Meet The First-Time GRAMMY Nominee: The Magnificent, Magnetic Maluma



Meet The First-Time GRAMMY Nominee: The Magnificent, Magnetic Maluma

The Colombian superstar talks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination for Best Latin Pop Album, the artists who opened doors for him, his musical versatility and what he'll wear to the 2020 GRAMMYs

GRAMMYs/Jan 25, 2020 - 10:51 pm

The Maluma effect has taken over the world. The singer/songwriter began his career in his native Colombia as a teenager in the late 2000s, but now you'll find his name on the top of the charts as one of the most viewed/streamed artists on platforms like YouTube and Spotify where millions of people listen to his music.

Juan Luis Londoño, a.k.a Maluma, has wooed the globe with his sensual, romantic and at times risqué lyrics and music that encompasses an array of Latin sounds including salsa, pop and reggaeton. And it doesn't end there. The charming 25-year-old singer's on-stage energy is magnetic, drawing audiences in with his confidence, attractive looks and alluring dance moves. This all has caused him to become one of the most-followed people on Instagram, where he regularly flaunts his colorfully bold fashion sense. 

Maluma's success is no doubt a result of this past decade's Latin Urban boom, which has also elevated other Colombian artists, such as J Balvin and Karol G. But you could also attribute his visibility to recent high-profile collabs with Ozuna, Madonna and most recently Steve Aoki. His staying power is thanks to his musical adaptability, Maluma exclusively tells the Recording Academy: "I love doing any kind of music."

Maluma's acclaim continues to grow with his first GRAMMY nomination. The "HP" singer is up for Best Latin Pop Album along with Luis Fonsi, Ricardo Montaner, Alejandro Sanz and one of his countrymen, Sebastian Yatra. His nominated album, 2019's 11:11, features Madonna, Latino trailblazer Ricky Martin and rising Latin urban star Sech, among others.

So what's next for Maluma? "I feel like these next five years [are] going to be important for me to grow in my personal life," he says. "It's amazing to having big songs, try and be the number one, it's nice to be a famous artist and all these things, but for me right now the most important thing is to keep growing as a human being." He also says that he wants to spend more time with his family, with whom he is quite close. This doesn't mean he'll slow down, however. "I'm going to keep touring and I'll keep making music, that's for sure. But the other thing is being good with myself," he says.

Below, the Colombian superstar goes deeper into what keeps him grounded, his dream of making an album with all Colombian artists, his fashion sense, what he's wearing to the GRAMMYs and what else he sees for his future. 

Last year was quite a year for you. It ended it with a GRAMMY nomination. How was that for you?

Oh, it was beautiful. It was an amazing surprise. It was something I always dreamt about, an amazing thing. I hope I can go [to Los Angeles] and take a GRAMMY home with me.

In interviews, you've said that you've always known music was for you. How did you begin making it?

When I was super young, I used to perform in everything that happened at my school, so that's when I knew that I was gifted. Then I started writing my own songs and went to the studio. But in the beginning, I wanted to be a soccer player, that was my dream. And then I started writing my own songs and everything was bubbling. I decided to go to the studio, so I went to the studio. My first producers, Kevin and Chan [the Rude Boyz], were the first to believe in me. We went there and I just fell in love, that's when I decided that I wanted to do it for the rest of my life. I was 16, 15 years old the first time I went to the studio I knew that was going to be what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Your GRAMMY-nominated album is called 11:11, the magical master number. Why did you decide to name it that?

That number was following me everywhere. Not just when I set my watch, but also when I stayed in hotels and everything. So I decided to, every time I saw the number, make a wish and all these wishes come true. That was very special to me. The number for sure marked my life. I want to show the world that dreams come true, so I wanted to show this energy and show them that they can actually do whatever they want.

The album features many amazing artists, in and out of Spanish language music. What do you enjoy about collaborating with other artists?

Well, I love learning. I love learning different things from English-language artists like when I worked with Ty Dolla $ign on a couple of songs in the studio. [I also love learning from] Latin artists, we are always learning something about them so yeah, it's great, just putting your knowledge in the studio with them and creating good music.

How was it working with Madonna? How did that collaboration come about?

It was great. The first time that I met her .. I don't know, we got that connection since the beginning. After that, one month later, she told me that she wanted to work with me, so I went to London and was spending a lot of time there in the studio. We did this song, "Medellin" and "Soltera," for my album. We made that one in L.A. two months after we recorded "Medellin" so it was great. She has a lot of experience. We all know that she's been in the industry for a long time and I feel very grateful to her for making me part of her life, her projects.

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That's amazing that she asked you to collab. Why do you think now is the time that people are paying more attention to Latin artists like yourself?

Well, I think because we, Latin artists, we're working very hard. I think, of course, we're talented and we have a gift, but more than that, we love working hard. And there is a generational gap, but now I feel like the global industry or the whole world is paying attention to our songs or our culture because we love working hard. So this moment that we're living right now, It's not only me. As I told you before, there is a big generation behind us that were doing it too. Ricky Martin, Shakira, Juanes, Carlos Vives. They've been doing it for a long time and they really opened the doors for this new generation, I feel actually honored to be part of it and show the world the Latin culture, and for sure the Colombian culture. Around the world, they have another way of seeing Colombia now. We're changing that because while they were talking about Pablo Escobar, they talk about Maluma, they talk about J Balvin, they talk about all these new artists that are trying to take the genre or the whole culture around the world, so I feel very proud.

Colombia definitely is leading a lot of the Latin movement now. Is it particularly special to you when you collaborate with another Colombian artist, like J Balvin, for example?

Yeah, there's this whole new generation going like crazy. There are a lot of artists, a lot of urban artists, but they're achieving it. Maybe my dream is doing an album with all of them. That would be something nice and that was something I had on my mind, working with all of them, and doing a whole Colombian collaboration album, I would love that.

On 11:11, there's salsa, there's a little bit of urban, there's pop. Do you feel like your adaptability helps your success?

Yeah, I think that's the key to my success, actually. I love doing any kind of music. I love good music, I don't have just one genre that I really like. I love salsa. I grew up listening to salsa music because of my grandparents, so that's the first genre that I listened to. Then I started listening to a lot of hip hop, then reggaeton, pop, ballad music, romantic music. I feel like that's for sure key to my career. Being versatile.

You're on magazine covers with the most amazing men's fashion. If you weren't in music, do you think you would do something in fashion?

I love it. [Laughs.] I've loved [fashion] since I was a child. My mom, she has a bunch of stories about it. I used to pick my own clothing [when I was little] and now that I'm an adult people can tell that I [love fashion]. I feel like it's a way to communicate my feelings, just how I feel. It's like the same thing with music. When I go to the studio, sometimes I decide I want to do a very heavy reggaeton song, and a sexy song. Then next day I want to do a romantic song. That's the way I feel with the way I dress myself.

With that said, is there anything you can tell us about what you're going to wear to the GRAMMYs?

[Laughs.] Oh, no, I can't. It will be a surprise. I hope you guys like it. It will be original.

I also know that you love animals. Your dog was sick not so long ago. How is she? Can you tell us one of your favorite things about your dogs?

Well, she's good. She's here in front of me. She's looking at me right now with her beautiful blue eyes, saying hello. And she's better right now. Actually she went to the vet this morning, and they told me that she was going to be amazing, so we're very happy. I think we're going to change her name. We're not going to call her Bonnie anymore. We're going to call her Miracle or something. She ate venom and she almost died, but now she's good.

What I like the most about [dogs] is they don't judge. They're there next to me every time I wake up, they're very grateful, and they're very loyal too.

Besides your dogs, is there anything else or anyone else that helps you stay grounded among all your success?

Oh, of course, my family, yeah. My family. They're my thing. We had an amazing holiday. That's how I keep grounded, every time. I'm going out and doing these crazy tours and everything but before I go on stage I have a phone call with my mom and she's everything to me, she gives me the motivation, she gives me the strength I need to keep doing this because we know this is not an easy career. Also my dad and my sister, they're always there for me. That's what matters, we're a team.

What do you see for yourself in the next five years?

Wow, that's a good question. I mean, I want to keep making music. But for sure I want to keep doing the things that I love: spending time with my family. I want to keep touring, and I want to keep singing and everything. But I feel like these next five years are going to be important for me to grow in my personal life. Because it's amazing to having big songs, try and be the number one, it's nice to be a famous artist and all these things, but for me right now the most important thing is to keep growing as a human being. I'm going to keep touring and I'll keep making music, that's for sure. But the other thing is being good with myself.

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Luis Fonsi To Maluma: Who Will Win Record Of The Year Latin GRAMMY?


Photo: C Flanigan/Getty Images


Luis Fonsi To Maluma: Who Will Win Record Of The Year Latin GRAMMY?

Cast your vote. Who will voters choose for Record Of The Year at the 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards?

GRAMMYs/Oct 1, 2017 - 08:57 pm

Including the likes of Shakira and Carlos Vives to Natalia Lafourcade, Marc Anthony, Jesse & Joy, and Alejandro Sanz, the previous Latin GRAMMY winners for Record Of The Year reads like a who's who of Latin music. This year's nominees are no different.

With Rubén Blades' sensual "La Flor De La Canela," Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee's song of the summer "Despacito," Residente's impactful "Guerra," Ricky Martin with Maluma's Vente Pa' Ca," and Jorge Drexler's "El Surco," among others, this year's class of 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards nominees for Record Of The Year is loaded.  

Which song do you think will take home the Latin GRAMMY for Record Of The Year? Cast your vote below.

DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle And John Legend Win Best Rap/Sung Performance For "Higher" | 2020 GRAMMYs

DJ Khaled, Samantha Smith and John Legend

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images


DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle And John Legend Win Best Rap/Sung Performance For "Higher" | 2020 GRAMMYs

DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle and John Legend take home Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Jan 27, 2020 - 09:05 am

DJ Khaled, featuring Nipsey Hussle and John Legend, has won Best Rap/Sung Performance for "Higher" at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards. The single was featured on DJ Khaled's 2019 album Father of Asahd and featured Hussle's vocals and Legend on the piano. DJ Khaled predicted the track would win a GRAMMY.

"I even told him, 'We're going to win a GRAMMY.' Because that's how I feel about my album," DJ Khaled told Billboard. "I really feel like not only is this my biggest, this is very special."

After the release of the song and music video -- which was filmed before Hussle's death in March -- DJ Khaled announced all proceeds from "Higher" will go to Hussle's children.

DJ Khaled and co. beat out fellow category nominees Lil Baby & Gunna ("Drip Too Hard"), Lil Nas X ("Panini"), Mustard featuring Roddy Ricch ("Ballin") and Young Thug featuring J. Cole & Travis Scott ("The London"). Hussle earned a second posthumous award at the 62nd GRAMMYs for Best Rap Performance for "Racks In The Middle." 

Along with Legend and DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch and YG paid tribute to Hussle during the telecast, which concluded with "Higher."

Check out the complete 62nd GRAMMY Awards nominees and winners list here.

Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Aerosmith, Gwen Stefani And Blake Shelton To Perform At The 2020 GRAMMYs



Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Aerosmith, Gwen Stefani And Blake Shelton To Perform At The 2020 GRAMMYs

Some of music's biggest stars will take the stage at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards, taking place Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, and broadcasting live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

GRAMMYs/Jan 8, 2020 - 07:32 pm

Get ready to #UnexpectEverything as the first wave of performers for the 62nd GRAMMY Awards has been announced. Artists taking the stage on Music's Biggest Night are first-time nominee breakout stars Billie Eilish and Lizzo, who will each make their GRAMMY stage debuts; powerhouse artists Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, who will take the GRAMMY stage together for the first time ever; and four-time GRAMMY winners and 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year Aerosmith, who will perform a medley of some of their legendary hits. It all goes down on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and broadcasted live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Rock icons Aerosmith make their triumphant return to the GRAMMY stage this month as performers, nearly 30 years after making their GRAMMY stage debut at the 33rd GRAMMY Awards in 1991. In addition to their career-spanning performance, the legendary band is also being honored as this year's MusiCares Person Of The Year, which will recognize their considerable philanthropic efforts over five decades as well as their undeniable impact on American music history. Through the years, Aerosmith have shown support for a number of charities around the world, including frontman Steven Tyler’s Janie’s Fund.

The 2020 GRAMMYs will also feature highly anticipated debut performances from two of the biggest breakout artists of the past two years: Billie Eilish and Lizzo. 

First-time GRAMMY nominee and performer Billie Eilish is in the running for some of the night's biggest awards, including: Best New Artist; Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for her 2019 album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?; and Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for album single "Bad Guy."

Lizzo, who received the most nominations at the 2020 GRAMMYs with a total of eight nods, is making her debut as both a GRAMMY nominee and performer this month. She's up for several major awards, including Best New Artist. Her 2019 album, Cuz I Love You [Deluxe], is also up for Album Of The Year and Best Urban Contemporary Album, while album track "Truth Hurts" is nominated for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. Album tracks "Exactly How I Feel" and "Jerome" are also nominated for Best R&B Performance and Best Traditional R&B Performance, respectively. 

Taking the GRAMMY stage together for the first time ever, three-time GRAMMY winner Gwen Stefani will perform alongside Blake Shelton, a current GRAMMY nominee who's up for Best Country Solo Performance for his 2019 track, "God’s Country."

Tune in to the 62nd GRAMMY Awards, which are once again hosted by Alicia Keys, on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, and broadcasting live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT to catch all these amazing performances and to see who will take home the night's biggest awards. 

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Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin To Headline 2018 Calibash Las Vegas

Jennifer Lopez

Photo: Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media/Getty Images


Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin To Headline 2018 Calibash Las Vegas

Maluma, Ozuna, Bad Bunny, and Farruko also slated to perform at the second annual Sin City concert on Jan. 27; L.A. concert slated for Jan. 20

GRAMMYs/Jan 11, 2018 - 12:28 am

Get ready for the second annual Calibash Las Vegas, one of the hottest concert events of the year celebrating Latin urban music.

The 2018 installment of the Sin City show will be headlined by Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin, with Maluma, Ozuna, Bad Bunny, and Farruko also slated to perform. It will be held at T-Mobile Arena on Jan. 27, just one week after the Los Angeles event.

"Undoubtedly, this is the best opportunity to enjoy with your loved ones this first-class show, in Las Vegas and as the official Latin party of the beginning of the year," said Lucas Piña, senior vice president of SBS Entertainment, according to Billboard.

The week prior, Los Angeles' 11th annual Calibash will be held at Staples Center on Jan. 20. The L.A. lineup will feature J Balvin, Lopez, Wisin Y Yandel, Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Becky G, Natti Natasha, and French Montana.

Tickets for both the Los Angeles and Las Vegas concerts are on sale now vis AXS.

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