Music

Reggaetón Stars Who’ve Experimented with Merengue

On June 20, the official first day of summer, Karol G unleashed her first-ever merengue single, “Ai Antes Te Hubiera Conocido” (which translates to “if I would’ve met you before).

Co-produced by Edgar Barrera, Sky Rompiendo, and Karol, the new bop is vibrant, feel-good, and optimistic. Beyond its flirtatious lyrics — about crushing on a man who’s taken — the song embodies Dominican culture.

“I worked on part of ‘Mañana Sera Bonito’ there, and when I need to disconnect from the world and connect with myself I also go there,” she wrote in an Instagram post about the love and respect she has for the Caribbean island. “Its culture, its music, its colors, the hospitality, the energy…everything feels very authentic and special there. Its people have embraced me in a way that fills my heart and inspires me all the time.”

The Colombian artist is not the only reggaetón star to immerse themselves in the tropical genre. In 2022, Bad Bunny surprised fans with “Después de la Playa,” a fast-paced mambo and merengue fusion that was part of his Un Verano Sin Ti album. That same year, Rosalía unleashed “Despechá,” a merengue about feeling heartbroken that had everyone on their feet.

Bad Bunny opened the 2023 Grammy Awards with “Después” alongside a live band, with an amused Taylor Swift seen shimmying her shoulders and swaying her hips in the audience. Meanwhile, “Despechá” recently surpassed one billion streams on Spotify, making Rosalía the first solo Spanish artist to reach the milestone.

Below, check out the reggaetón acts who have dropped their own merengue tunes, presented in alphabetical order.

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