Music

DARUMAS, Latin Mafia, Ambik & More Emerging Latin Artists On Our Radar

Every month, Billboard Latin and Billboard Español editors spotlight a group of rising artists whose music we love. Think “diamantes en bruto,” or “diamonds in the rough.” These are newcomers who have yet to impact the mainstream — but whose music excites us, and who we believe our readers should make a point to discover.

Our latest edition of On the Radar Latin includes a wave of emerging artists, who we discovered either by networking or coming across their music at a showcase, and beyond. See our recommendations this month below:

Name: Ambik

Country: Argentina

Why They Should Be on Your Radar: She is the younger sister of Argentine star Tiago PZK, but since launching her career in 2023, Ambik has made a name for herself with her own lyrical prowess and style. At only 16 years old, the artist — whose real name is Ambar Pacheco Lezcano — has released innovative urban-R&B songs such as “Crucigrama,” “Sha La La” and “Náufrago.” Her most recent release is “Rápido,” a sensual electro-pop single ready for the club, with which she continues to experiment and offer an uplifting outlook on the future of music. And this is only the beginning for Ambik; signed to Grand Move Records and Warner Music Argentina, we will surely be hearing much more from her.  — SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS

Song for Your Playlist: “Rápido”

Name: dadá Joãozinho

Country: Brazil

Why They Should Be on Your Radar: dadá Joãozinho made his solo debut last year, after performing with an artistic collective called ROSABEGE that he formed with a few friends in his hometown of Niterói, Brazil, in 2017. Pulling from Música Popular Brasileira, hip-hop, baile funk, indie and experimental electronica, the São Paulo-based artist created a sound of his own for his debut album, tds bem Global (which translates to “all too Global”), released last fall via Innovative Leisure. He just released the video for the set’s “Sem Limitessssss,” a psychedelic track that shoplifts from dub reggae, hip-hop, punk and samba. “Being in São Paulo inspired me to go off my limits, to grow, to know things about myself I couldn’t see,” dadá Joãozinho says in a statement. “It’s a song about desire really, about transformation.” — S.R.A.

Song For Your Playlist: “Sem Limitessssss”

Name: DARUMAS

Country: Argentina, Cuba, & Haiti, but U.S.-based

Why They Should Be on Your Radar: Named after the traditional Japanese daruma doll that signifies perseverance and good luck, DARUMAS is an electrifying trio injected with massive girl power. Helmed by Aldana Aguirre on the bass (Argentina), Ceci Leon on vocals and guitar (Cuba), and Haiti-born, Chilean-based vocalist Vedala Vilmond, the group officially debuted this year with their single “Daruma.” The best representation of their project, the track is a soulful R&B bop fused with old-school funk melodies, backing their enchanting and powerful vocals.

DARUMAS, who already opened a show for Argentine pop star Emilia, is signed to Sony Music Latin for recordings; Walter Kolm Entertainment for management; TBA Agency for touring; and FRAZES CREATIVE for publicity partnerships. “Darumas is a breath of fresh air for the music industry,” Alex Gallardo, Sony Music Latin’s president said in a press statement. “Three women, musicians, with an enormous talent that bring an artistic proposal very different from everything else out there. The greatest artists are characterized by being unique and different from the rest.” — JESSICA ROIZ

Song for Your Playlist: “Daruma”

Name: Latin Mafia

Country: Mexico

Why They Should Be on Your Radar: I first heard of Latin Mafia last year, after discovering their music on TikTok. Their song “Julieta” caught my attention with its fun, catchy beats and confidence-boosting vibes. Creating music that fuses reggaetón, dream pop, R&B, and house, the brother trio brother — Mike, Milton and Emilio de La Rosa — have a unique essence that sets them apart. Even a song that seems to be about heartbreak can quickly immerse you in a lively and energetic “llorar y perrear” vibe, as in their song “Perlas.”

In late December, Latin Mafia collaborated with Mexican singer-songwriter Humbe for “Patadas de Ahogado,” and delivered another masterpiece of very organic music. The song is backed by keyboard notes that combine their soft vocals, while the lyrics talk about finding that special love. The Mexican band recently signed with Rimas Entertainment, and have performed at various music festivals in Latin America and the United States, including a big debut at Coachella. — INGRID FAJARDO

Song for Your Playlist: “Patadas de Ahogado” (feat. Humbe)

Name: Luck Ra

Country: Argentina

Why They Should Be on Your Radar: Luck Ra (real name: Juan Facundo Almenara Ordóñez) was put on my radar thanks to my best friend, who first discovered him on Spotify. I was immediately captivated by his track “Hola Perdida,” in collaboration with Argentine rapper Khea, where the two deliver a fast-paced cumbia villera meshed with sensual bachata rhythms, about calling an ex to get back with them. Luck Ra released his first recordings in 2017, but it was “Te Mentiría” (a smooth Afrobeats single) in 2020 that ultimately brought him to a wider audience. Luck Ra has also collaborated with acts such as Bersuit Vergarabat, Abel Pintos, Ke Personajes, and Rusherking, and dropped his debut studio album Que Nos Falte Todo this year.  — J.R.

Song for Your Playlist: “Hola Perdida” (feat. Khea)

Name: RoyalLive

Country: Venezuela

Why They Should Be on Your Radar: Born in Catia La Mar, Venezuela and based in Miami, RoyalLive — also known as Royal and whose real name is Ibraham Ríos — fuses genres such as R&B, soul and urban tropical in songs that include lyrics in Spanish, English and Portuguese. The 23-year-old artist began writing music at 16 and, during the pandemic, after he and his father became homeless and had to live temporarily in a church, he used the ordeal as the inspiration for his song “Chain.”

Since then, he has released singles including “Báilame Que Luego Te Vas,” a TikTok hit that got to the ears of Colombian singer Beéle, who also recorded a cover; and “Ocean Drive.” This Friday (April 26) he premieres “Baby G,” a song infused with Brazilian rhythms and melodic drill “dedicated to the warrior woman who is not afraid of anything,” according to a press release. The track is part of his upcoming debut album, LOVESTAR, to be released this summer under MusikLab. — S.R.A.

Song for Your Playlist: “Báilame Que Luego Te Vas”

Name: Vanita Leo

Country: U.S.A. (of Mexican descent)

Why They Should Be on Your Radar: While the Tejano music scene has seen the rise of acts like Grupo Frontera and the enduring legacy of icons like Intocable, the presence of female Tejana artists has been notably scarce since the days of Selena on a mainstream level. Yet, emerging from San Antonio, Texas, with roots tracing back to Mazatlán, Sinaloa, is Vanita Leo, a promising singer who jumped on our radar via social media. “I make music that reflects these cultures,” she tells Billboard Español. Notably, she’s garnered the attention of music greats like Ramon Ayala and Ramona, who she opened up for in Texas.

She began gaining a steady following since her 2023 EP, Historia de una Amor, featuring corridos tumbados-infused “Arrepentida,” and the ballad kiss-off “Marchate.” Her forthcoming single “Slo Tú BB” (out May 3) is a cumbia delight over sultry R&B vocals, echoing the footsteps of her Tejano predecessors.  — ISABELA RAYGOZA

Song for Your Playlist: “Arrepentida”

Powered by Billboard.

Related Articles

Back to top button