenging to maintain due to what surrounds you, the speed with which music is consumed, and the fact that millions of songs are released weekly. There are times when that effort is more challenging and other times, it is effortless. 

Touring gives me the illusion of seeing an audience that wants to feel the songs regardless of their style. People want to feel and want to see their feelings reflected in the lyrics and the music. And that reminds me why I make music and why I am here. 

Have you been surprised by reactions to any particular song from La Cu4rta Hoja?

"A Batir las Alas" surprised me a lot during concerts because it is a very personal song and, at the same time, a little strange… The lyrics, the way of singing it, the structure, and the response from the people in concerts were excellent. 

"Voraces" also surprised me a lot. It is the third song on the show's setlist. It amazes me that people sing and like it since it is a song that wasn't a single and has a strange concept; it's like a tanguillo [an upbeat and catchy flamenco palo] and, simultaneously, a chacarera [a polyrhythmic Argentinean folk subgenre].

You've always been involved with producing your albums, but you've taken a more prominent role in your last two albums. Why was that? 

In [2020's] Vértigo, I worked remotely, which was challenging. That album was very complicated to put together because I worked with Julio Reyes Copello from Miami, the strings were made in Prague, and my guitarists were in [Spain]. It was a fun process on the one hand but cold on the other. I felt like things were lost. I learned a lot on that album as well. In the end, you know how you want your song to sound, so you have to be very involved. 

On this last album, some songs didn't change much from the demo I produced at home. We wanted to stick with that first idea…playing it live and improving some things. But that production was already done. For example, "A Batir las Alas" worked with a guitar and a string, and there was not even a drum; there was barely a bass. It is a reasonably large ballad, yet we wanted to make it small. There are other times that the producer's work obviously, no matter how much I am involved, [is needed].

What do you like the most about producing?

The freedom. You feel an absence of judgment, an absence of limits. I can spend hours in the studio without eating, without seeing anyone, working with the musicians and the producers, or whoever is there. It feels like anything is possible — not because you know that the process can change suddenly, but because you know that what you produce, maybe you will hear again the next day, and it seems like a disaster, or it could be the best thing in the world.

So I really enjoyed it, knowing that moment was mine and that of those who were there, no one would hear it or give their opinion. Once it's finished, that song is no longer mine; it belongs to everyone. But it is enjoyable to feel that you are jumping into the void and that you are going to fall into the water.

La Cu4rta Hoja was created during your last tour. Has the album inspired you to create new songs?

There are ideas... When I'm on the plane, I spend hours listening to the voice notes on my phone, which are ideas [for] millions of songs I have. I'm in the hotel room, coming from a show or going to a show, and an idea comes to mind, and I record it and then review it. 

Silence is indeed necessary to create. So, I am very focused on giving 100 percent on this tour. There are many trips, many countries. It is the longest, almost the most extended tour we are doing, and then when I return home, and I am in that silence and in that tranquility, everything I am experiencing will explode. There are a lot of emotions and inputs that I'm receiving that I still can't capture because I'm non-stop.

This is the most extensive tour you will do in the United States. What is it like preparing for all those dates? You will go to cities you've never performed in before.

There's a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. We were already in the United States a few years ago, and it was necessary to come back, and the fact that people want it is a gift to me. 

Different things happen at each concert, the repertoire changes, and we let ourselves be carried away by what happens and the place we are in. We also sing versions, maybe a song by a local artist, and in the United States, I'm excited to do some covers of things I already have in mind.

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