Image source: Getty / Telemundo
When Maluma said 2020 would be a “big year” for him, he was not exaggerating. The 26-year-old Colombian superstar made the transition from the Latin American market to the mainstream US charts in 2018, and this was the year the seeds of his work were revealed. Coincidentally, 2020 was also the 10th anniversary when he started recording music. To say that Maluma had plenty of reasons to celebrate this year is a huge understatement.
While most of us used our time at home to groom ourselves and improve our banana bread baking skills (Chrissy Teigen’s Bundt cake recipe was my personal favorite), Maluma decided to reinvent himself and create a completely new one Alter ego called “Papi Juancho.” Papi Juancho was the result of Maluma’s first campaign with Calvin Klein (the one he cum on) and his family’s nickname for him, which is a game by his real name, Juan Luis Londoño. Maluma was inspired by Miami Viceand with this new mood came new music of course.
“I felt connected again to this dreamer who started this crazy dream of becoming a star, becoming an artist.”
Without warning, Maluma pulled a Beyoncé on us and dropped his fifth album, Papi Juancho, on August 21. The 22-track project was fun, carefree, and heavily reggaeton influenced, a departure from the pop stylings on his 11:11 Album. When I spoke to Maluma earlier this year, he described Papi Juancho as the full circle moment that describes the project as “a mix of all the malumas” he has created over the years. “I felt connected to this dreamer again, who had this crazy dream of becoming a star, becoming an artist. I felt that energy from 10 years ago when I started my career,” he explained. And when I asked him what message he wanted to send to his fans with the album, his words were clear: “Dreams come true, when you work hard you are patient and disciplined. If I can do it, you can do it. ” it also.”
Well, his efforts certainly did not go unnoticed. The album debuted at number 2 on the Top Latin Albums Chart with 21 million US on-demand streams in its debut week, a career high for Maluma, and its single “Hawái” reached second place on Billboard’s Latin airplay chart for the year. Oh, and he also took first place for the third time in his career with his “Pa Ti” collaboration with Jennifer Lopez. So there is. Is there anyone Maluma hasn’t teamed up with this year? From J Lo to The Weeknd to the Black Eyed Peas it seemed like almost everyone wanted to work with him, and we don’t blame them.
But music wasn’t the only thing that preoccupied Maluma’s time. In case you haven’t heard, he is preparing to make his big screen debut alongside J Lo in the upcoming romantic comedy Marry me. The film, in which Owen Wilson, Sarah Silverman, Chloe Coleman and John Bradley also star, is based on Bobby Crosby’s graphic novel of the same name. In the plot, Lopez’s superstar character learns of the infidelity of her fiancé (Maluma) before marrying a random concert-goer (Wilson) instead.
“I think the J Lo Maluma movement is just beginning. After that Marry meI think things are going to change a lot, “Maluma said earlier in BillboardLatin Power Players 2020 edition. “We are making history as a Latin American community right now, and I’m very proud to be part of this big, big movement that we have right now.” In addition to the film, Maluma and Lopez also worked together on the soundtrack, which also includes their most recent singles “Pa Ti” and “Lonely”. Marry me is currently scheduled for release in May 2021 after the first premiere was pushed back on Valentine’s Day.
“It was important to bring the bright colors, good times and the nostalgic feeling to these unprecedented times.”
Obviously, a new album and movie just weren’t enough for Maluma because he then dipped his toes into the fashion world by releasing a collection of Michelob Ultra Pure Gold. The collaboration relied heavily on the Papi Juancho Vibes with a range of tie-dye and palm tree t-shirts and shorts. “My life is now full of color and beautiful. It’s a good energy, and so we want to show the clothing line with Michelob,” said Maluma Fashion. “I have the feeling that color is a different way of healing for me. That’s why I like the things I am doing right now, my fashion, my music. I feel connected through the universe.”
Together with Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing, he designed a bespoke suit for his performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, which reappeared at the brand show in Paris that fall. “It [was] It was my first time entering the world of couture design and I was fascinated. Working with Olivier is amazing. He knows how important it is to bring a story and a brand to life, “explained Maluma.” It was important for us to create bright colors, good times and a feeling of nostalgia in these unprecedented times. “
One of the things I admire most about Maluma is his commitment to giving back and helping his community, and although his schedule this year may have been very busy, he quickly mobilized his El Arte de los Sueños Foundation to help Need to help people in Maluma as the COVID-19 pandemic begins. “I am a leader here in my country and that is the minimum I can do now. Just help the people start up,” he said Entertainment tonight. “When all of these things started we found that the children were starving at home because their parents couldn’t go to work. They had no income, no money to get their food, so we started helping. We sent Eat at them house. ”
In 2016, Maluma founded El Arte de los Sueños to help vulnerable youth in his Colombian hometown of Medellín. Last October, he won the Spirit of Hope Award at the Billboard Latin Awards for his incredible work with Charity. Past recipients include Selena Quintanilla, Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee, and Shakira.
As a Latina and longtime fan, I can’t even explain how proud I was to see Maluma take Maluma by storm this year. It was more than inspiring to see someone at the forefront of pop culture who looks like me and understands the struggle to come out of nowhere. Maluma opens doors for Latin American artists trying to achieve similar mainstream success. Because of the Latin American presence at this year’s awards shows, people are taking note. We still have a long way to go, of course, but there’s no denying that Maluma has made a name for himself.