In a chart dominated by reggaetón and Latin trap titles, for the first time this year, two Latin pop singles score the top two leading positions on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart.
While the core of both songs is pop — Reik partners with ultra pop singer-songwriter Camilo while Yatra joins forces with fellow Colombian Manuel Turizo — we can’t overlook the fact that both tracks feature urbano assists (Farruko on “Si Me Dices Que Sí” & Rauw Alejandro on “TBT”) which could play a major role in the chart success of both tracks.
Proven to be an effective formula, for the past few years less urban-leaning artists are collaborating with rhythmic artists to create more radio-friendly tracks that have that perfect combination: strong lyrics and a rhythmic, catchy tune.
It’s not to say that without an urbano assist, Reik or Sebastian Yatra could not have achieved this feat. Both are core Latin pop chart-topping acts, but “Si Me Dices Que Sí” and “TBT” are perfect examples of how moving away from traditional pop is another step in the ongoing evolution of Latin music as noted in our “Pop’s Predicament” feature last year.
Below, we break down the key players, sounds and chart stats for both standout pop singles and pop artists that, in a crowded field of reggaetóneros and regional Mexican acts, have made their way to the top of Billboard’s Latin Airplay.
Reik, Farruko & Camilo — “Si Me Dices Que Sí”
Pop Stars: For the past 15 years, Mexican trio Reik has thrived on their core melodic, pop tunes but most recently, have shown off their ability to adapt to the ever-evolving “traditional” sound of Latin pop, collaborating with Ozuna, Maluma and Nicky Jam. Camilo, on the other hand, is among the new generation of pop singer-songwriters who has captivated an audience thanks to his ultra-romantic songs, sweet voice and stunning artistry when it comes to making music.
Reggaetón Sidekick: Since his 2010 debut, Farruko has become a heavyweight in the reggaetón and Latin trap world. Collaborating with acts like Reik and Pedro Capó has shown his ability to catapult a pop tune to the next level thanks to his slick songwriting skills.
Sound & Lyrics: Like most of Reik’s songs, the lyrics to this pop track evoke memories of a heartbreak and that state of loneliness post break up. Throughout the song, Reik’s Jesús Navarro and Camilo trade heart-wrenching verses like “If you get away from me, I don’t want to live anymore” and “I’ll leave everything behind if you tell me ‘yes.’” Then, Farruko’s distinctive voice comes in mid-song for the trifecta effect.
Chart Position: On Latin Airplay, Reik, Farruko & Camilo’s collab hits No. 1. It’s Reik’s third No. 1, Camilo’s first and Farruko’s seventh. Out of the 18 titles which have hit No. 1 so far on Latin Airplay in 2020, “Si Me Dices” is the first Latin pop title by a core Latin pop act to top the tally.
Label: Sony Music Latin
Sebastian Yatra, Rauw Alejandro & Manuel Turizo — “TBT”
Pop Stars: Placing all bets on Colombian singer-songwriter Sebastian Yatra, Universal Music Latin has catapulted the rising artist to stardom in his short but fruitful career. It’s safe to say that Yatra is among the few artists who have been able to find the perfect balance between rhythmic and pop. Manuel Turizo is no different. Treading the line between reggaetón and pop, Turizo is a promising and rising star from Colombia who, in 2019, scored his first top 10 on the Top Latin Albums chart (dated Sept. 7) as his ADN album debuted at No. 8.
Reggaetón Sidekick: Up-and-coming reggaetón artist Rauw Alejandro is among the new generation of urbano artists who are making waves collaborating with major artists like Nicky Jam and Daddy Yankee.
Producers: Andres Torres and Mauricio Rengifo
Sound & Lyrics: The rhythmic-leaning track finds Yatra and Turizo convincing a girl that she’s better off with them and not the guy that she’s with. “I see myself with you. It can’t be that we’re only friends. You’re with someone that you can’t love,” they sing. The track speaks to Yatra and Turizo’s ability to find that nice balance between pop and reggaetón. Two minutes into the song, Alejandro jumps on “TBT” to speed up the tune with his suave verses.
Chart Position: Coming in at No. 2 on the Latin Airplay chart, on Latin Rhythm Airplay, Sebastian Yatra, Rauw Alejandro & Manuel Turizo’s “TBT” ascends 3 to 1.
Label: Universal Music Latino