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Ozuna Is Making Reggaeton Hits That Are Getting Global Attention

Ozuna

 

Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

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Ozuna Is Making Reggaeton Hits That Are Getting Global Attention

Meet the Afro-Latino who is making global reggaeton/pop hits and selling out U.S. arenas

GRAMMYs/Oct 16, 2018 - 03:12 am

In a world where English dominates pop music charts, Ozuna is one of the artists blurring the lines of what defines a crossover. If defined by language, the Puerto Rican/Dominican rapper has some work to do, but if crossing over means having a strong presence in a country dominated by an English-language market, he's already there. The reggaeton star has been reaching the top of Latin charts the last couple of years with his infectious dance beats and romantic lyrics, breaking his own records, and selling-out back-to-back nights in U.S. venues. His songs may all be Spanish-language, but his debut album, Odisea, peaked No. 22 on the all-genre Billboard 200.


Really, Ozuna is a musical chameleon, adapting to genres like Latin trap and pop. His soft voice goes back and forth between rapping and singing in the style of Drake, and much like him too he is known for invading the romantic side of genres. Working with some of the leading producers in the reggaeton game, like Hi Music Hi Flo, the Afro-Latino is one of the faces of reggaeton's reemergence, priding himself on making positive, uplifting music with "real sentiment," as he says in his YouTube documentary. He's been featured on remixes with the likes of J Balvin, Nicky Jam and Bad Bunny.

He's caught the attention of English-language and international artists too. He can be heard as the vocal foundation of DJ Snake's star-studded electro reggaeton-inspired "Taki Taki" alongside Selena Gomez and Cardi B. Other collabs include one with Akon on "Coméntale" and song with Cardi B called "La Modelo."

Artist collabs and the internet have helped Ozuna build his global fanbase. In 2017, YouTube published a blog post crowning 2017 "THE year of Latin Music" and included Ozuna as one of the Latin artists whose content has seen a high number of views on the platform with 4.9 billion views across the platform. Spotify included "a unique vertical video" of "Taki Taki" during the launch of its Global X playlist, a part of their initiative to bring more attention to global music.

Learn more about Ozuna's sound:

"Taki Taki" DJ Snake Feat. Ozuna, Cardi B and Selena Gomez

"Taki Taki" has got everyone asking what it actually means. Although there hasn’t been a straight answer, when DJ Snake wanted to make a reggaeton song to get people dancing, he wanted to work with Ozuna. "I sent it to Ozuna and he crushed it," DJ Snake told Billboard. "You know, I'm a big fan of Ozuna and he crushed it…"

"Tu Foto"

In one of his most romantic songs, "Tu Foto," Ozuna sings about a former flame, whose only memory he has left is a photograph. Although more mellow than his other songs, the song's vibe is upbeat. "I have your photo to drive me crazy/ Thinking of you, only you, my heart is broken," he sings.

"Dile Que Tu Me Quieres"

It's a forbidden kind of love in "Dile Que Tu Me Quieres."  "I know your parents/ don't want me to be with you/ I don't know if it's because of my tattoos/ Or my lifestyle," he sings over a dembow beat. "Tell them you love me/ Don't pay attention to what they say/ We fall in love more everyday."

"La Modelo"

Ozuna teams up with Cardi B in this dancehall-inspired song that he started working on during his travels. Ozuna told Billboard that Cardi B was a little hesitant to sing one of her parts at first, but he convinced her to do it and the rest is history. 

Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

Rotimi

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Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2019 - 10:04 pm

In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.

"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.

Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.

"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."

Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American. 

"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."

Mumu Fresh On What She Learned From Working With The Roots, Rhyming & More

Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

Seattle's Museum Of Pop Culture To Host Pearl Jam Exhibit

Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Photos: WireImage.com

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

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