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Pandebono And "Traicionera" Tunes: 24 Hours In Colombia With Sebastián Yatra

The Colombian crooner is all about bringing ballads back to the forefront of Latin music.

If Sebastián Yatra were a crystal, he’d embody a rose quartz. Possessing love in every groove, Yatra does the same in his gentle and welcoming tone as he speaks compassionately about crafting baladas in a space preoccupied with Latin trap and reggaeton melodies. The genre is as big as it’s ever been with the crossover successes of fellow Colombians Maluma and J Balvin but Yatra, sitting backstage of the Movistar Arena in Bogotá, Colombia, is focused on making ballads great again.

“I think younger artists are scared. There’s been an error in associating ballads with boring and slow and old,” he explains as the legendary Miguel Bosé belts out one of his many baladas to a yearning crowd. The 23-year-old is the youngest artist on the homecoming bill, which features Juanes and Bosé, who became an honorary Colombian in 2010.

“A lot of the time, artists who’ve sang ballads early in their careers have gone urban or gone into reggaeton and that’s awesome, it’s importantisimo, do all these types of music and genres and progress musically,” he says while pointing out Ed Sheeran, Michael Bublé and Quincy Jones as dream collaborators. ”But if these artists were to bring back their ballads, it would beautiful because there’s a whole generation that will get some of that too. I would feel bad if they never got to experience it.”

It’s hard to ignore how important ballads play in Yatra’s creative outpour. Hours before chatting with Yatra, I revisited his debut album MANTRA en route from New York to Colombia. As the heavy rain trickled into my carry on, “No Hay Nadie Más” played in my ears, easing down the stress building in my shoulders. The artist toys with sultry hymns of love on the album while turning up the heat on tracks like the super-popular “Traicionera.” Sure, Latin Pop tart tunes are all about getting the girl, but Yatra’s practice derives from an earnest space.

Born in Medellín, Sebastián Obando Giraldo lived in Cartagena briefly before finding somewhat of a permanent home in Miami, Florida. Settling into songwriting at the age of 12, Sebastián moved back to Colombia eight years later. His breakthrough single was "El Psicólogo," (“The Psychologist” in English) a gentle ballad which became a hit in his native country. Ironically it was the trap-EDM blend of "Traicionera" that supplied him with international allure. The single reached No. 1 in Colombia and sweet spots on the Billboard Latin and Latin Pop charts, respectfully. His ability to blend between subgenres is a testament to his well, mantra.

“My mantra are my songs,” he says. “It takes you to that good energy with whatever you’re listening to. All these songs have these positive vibes, especially in the lyrics. They’re just sharing love. This album is my first mantra and I’ll have another one next year, hopefully.”

As Yatra continues to push for the slow jams, he’s prone to his ability to turn up. His single “Ya No Tiene Novio” with Venezuelan duo Mau Y Ricky earned him another batch of platinum plaques thanks to its undeniable blend of pop and reggae flair. There’s also the very clever campaign that went to making the video.

“It’s pretty crazy because the song blew up before it even came out,” he reveals. “Instead of telling people it was awesome, we told everyone that the collaboration sucked and having everyone say, ‘Dude you guys messed up, the song so bad.’” Artists like Maluma, Zion Y Lennox, and J Balvin joined the “Yatra vs. Mau and Ricky” faux feud, raising more hype and curiosity for the single.


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@jbalvin dice que no discutamos más.. ustedes que dicen? BUENA VIBRA @mauyricky ?? ⚡️ #YaNoTieneNovio

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“Maluma sent Mau and Ricky a video saying, “You guys f**ked up, why would you guys sing with Yatra?” and J Balvin was like, “You guys gotta make up,” he said while imitating Balvin’s signature prayer stance. “People were just laughing with it and that’s what the song was about. Just having a good time. In the video that’s what we’re doing too, just stealing each other’s girls, which is part of everyone’s everyday life.”

For the making of MANTRA, Yatra says hitting every genre wasn’t his intent as much as the input of serenity, inspiration and hope. “We never said, we do ‘this’ type of music, I just make songs to make you wanna party like crazy or make you get intimate with a girl you like,” he says. “All these songs have a purpose and each of them are written for a different moment in life. All these beats make you feel different things. I did a trap record called “Como Si Nada” with this guy Calle and the rap he does is mind-blowing.

“I just enjoy getting out of my comfort zone. I think younger artists, Colombian artists and Latinx artists around the world are doing a great job of getting outside the box or rather, getting rid of the box.”

Bending musical traditions have worked well for Latinx creatives. Since 2016, Latin music has captivated streaming services and YouTube with many of the billion-viewed videos belonging to artists like J Balvin (“Mi Gente”), Luis Fonsi (“Despacito”), Becky G (“Mayores”), Maluma (“Felices Los 4”), Jennifer Lopez (“On The Floor”) and many more. As hip-hop and R&B reigns as the most consumed genre in the world, Latin music and its subgenres are right behind it.

As we get closer to the final hours in chilly Bogotá, the party continues at Movistar Arena with Yatra wrapping up our convo to hop on stage with Juanes. The moment is a big circle as one of the first albums Yatra owned was Juanes’ 2004 release, Mi Sangre. It’s as if Yatra’s mantra of love and modern baladas are coming into fruition before our very eyes.

Stream MANTRA below.

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Ozuna And Darell Travel Through An Industrial Conquest Denouncing A Bad Love In "Vacia Sin Mi"

Gloomy cloudy skies are looming over an industrial like setting dotted with huge heavy duty trucks, as beautiful young ladies clad in yellow jumpsuits surround Ozuna in the visuals for his new single, “Vacia Sin Mi” featuring Latin trap artist Darell.

The new track is centered around the plight behind a romance gone wrong, and Ozuna is denouncing the love interest that did him wrong.  Through a hypnotic slow beat, he sings on beat about wanting nothing to do with her. He’s moved on and so should she. Darell assists the singer with brash vocals, which sound like the Spanish version of rapper Future’s signature raspy syrupy drawl.

“We want to show people a completely new concept, always looking to surprise the fans that have always supported my artistic career,” Ozuna stated in a press release.  

“Vacia Sin Mi” is the 27 year-old’s latest single off his forthcoming project NIBURU, which will be released under the record label Dimelo Vi. Just recently, the reggaeton artist made history by garnering 23 nominations for the 2019 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

We’re curious to see what new music and sound his forthcoming project will bring. Last year, he told VIBE VIVA about his previous album, Aura and what it represents for him. "Aura" is what one reflects in the heart, what you bring into the world, and what people want to learn from you,” he said. “In this situation particularly, it reflects what I have learned from fame, from all this going around my life. I interpreted all that in this album. I made international collaborations, which is something that didn’t exist in the past.”

Watch the video for “Vacia Sin Mi” above.


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Two Former Cops Arrested For Murder Of Brazilian Politician and Activist Marielle Franco

Brazilian activist and councilwoman Marielle Franco was murdered almost a year ago on March 14 2018, along with her driver Anderson Gomes. Now almost a year since Franco's brutal murder, suspects have been named and arrested in the case.

"Two police officers were arrested for direct and effective participation in the crime," said Rio de Janeiro's state police secretary, Marcus Vinícius Braga. "With these arrests, we get close to solving the crime."

Franco was a well-known activist in Rio de Janeiro and she used her platform to speak out on police brutality and on the behalf of Black Brazilians who have been fighting the rampant racism in their country. Just a day before her death Franco had attended a discussion titled "Young Black Women Moving [Power] Structures" and just a couple of hours later was allegedly shot by the arrested suspect retired military officer Ronnie Lessa with the assistance of the expelled cop, and another suspect, Élcio Vieira Queiroz, who was driving the car.

Franco was clearly targeted given her candidness when speaking about the corruption that plagues the Brazilian police force and the color of her skin is what convinced the men that their actions would go unnoticed. Brazilian prosecutors have stated that Franco's assassination was planned three months in advance by the two individuals, however, they are also now looking into whether Lessa and Queiroz were hired to kill Franco by someone else.

Following the arrests Gomes' widow, Ágatha Reis spoke out. "It is a weight that is starting to lift off my shoulders," Reis said. "I cannot be completely at peace. They still have to tell us who ordered these killings. It doesn't end here." Reis sentiments were echoed by supporters of Franco as #WhoOrderedMariellesMurder trended on Twitter soon after the arrests as well.

This is the first step towards justice for Franco and Gomes and it must not be the last.

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Bronx City Councilman Unveils Street In Memory Of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz

Honoring the victim in the tragic and fatal case of mistaken identity, a New York City street has been renamed in tribute to Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, CBS New York reports.

Guzman-Feliz was killed by members of the Trinitarios gang in the summer of 2018 after a group of its members mistakenly thought he was somebody else. He was 15. His story gained nationwide media coverage after footage showed multiple men attacking him with machetes.

It was announced that the Bathgate Avenue block would be renamed on July 25 and now nearly eight months later, the street sign has officially been unveiled. With both the family and city council members of the revel in tow, Councilman Ritchie Torres delivered a beautiful speech honoring the late Bronx native.


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The Crowd Sang Happy Birthday To Leandra😩😭❤️ Btw THE SIGN IS UP ITS OFFICIAL😭 . . . #justiceforjunior💔 #justiceforjunior #forever15 #juniorsworld #longlivejunior #stoptheviolence #justice #e4j #j4j #flyhighjunior #lesandroguzmanfeliz #ripjunior #restinpeacejunior #restinheaven

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A Bittersweet Moment😭❤️🙏🏼🤴🏽 Long Live Junior👼🏽 . . . Cr: @camaro_clutch #justiceforjunior💔 #justiceforjunior #forever15 #juniorsworld #longlivejunior #stoptheviolence #justice #e4j #j4j #flyhighjunior #lesandroguzmanfeliz #ripjunior #restinpeacejunior #restinheaven

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“It is Junior’s memory that inspired the governor of New York to invest over $18 million in new funds for youth programming right here in the Bronx. It is Junior’s memory that inspired both the mayor and the City Council to bring new gang violence prevention services right here to the 48th Precinct," Torres said. "And it is Junior’s memory that inspired the Bronx borough president, partnering with New York State’s parks and the Fresh Air Fund, to create an upstate summer program for Bronx youth known as Camp Junior. These commemorations of Junior’s memory represent only the beginning. Junior’s impact will last as his spirit lives on.”

He went on to say, “we should remember Junior not only for the tragic loss of his life in an unspeakable act of violence. We should remember him for the lives he has saved and the lives he will save because of the legacy he leaves behind—a legacy that I am honored to memorialize right here on Bathgate and 183rd. This street will forever be the home, will forever tell the story of Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz.”


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