8 trends that defined Latin music in 2021


We’re just days away from knowing who will take home the coveted Song of the Year award at the Latin GRAMMY 2020. Contestants for this category, which notably celebrates songwriters, this year include some of the greatest artists in Latin music today, including Maluma, Juanes & Sebastián Yatra, Jorge Drexler, Camilo, Kany García & Nahuel Pennisi, and many others.

As we look forward to the 21st Latin GRAMMY Awards, which air on Thursday, November 19, GRAMMY.com takes a closer look at this year’s Song of the Year nominees.

“ADMV” (Performed by Maluma)

Maluma launched his Papi juancho the album era in April with one of the most romantic love songs of his career. The Colombian superstar wrote “ADMV” (“Amor de Mi Vida” or “The love of my life”) with Vicente Barco, Stiven Rojas and hitmaker Édgar Barrera. In the song, Maluma lets his beloved know that he’s here for the long haul: until their last breath together when they’re old and gray, he’ll always be there. In 2017, Maluma became the first songwriter in Latin GRAMMY history to have three songs nominated for Song of the Year in the same year. His nod in 2020 marks his fourth overall nomination in this category.

“Bonita” (Performed by Juanes & Sebastián Yatra)

Juanes is no stranger to the Song of the Year category at the Latin GRAMMYs, having already won the award twice. (He also has a few GRAMMYs to his credit.) The Colombian rock star has teamed up with fellow countryman Sebastián Yatra for their collaboration, “Bonita” (or “Beautiful”). The couple wrote the song with Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres, the duo behind the groundbreaking Latin hit “Despacito”, which won the song of the year award at the 2017 Latin GRAMMYs. On “Bonita”, Juanes and Yatra flood the women with their lives with the most loving words. It’s a dream team here.

“Codo Con Codo” (Performed by Jorge Drexler)

After winning the 2018 Latin GRAMMYs Song of the Year award for “Telefonía”, Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler is once again nominated in the category for “Codo Con Codo” (or “Elbow to Elbow “), a song he notably wrote by himself. The title of the song is a nudge play that health officials are cheering instead of shaking hands during the COVID-19 pandemic. When things were particularly frightening and uncertain at the start of the pandemic, Drexler reassured listeners and gave hope with the warmth of his words.

“El Mismo Aire” (Performed by Camilo)

Camilo was first nominated for Song of the Year at the 2019 Latin GRAMMYs for her work on the Juanes and Alessia Cara collaboration, “Querer Mejor”. This year, the Colombian singer-songwriter is nominated twice in the Song of the Year category for music he wrote for himself. The first is “El Mismo Aire” (or “The Same Air”), which he wrote with his frequent collaborators Jon Leone, Richi López, Juan Morelli and Édgar Barrera, the latter being nominated twice in this category this year. Featured on Camilo’s Champagne Por Primera Vez, this song is one of the darkest moments on the album where he sings about a relationship that has cooled off.

Read: Get to know the nominees for the Album of the Year 2020 Latin GRAMMY | 2020 Latin GRAMMY Awards

Latin GRAMMY and GRAMMY legends Alejandro Sanz and Carlos Vives have teamed up on “For Sale”, a featured track from the latter’s 2020 album, Cumbiana. Vives, who has already won the song of the year award at the Latin GRAMMYs twice, wrote this animated track with Sanz. Trying to save a relationship on the rocks, the two artists give up just like a garage sale. “For Sale” is a precious and priceless Latino pop moment.

“#ELMUNDOFUERA (Improvisation)” (Performed by Alejandro Sanz)

“#ELMUNDOFUERA (Improvisación)” (or “The World Outside (Improvisation)”) marks Alejandro Sanz’s second nomination for song of the year this year. The Spanish singer-songwriter holds the record for the most wins in this category, with four wins in total. Sanz wrote “#ELMUNDOFUERA” while in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers words of hope that one day we can embrace our loved ones again.

“Lo Que En Ti Veo” (Performed by Kany García & Nahuel Pennisi)

“Lo Que En Ti Veo” (or “What I See In You”) marks Kany García’s fourth career nomination in the Latin GRAMMYs’ Song of the Year category. The Puerto Rican singer-songwriter wrote this delicate love song for his wife, Jocelyn Troche, who performs with her in the song’s music video. The soft guitar and choirs of Argentinian musician Nahuel Pennisi, García’s beautiful confession of love. The song is featured on García’s 2020 duets album, Mesa Para Dos. With five nominations in total, including Record Of The Year and Album Of The Year, García is the most nominated female artist for the Latin GRAMMY this year.

Read: Final round of performers announced for Latin GRAMMY 2020

“René” (Performed by Resident)

Including her work with hip-hop group Calle 13, Residente holds the record for most Latin wins at the GRAMMYs, with 25 awards. When the Puerto Rican rapper was going through a depressive and suicidal episode in 2018, he called his mom who comforted him on the phone. The next day, Residente wrote down his emotions in “René”, an almost 8-minute song, titled after his first name, in which he reflects on all the ups and downs of his life and career. What must have been a therapeutic liberation for him has become one of the most powerful moments in Latin music over the past year.

“Tiburones” (Performed by Ricky martin)

While Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin sings this GRAMMY nominated song in Latin, he didn’t write it. As such, the nomination for song of the year goes to Mexican singer-songwriter Pablo Preciado, member of the group Matisse, and his Venezuelan co-author, Oscar Hernández. In a turbulent world, the two artists write on a call for unity and peace. Martin breathed life into their lyrics in a powerful moment in his 2020 Pause EP.

“Tusa” (Performed by Karol G & Nicki Minaj)

Best New Latin Artist GRAMMY award winner Karol G has teamed up with 10-time GRAMMY nominee Nicki Minaj for the knockout collaboration, “Tusa” (or “Heartbreak”). For her very first Latin GRAMMY nomination, Minaj wrote her boastful lyrics in Spanish and English. There are no language barriers on this universal hymn for girls, written by Karol G, Minaj, producer Daniel “Ovy on the Drums” Oviedo, Juan Camilo Vargas and rising hitmaker Kevyn “Keityn” Moreno. Karol G and Minaj let it be known that they are ready to party and back (“twerk”) the heartache away.

“Tutu” (Performed by Camilo & Pedro Capo)

“Tutu” marks Camilo’s second nomination in the Song of the Year category at the Latin GRAMMY 2020; it is also the second appointment of his co-writers, Jon Leone and Richi López. Camilo wrote the adorable Latin pop bop as an ode to his wife, Evaluna Montaner, whom he affectionately calls “Tutu”. Featured guest Pedro Capó, who won Song of the Year at the Latin GRAMMYs 2019, gives Camilo and co’s heartfelt words an extra punch. At this year’s Latin GRAMMYs, Camilo is also nominated for Record of the Year for “Tutu” and Album of the Year for Por Primera Vez.

The 2020 Latin GRAMMYs will air on Univision on Thursday, November 19 at 8 p.m. ET / PT (7 p.m. CT). The show will also be broadcast on TNT (cable) at 7 p.m. (MEX) / 8 p.m. (COL) / 10 p.m. (ARG / CHI), and on Televisa on Channel 5.

Find out more about the Latin GRAMMY Awards 2020 via the Latin Recording Academy’s official site.

2020 Latin GRAMMY Awards nominees announced: see full list


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