Alejandro Salazar, known artistically as A.CHAL, has been steadily building over the last two years. Peruvian-born, New York-raised and now a resident of Los Angeles, A.CHAL is emblematic of a generation of young Latin beatcentric vocalists in the United States, who embody a multiplicity of culture, and resonate across a diverse spectrum of audiences. Chal’s skill shines through in his confidence on the mic in breathing life into his artistic vision. His melodic delivery over dark minor chord progressions and trap-esque production sets the tone, and lyrically, he offers a perspective that rings with both confidence and humility. His second full-length, ON GAZ, was released this past summer, and momentum continues to build looking ahead to 2018.
Listen: A.CHAL’s station on Pandora: pandora.com/station/play/
COASTCITY is Jean Rodríguez and Danny Flores, both of whom boast production, writing, composition and coaching resumes that extend to the floor. They’ve worked with some of the biggest artists in contemporary Latin music, all of which has been extensively documented this year. Even more exciting is the prospect of what’s still to come from this Boricua artist-producer duo. Having released only two singles so far, it’s difficult to recall more industry buzz surrounding a new group. They’ve dubbed their sound “soul Caribeño” (“Caribbean soul”), and that’s an apt description for the music they create, which exists between genres and is the sum of all of their musical parts working in smooth, laid-back tropical tandem. Check for more to come in 2018.
Listen: COASTCITY’s station on Pandora: pandora.com/station/
La Mamá del Rap, aka MelyMel has bars for days. The Dominican rapper/singer/actress/producer is easily one of the most gifted lyricists in the Latin rap game. In a genre that has at times taken a backseat amidst the popularity of reggaetón, rap en español is on the verge of a renaissance in the United States, which has MelyMel poised to be a factor in 2018. Working to her advantage is her versatility across styles, as she is equally at home spitting venom, as she is dropping a melodic verse on the mic. In an age where many of the most popular artists are utilizing ghost writers, it’s refreshing to see a female MC flex with so much authority on the track. Her upcoming album, Dragon Queen, is slated for release next year. Zero dembow.
Listen: Melymel’s station on Pandora: pandora.com/station/