Also on this week’s playlist: Puerto Rican synth-pop band Los Wálters, digital cumbia craftsman Chancha Vía Circuito and Uruguayan rapper Santi Mostaffa make for a truly eclectic weekly mix that fuses pop, cumbia, rap and electronic rhythms.
This playlist is the second in a weekly Spotify series of NPR Music’s favorite Latin songs that will be updated every Wednesday. Catch our weekly thoughts and hot takes here.
Luis Fonsi feat. Stefflon Don, “Calypso”
Leading the running for least expected collaboration this year, Luis Fonsi and Stefflon Don’s “Calypso” is making a late grab for song of the summer. In just five days since it dropped on Friday, the video has already amassed 38 million views on YouTube, outperforming Drake’s Degrassi reunionmore than two times over in the same week. The video features the Puerto Rican crooner-turned-hitmaker and the British-Jamaican “Hurtin’ Me” rapper on to the beaches of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, where they stage a calypso-dancehall rager in — where else? — a seniors resort.
Fonsi himself looks a little like a grandpa banging out those dance moves to the sound of steel drums on that sandbank, but he’s clearly not stressed. “Calypso” is Fonsi’s first single since his November collaboration with Demi Lovato on “Échame La Culpa,” which now sits comfortably at 1.3 billion views, and only the second since “Despacito,” which at 5.2 billion views is the most streamed song of all time. Both of those songs featured pop superstars; if Fonsi can eclipse a billion views on “Calypso” with an emerging star like Stefflon Don, it might be his most impressive feat yet. — Stefanie Fernández
Daddy Yankee, RKM, Ken-Y & Arcangel, “Zum Zum”
Can it get more old school than RKM and Ken-Y? As if we haven’t had enough reggaeton summer hits (which we haven’t), Daddy Yankee partnered with Arcangel, Natti Natasha and the Grammy-nominated duo to bring us “Zum Zum.” They’re bringing the word “dembow” back to our daily vocabulary and proving once again that contagious tracks that make you grab a partner and get on the dancefloor will always be in demand.
The song revisits terms like “la combi completa” and “dale pa’l piso” that avid dembow listeners are all too familiar with. This is part of a series of comebacks and collaborations artists of reggaeton “viejo” are staging with up-and-coming artists in the Latin trap scene. Just as Wisin & Yandel made a comeback, collaborating with Bad Bunny, Noriel, Jon Z, and others, RKM and Ken-Y reunited in 2017 after a four-year split. On what seems like a tutorial for dancing reggaeton, “Zum Zum” reminds us where the genre’s roots are planted and where they’re headed. — Coral Murphy
Santi Mostaffa, “Andar”
Uruguayan rapper Santi Mostaffa reminds me of what every skater dude in Miami was listening to while I was growing up. It’s oddball rap at its most fino with a jazz-funk twist; remove the vocals and backbeat, and “Andar” sounds like your hip dad’s weekend jam band. This spirit of fusion is bubbling up all across Latin “alternative” scenes, and Mostaffa is quickly becoming a frontrunner. Alternative to the reliable perreo-and-Don Q summer jams that come every year (that I love with my whole heart), Mostaffa offers an anthem in the self-celebratory spirit of summer, this time, in Spanish. This will be on heavy rotation on your phone in your bolsillos (hard sh), I promise. — Stefanie Fernández
Stream Alt.Latino’s Weekly Spotify Playlist