Music

Ryan Castro Releases ‘El Cantante del Ghetto’ & More New Music Latin

New Music Latin is a compilation of the best new Latin songs and albums recommended by Billboard Latin and Billboard Español editors. Check out this week’s picks below.

Ryan Castro, COQUE & La Eterna, “El Cantante del Ghetto” (Ryan Castro)

In the first single from his upcoming album, Ryan Castro pays tribute to salsa legend Héctor Lavoe, a.k.a. “El Cantante,” with a slow heartbreak salsa titled “El Cantante del Ghetto.” “Loves like yours can’t be bought, they can’t be compared, they can’t be known/ If I gave my all to make this relationship last/ Look me in the face and tell me you don’t know me,” the Colombian reggaetón star sings with pathos over classic salsa instrumentation of brass, strings and percussion. The single arrives just days after the National Recording Registry announced the inclusion of Lavoe’s “El Cantante” to its preserved works.

Castro, also known as “El Cantante del Ghetto,” which will also give name to his album, released the song with a 1970s-style music video in which he appears dressed and styled like Lavoe at that time — the white two-piece suit over a red shirt, aviator glasses and all — singing with an orchestra in a nightclub. The single is a preview of what will be his new LP, to be released on May 9, and which, according to a press release, is inspired by the singer’s humble upbringing in the barrio Pedregal in his native Medellín. 

“Salsa is one of my favorite genres and I always listened to Héctor Lavoe growing up in my barrio Pedregal,” Castro tells Billboard Español. “With this album I wanted to show my essence and that’s why this salsa is part of it. Making this song, paying tribute to a master like Héctor Lavoe, is an honor for me.” — SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS

iñigo quintero, “Desconocido” (Acquistic)

Last year, Spanish singer-songwriter iñigo quintero found success (that seemed to come out of nowhere) with his 2022 song “Si No Estas,” which topped the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. songs chart (dated Nov. 4). Serving as a followup to his global anthem is a five-song EP, es solo música, which houses “Si No Estas,” and other previously-released singles. It also includes his new track, “Desconocido,” placing all bets once again on his melodic approach to pop ballads with a hooky and explosive chorus that can be easy to remember and harder to get out of your head. — GRISELDA FLORES

Tei Shi, Valerie (Tei Shi LLC)

Colombian-Canadian singer-songwriter Tei Shi (real name Valerie Teicher Barbosa) returns to her Latin roots with her new self-titled album Valerie. With the 13-track bilingual set, she navigates experiences that marked her life, as in “Falling From Grace” where she channels her emotions after a pregnancy that led to verge of death. Tei Shi rediscovers her artistic and personal essence, facing the challenges of life, love, and her career in an ethereal sound painted on a predominantly R&B, indie and pop canvas, but one that also dabbles in Latin rhythms like bachata.

“On Valerie, I’m peeling back the initial layer and exposing my most personal and intimate musings through one of the most confusing periods of my life,” the producer also said in a statement. Other standout tracks on the album include “BAD PREMONITION,” where she explores her comeback as an independent artist, the self-reflective “Valerie,” “MONA LISA,” “¿QUIÉN TE MANDA?” and the bachata “QQ (QUÉDATE QUERIENDOME).” Tei Shi is set to hit the road on her North American tour, which begins May 1 and will visit cities such as New York, Boston and Los Angeles. — LUISA CALLE

Ca7riel & Paco Amoroso, Baño María (5020 Records)

Buoyed by grit and glitz, Argentina’s Ca7riel and Paco Amorosa transport their uncanny charm to the global dance floor — and steamy hot tubs — with Baño María. Their joint debut album kicks off with “Baby Gangsta,” a dynamic drum and bass number ignited by infectious bass lines. “La Que Puede, Puede” veers into industrial territory with its mechanical, defiant beats, before plunging into an EDM-rich domain (“Llegó Paquito, el que le gusta a tu suegra y a los chavalitos,” Amoroso spits). The pair cozy up for a risqué venture on “Mi Diosa,” while “Dumbai” sparkles with a shimmering production atop a reggaetón rhythm and flirty verses.

“What’s distinctive about Baño María is that it’s an album by two friends who have known each other since they were 6 years old, who have been making music all their lives but had never made an album together,” the duo tells Billboard Español. “We left a lot of songs behind to create this great album that is made in the U.S., a place where we had never been, with very spicy producers in a very fun process.”

Baño María artfully traverses themes of love, heartbreak, audacity, late-night revelry and societal ironies, creating a bold exploration of youthful debauchery. Bolstered by the supreme production of about a dozen producers (Federico, Vindver, Vibarco, Gino Borro, Sir Nola and more), the duo’s vibrant and glitch-filled electronic tracks oscillate between the frenzy of dance-punk and the allure of kitschy pop. Meanwhile, Ca7riel and Paco Amorosa conjure the exhilaration of a new crush. — ISABELA RAYGOZA

Nicky Jam & Trueno, “Cangrinaje” (Sony Music Latin)

In a first collaborative effort — finally, after multiple attempts of working together (according to Nicky Jam) — Nicky and Trueno unleash “Cangrinaje.” Produced by Jorge Milliano (real name: Jorge Alberto Erazo), the track is a homage to reggaetón’s vieja escuela beats that became very popular in the early 2000s, especially at the underground party de marquesina (street party). Giving it that ultimate throwback and nostalgic touch is a sample of Nicky’s very own 2002 track “Mi Yal Eres Tú” in collaboration with DJ Playero.

“[Trueno] is a rapper whose delivery is very similar to mine when I would do [rap] battles,” the Puerto Rican artist expressed on social media. “He reminds me a lot of a younger version of Nicky Jam. I respect him a lot, and for me, he’s one of the best artists from Argentina. He’s very versatile and can do reggaetón, hip-hop, trap, whatever.” In “Cangrinaje,” Trueno further demonstrates his effortless adaptability between his melodious vocals and fiery rap verses. — JESSICA ROIZ

Damian, El Tropical Feeling (Vallenato & Cumbia Edition)(Feel The Power Agency)

As a reflection of his contagious Caribbean energy, Colombian singer-songwriter Damian presents his latest musical production, El Tropical Feeling (Vallenato & Cumbia Edition). The album — which the artist describes as a love letter to his native Colombia — includes 10 tracks that blend various tropical rhythms, including vallenato and cumbia, as well as tropical fusions, promising to take listeners on a journey filled with infectious beats and emotive lyrics. Penned and produced by Damian and Luis Ortega, the album includes previous hits such as “El Amor No Es Amor,” “Sabrosura,” and “Me Enamoro.” The focus track “TE ADORO” is a tribute to Colombia, celebrating the beauty of the country’s landscapes, the richness of its culture and the warmth of its hard-working people. — INGRID FAJARDO

Listen to more editors’ Latin recommendations in the playlist below:

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