First Stream Latin: New Music From Carlos Vives, Morat, Lali & More

“First Stream Latin” is a compilation of the best new Latin songs, albums and videos recommended by the Billboard Latin editors. Check out this week’s picks below.

Carlos Vives – Cumbiana (Sony Music Latin) 

Carlos Vives’ extraordinary recording career reaches a new milestone with Cumbiana (released May 22), his foray into the indigenous roots of Colombian music. At its best, the 10-track album is Vives at his finest: exuberant, soulful, beautiful and important without ever sounding overbearing, a very difficult balance to achieve. Marrying Colombia’s past with the future, Cumbiana has already delivered a chart hit with “No te vayas.” But the best is yet to come. Opener track “Hechizera,” begins with the sounds of Colombia’s countryside, then Jessie Reyez’s welcoming us, in English, to Vives’ world: “We are arriving to the great Magdalena River,” she whispers, alluding to the river Vives often compares with the great Mississippi and the birthplace of Colombia’s cumbia. “Hechizera” then evolves into a mix of past and present, indigenous drums playing reggaeton beats, call and response transformed into a slightly urban fusion. It’s a hit, as is the title track, reminiscent of Vives smashes like “Bailar contigo” and “Fruta fresca” and new single “For Sale” with Alejandro Sanz. In the middle, collaborations with Ruben Blades and Ziggy Marley, as well as purely exploratory tracks like “Zhingonezhi” make this an album to treasure. — LEILA COBO

Morat & Sebastian Yatra – “Bajo La Mesa” (Universal Music Latino)

Morat and Sebastian Yatra have teamed up for “Bajo La Mesa” (Under the Table), a heartfelt song about real love and fate. Combining their distinguishable sounds, the track is a romantic pop-rock ballad with lyrics about two people who are meant to be together. “I know you feel something for me / Why ignore this love?” and “I’m dying for you, I need your kisses to revive me,” the Colombian group and artist sing. “Bajo La Mesa,” which marks Morat and Yatra’s first collaborative effort, is accompanied by an animated video depicting the sweet story. — JESSICA ROIZ

Leiva – “La Estación Eterna” (Sony Music Entertainment)

Spanish rock singer-songwriter Leiva celebrates his 40th birthday homebound with the impromptu release of “La Estación Eterna” (The Eternal Station), a tune crafted in his home studio that floats seamlessly between angsty lyrical themes and heavy brassy guitar chords. The tune is a patchwork diary that comes alive in his native Madrid; a method for draining the emotional abscess of confinement and the uncertainty of the future. Bookended by his jarring guitar turns, a fed up Leiva -but keeping his cool- sings with the sui generis nature of his vocals: dando vueltas a las vueltas/ llevo una semana entera camuflando mi desastre existencial/ Huele a cielo de tormenta y me muero porque vuelva aunque sea un pedacito de normalidad (going around in circles/ it’s been a week of camouflaging my existential mess. Smells like a storm sky and I’m dying to go back to even a bit of normality.) — PAMELA BUSTIOS

Luis Coronel – Una Historia Más (Sony Music Latin)

As Coronel continues to cement his mark in the regional Mexican genre, his fourth studio album thrives on traditional banda sound from Sinaloa, Mexico. The album, which stays true to Coronel’s youthful essence and refreshing lyrics, drops after the 24-year-old singer released four singles earlier previewing his forthcoming album. The 10-set track opens with “Mentirosa” a banda ballad that finds Coronel singing about heartbreak and realizing he’s better off alone. Then, the album picks up with a more upbeat banda track titled “No Es Que Me Gustes,” Coronel’s collab with La Séptima Banda. The new album also includes other previously released hits like “Una Historia Más,” a romantic ballad about a love un-lived and un-tested and the norteña-tinged track “Próximamente Nada.” Una Historia Más closes with “Soltero,” a surprise cumbia in collaboration with Los Ángeles Azules. — GRISELDA FLORES

Lali – “Lo Que Tengo Yo” (Sony Music Latin)

In the midst of the coronavirus quarantine, Lali dropped her latest single and music video dubbed “Lo Que Tengo Yo.” With hypnotic dance beats fused with electro-urban rhythms, the song is about a girl who’s got it going on and is a heartbreaker. “What I have turns you on / What I have makes you hot / What I have suffocates you / What I have makes you fall in love,” the Argentine star says in the flirtatious lyrics. In the colorful and playful homemade music video, Lali is joined by fans of all ages and from all over the world busting their best dance moves in quarantine. Watch it below. — JR

Esteman – “Para Siempre” (EMI Music Mexico S.A. De C.V)

Esteman is in love and wants the world to know it! The Colombian singer-songwriter’s new feel-good pop tune “Para Siempre” is an ode to love with lyrics like, “You took me to another level, that of tranquility. You’re here to stay and I’m not scared to confess that our love will last forever.” The track was penned by Esteman and produced by Juan Pablo Vega. The video, where Esteman’s partner and actor Jorge Caballero makes a cameo, was filmed in L.A. with Nolan Padilla (Taylor Swift, Katy Perry) directing the choreography. With this heartwarming song, Esteman also kicks off Pride celebrations with June and pride festivities right around the corner. — GF

Antonia Jones – “Sexto Sentido” (Jm World Music)

Following her singles “Pago Yo” and “Aventurera,” rising artist Antonia Jones continues penning empowering anthems for women. Now, she presents “Sexto Sentido,” which lyrics are about a woman’s sixth sense. “It’s never wrong,” she assures in her new bop. Accompanied by Daniel Uribe, Nicky Jam’s musical director, on the guitar, “Sexto Sentido” is a soothing acoustic, lullaby-like song in which Jones’ dulcet voice tells a very personal story. “A strong woman is not afraid of the kicks / A woman is afraid to give everything and receive nothing,” she sings. The music video for “Sexto Sentido” shows Jones performing the touching song on a mobile phone as it navigates through different scenarios. — JR

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Written by Da Mixx

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