“It is a lot enjoyable being the unhealthy woman,” Karol G says. “Within the films, I feel individuals bear in mind the villains greatest.”
For the Colombian pop-reggaeton star, being “unhealthy” consists of some issues that are not terribly destructive, except you are a lady: racing throughout the town in your flashy new automotive, getting reckless on the dance flooring together with your girlfriends or sporting a revealing new outfit, simply in case you stumble in your ex. Such is the life Karol leads as a “Bichota,” which is the title of her most up-to-date hit: Spanglish slang that is roughly equal to hip-hop’s “unhealthy bitch,” or an “empowered, robust girl” in Karol’s phrases.
“There is no such thing as a method to say it prettily,” she says. “You need to say it with pressure and with angle. Bichota.”
Videoconferencing from her condo in Miami, the Latin Grammy-winning artist remains to be winding down from her 30th birthday, which falls on Valentine’s Day. She celebrated by motocross racing within the Dominican Republic together with her household, then got here dwelling and acquired herself a white Ferrari Spider 812 GTS. 2021 guarantees to be a pivotal 12 months for Karol: Her new studio album, “KG0516,” takes intention on the form of rarified crossover stardom loved solely by male Latin MCs like Daddy Yankee, Dangerous Bunny and J Balvin. “For years, I heard that girls don’t do reggaeton,” she says. “Reggaeton and concrete music belong to males, however as a lady, you belong to males.
“Girls are on an entire different stage now,” she provides. “We’re properly ready to guide. We have earned it, and we are going to combat for it.”
“KG0516” is Karol’s first report as co-producer, and it options collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Balvin and Ozuna. Spelled out like a flight quantity, the “0516” corresponds to Could 16, 2006, the day the performer signed her first report deal as Karol G. Karol grew up Carolina Giraldo Navarro, the youngest baby in a middle-class household in Medellin, a sprawling metropolis within the coronary heart of the Andes Mountains.
Her father, music supervisor Juan Guillermo Giraldo, helped shepherd her via her burgeoning music profession in Colombia, touchdown her a task within the nation’s spinoff of “The X-Issue” and finally a quinceanera gig the place she first met and opened for future collaborator Balvin.
Karol carefully studied not solely the pop-R&B sensibilities of up to date anglophone divas like Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse but in addition the tao of reggaeton godfathers El Normal and Tego Calderon. In pooling collectively her influences, Karol emerged with the silken, laid-back move of a lady who grew up on island music.
“I can simply make a cumbia or a ballad, as a result of I take pleasure in them simply the identical,” Karol says of her type. “However after I began making music in 2006, there was already a really robust reggaeton motion in Latin America. The music I wished to make was the music I liked listening to.”
Within the 2000s, nevertheless, girls in reggaeton have been few and much between. In early talks with Common Latin, Karol says, one government tried to steer her away from the style; the now-renowned Puerto Rican MC Ivy Queen was each reggaeton’s most seen and its most despised girl, whose feminist verses have been met by sexist assaults on her look and her smoky contralto. (Karol invited Ivy again to revive her 2002 traditional “Quiero Bailar” on the nostalgic “KG0516” reduce “Leyendas.”)
Karol fastidiously earned avenue cred because the pop-adjacent sidekick to male artists like Reykon, Nicky Jam and Ozuna. Her 2017 major-label debut, “Unstoppable,” featured her now diamond-status breakout single with Dangerous Bunny, “Ahora Me Llamas.” Then, on her sophomore LP, “Ocean,” Karol established her endurance as a solo artist on its lead single, “Mi Cama,” or “My Mattress” — an prompt reggaeton traditional sealed with a squeaky horn pattern, emulating the bounce of a mattress body when making love. She adopted “Mi Cama” with 2018’s “Punto G,” an ode to a selected erogenous zone.
That very same 12 months, Karol was named greatest new artist on the Latin Grammys, and an growing variety of girls surfaced within the business reggaeton scene.
Very similar to the eccentric celebrity Dangerous Bunny, Karol hopes to ascertain herself as a Latin pop auteur with “KG0516,” shaking and stirring no matter sound involves her. Joined by Balvin and Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA, Karol cosplays a cowgirl within the video for her western-themed music “Location,” which fuses American nation music, dance pop and Latin lure. On her newest single, “El Barco,” or “The Ship,” currents of bossa nova and bachata riffs, performed by Aventura guitarist Lenny Santos, move delicately in dialog together with her forlorn verses, informing an ex-lover that their ship has sailed. “There are neither unhappy endings nor blissful endings,” she sings, “however I do consider in new beginnings.”
“El Barco” and different breakup songs on “KG0516” have additional fueled hypothesis concerning Karol’s relationship with frequent collaborator Anuel AA, whom she started courting in 2018. Univision reported that the couple had cut up, citing each nameless sources and the couple’s waning social media presence as proof. “Anuel and I made a decision to maneuver away from social media as a result of we grew to become a goal,” Karol says. “If one thing definitive have been to occur, we’re going to be those to speak it.”
Karol’s musical lineage, and that of reggaeton, leans closely on the affect of Black individuals within the Caribbean; but save for Ozuna, reggaeton’s hottest artists are non-Black Latinos.
Race has been a sticky topic for Karol G. Amid the protests after the police killing of George Floyd, she posted a photograph of her black and white bulldog, Goku, calling it “an ideal instance of black and white collectively in concord.”
“I did unsuitable with my picture, and the lesson price me lots,” she says. “You do not know how a lot I cried. I disappeared from social media for a month. However having offended individuals by saying one thing so ignorant, it was additionally my alternative to grasp it higher. I talked to Becky G, who shared articles and movies about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor … I simply grew up in such privilege (as a mestiza girl, she’s a part of a majority in Colombia) that I did not perceive the (scale of) racism. To let you know the reality, I was somewhat scared to speak about it, however I am studying now.”
Uncomfortable as it could be, Karol’s stumbles stay important elements to her journey as an artist. She’s coming to fame in an period when gender and racial parity aren’t simply buzzwords but in addition rules demanded by a brand new technology of listeners.
“I consider in what individuals are combating for as we speak, for rights, for equality,” she says. “However I perceive now as a frontrunner, I’ve to be higher linked.”
— to www.theday.com