Entertainment

5 Reasons You Need To Be Listening To Colombiana Jessie Reyez’s Raw And Electrifying Music

The name Jessie Reyez might not be familiar to you yet, but the moment you press play on one of the rising singer’s tracks, you’ll have her on repeat — trust.

The Colombian-Canadian talent has been roaring through the music scene with her ripping croaks and brutally honest lyrics all year. In April, the 26-year-old dropped her debut EP “Kiddo,” filled with gut-wrenching joints like “Figures,” a tear-jerker delving into the complexities of heartbreak and infidelity, and “Gatekeepers,” a hair-raising track that shines a light on the sexism and sexual harassment that occurs in the music industry.

Reyez, a pure and raw performer, has captivated audiences at the BET Awards, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “TRL” and various sold-out concerts throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Next up, she’ll be dominating your 2018 playlist.

Ahead, five reasons why you need to be tuning into Reyez ahora mismo.

1. Jessie Reyez is pure talent.

Often compared to the late Amy Winehouse, Reyez’s voice is potent, delivering soft R&B arrangements before belting dark raspy growls. And her lyrics are equally enthralling. She is honest, vulnerable and energized, an artist fans trust and relate to, especially on topics of love. Her skill is spell-binding but her humility gives you the feeling she’s your homegirl from around the way who just happens to be killing it on the stage. That’s probably why the songbird’s November performance at New York’s Bowery Ballroom sold out in just 60 seconds.

2. The singer has mad Latina pride.

Reyez is always reppin’ her Colombian origins. From interviews to performances, she thanks her parents, who emigrated from the South American country to Canada before she was born, and even includes “Colombian King & Queen,” a voicemail the pair once left for her, as a track on her EP. She also sprinkles Spanish within her lyrics, and even expressed solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico before performing at Tidal’s benefit concert in October. How can you not love someone who sings to you in Spanglish?

3. She has no problem calling out sexism and misogyny.

In “Gatekeeper,” the colombiana confronts the sexism and exploitation of women in the music industry. “We are the gatekeepers. Spread your legs. Open up. You could be famous. You know we’re holding the dreams that you’re chasing,” she sings in the riveting track, and accompanying short film. The song is personal, and speaks to an experience she had with an industry insider who made sexual advances while she was trying to break into the scene in South Florida. The encounter almost stopped her from continuing to pursue a singing career, as she was unwilling to do what she thought was a perquisite into the field. “We never had a blueprint and we never set out to make something super impactful or heroic. Dropping something like this would be for my benefit,” she told Clash Music of the song back in June. “But also for the benefit of anyone who had been through it.”

4. Our faves love them some Reyez.

While still new to the game, Reyez has already proven herself as someone our fave artists want to collaborate with. When mega dance producer Calvin Harris dropped “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” in June, he featured long-time acts like Snoop Dogg, John Legend and Pharrell Williams as well as newer superstars like Ariana Grande, Kehlani, Frank Ocean and Migos and the up-and-comer Reyez. “Doesn’t that sound like bullshit? Doesn’t that sound like a lie? Bitch, what? Like, you’re lying. It sounds like a lie,” an astonished Reyez told Spin earlier this year about her part in the album. But Harris isn’t the only big name she has worked with. Romeo Santos’ “Golden,” which debut a month later, includes “Un Vuelo A La,” a song about two very different sides of a breakup, which features Reyez singing in Spanglish.

5. She is going to shine even brighter in 2018.

Jessie Reyez has spent 2017 climbing, and she will undoubtedly reach higher peaks in the new year. Just a couple of weeks ago, the artist, who is signed to Island Records, debuted a new song, “Cotton Candy,” an ear-worm about heartbreak. And at the start of next year, she’ll be continuing her Europe tour, before returning to North America with an even larger base of fans dedicated to help elevate the up-and-comer to the next level. If you haven’t already, stream and purchase Jessie Reyez’s “Kiddo” EP now and follow the singer on Instagram and Twitter.

READ: This Afro-Latina’s Album Is For The Brown Girl’s Intersectional Feminist Movement

Let us know your favorite song from the colombiana in the comments below!

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Video Dug Up From Cardi B’s Past Shows Her Saying She Used To Drug And Rob Men

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Video Dug Up From Cardi B’s Past Shows Her Saying She Used To Drug And Rob Men

Stay grateful you did not grow up in the era of Snapchat/ Instagram/ Facebook kids because you can delete but your recorded actions can still come back to bite. Cardi B knows the story. While the Afro-Latina queen of Trap isn’ making any apologies, the latest video to be dug up from her past is requiring her to give some answers.

Video of the singer, recalling a time in her life in which she felt forced to drug and rob men while seducing them has resurfaced.

Over the weekend, video of the “Money” rapper recalling how she used to drug and rob men resurfaced.

The video, which was recorded during an Instagram live broadcast, sees Cardi as she goes on a tearful verbal tirade about her past. This after, someone apparently questioned her success and accused her of not “putting in no fucking work.”

“I had to go ‘oh yeah, you wanna fuck me? Yeah yeah yeah let’s go to this hotel.’ And then I’d drug [expletivie] up and I’d rob them. That’s what I used to do.”

Users online were quick to comment.

“The fact that cardi b admitted to drugging and robbing men she would take back to a hotel for sex blows my mind,” wrote Twitter user @itsangelaa. “That’s not ‘keeping it real.’ that’s a crime.”

“I wonder what woulda happened if it were the other way round,” @BTSisthecauseo5 commented.

At the onset of the backlash, the rapper seemed to take the comments rather lightly.

The following day she also tweeted “IM THAT BITCH THEY LOVE TO HATE, IM THAT BITCH THEY HATE TO LOVE and I love it.”

On Tuesday, however, after users on Instagram and Twitter continued to simmer, she was forced to issue comment.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bve_d3sFet7/

In a post to her Instagram, the rapper responded to the comments about the video by saying: “I’m a part of a hip hop culture where you can talk about where you come from talk about the wrong things you had to do to get where you are.”


Read:After Two Parkland Students Commit Suicide, Community Unites To Share Mental Health Resources

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Up Next: Meet Katalina, The Colombian Funny Girl-Turned-Pop Singer You Need To Know

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Up Next: Meet Katalina, The Colombian Funny Girl-Turned-Pop Singer You Need To Know

Up Next is a FIERCE series highlighting rising Latina and Latin American women artists you might not know about but definitely should.

Katalina is used to the spotlight. For years, the colombiana has cultivated an audience of millions on Instagram with her hilarious short videos about relationships and womanhood. But now, the social media influencer-turned-singer is using her mic to explore these themes.

Debuting her first song, “Sacude,” a carefree pop-urban dance jam, last November, the Miami-living entertainer followed up this month with the heartbreaking ballad “Adios” featuring Cuban-American singer JenCarlos Canela, showing her musical versatility.

“With me, there will definitely be both. This is something I think I have been very clear about,” Katalina, 27, told FIERCE. “I feel that music is more free now and you do not have to limit yourself to only one genre. I like challenges and I dislike routine, so you can always expect a mix.”

We chatted with the rising star about her lifelong love of singing, transitioning from social media influencer to music artist, saying goodbye to loved ones and what to expect from the beauty in the months that follow.

FIERCE: Most people who are familiar with Katalina know you as a social media influencer with hilarious videos, but last year you took the leap into music. Why?

Katalina: I have always liked to sing. I come from a very musical and talented family, but we always practiced it as a hobby. A year ago, I gave myself the opportunity to develop it professionally with my manager, Kito Sunshine, and I am totally grateful and in love with this. Music is what I love the most — it frees me.

FIERCE: Was this shift from social media influencer to singer strategic? Did you know you always wanted to sing and saw social media as an avenue to build your popularity and get you there or was this an unexpected but welcomed outcome?

Katalina: Since I was a little girl, I have known that I liked to sing and play the piano. From 9 to 11 years old, I sang in the choir of a church when I lived in Colombia, and for me it was something magical, so I’ve always known it. As far as social media, I entered by accident, but from the first day, I enjoyed the opportunity to reach so many people and show them my musical side as well. It was not a strategy. I did not upload many videos singing, but people motivated me more and more to try to develop music professionally, so I gave myself the opportunity, and, well, here we are.

FIERCE: But you’re not just a pretty girl with a following who is trying to use her fame to dabble in something she has no business doing. You are talented! Still, several social media influencers have attempted to break into music, some like Cardi B and Jenn Morel finding success, but others not so much, oftentimes not because they lack talent but rather because they’re not taken as seriously. What has this transition been like for you?

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Katalina: It is a bit difficult for people to see social influencers in another facet that they are not used to, but, in my case, I always showed them that musical side, so it was not totally a surprise. The same people asked me and the reception was very special. I hope to reach many people with my music.

FIERCE: As you stated, you have been passionate about singing and playing the piano since you were a child. What sort of music did you grow up listening to and how do you think it’s influenced your Latin pop sound today?

Katalina: I grew up listening to a lot of pop and ballads. My mom always listened to this music, so she did influence me a lot. I remember locking myself in my room and practicing these songs all the time. I still do this.

FIERCE: Colombian music is having a major global moment right now. What do you think you bring to the game that’s different and helps you stand out among the rest?

Katalina: Together with my work team we are creating our own seal. Our sounds are different and the vocal arrangements are unique to what we want to project. We are focused on the urban wave but keeping my romantic side.

FIERCE: I can see that for sure! You recently released “Adios,” a ballad featuring Cuban-American artist Jencarlos Canela about saying goodbye to an ex-love with the hope of returning to each other again in the end. This is very relatable because a lot of times during breakups there’s this hope that time away will bring you two back together. Sometimes it’s because the couple really is good for each other, but other times it’s just a matter of costumbre. How do you, Katalina, decipher between the two?

Katalina: Saying goodbye is always going to be difficult, either out of love or habit. I think that if you are with someone just out of habit and not because you love him, it is better to say goodbye definitely. “Adios,” to me, has another meaning. Beyond the circumstances for which you have had to say goodbye to your ex-partner, it is the goodbye that makes your heart hurt. It’s the memories of the shared moments that make you miss a person and want to have them again, that’s “Adios.”.

FIERCE: In the music video, the song took on new meaning. It wasn’t just about an ex but about losing someone you love to death and never being able to be with them again. Why did you all want to dedicate this song and video to those who lost their partners?

Katalina: These are very common situations in all of our lives. The message also has to do with those who have lost a loved one, not just their partner. In my case, I recently lost my grandmother suddenly, who was a mother to me, and, for this reason, I, and many others, can identify with this video.

FIERCE: I’m so sorry to hear that! And I think you’re right. The video really extends to loss outside of romantic relationships. We are in an era of collaborations, especially for Latin music, and in this song, your and Jencarlos’ voices blend very beautifully. Tell me, who are some of your other dream collaborations?

Katalina: I’ve always believed you find strength in unity, so working in a team, to me, is a very wise decision. I have a long list, but I’d want to start with artists like Natti Natasha, Karol G, Becky G, Ivy Queen, Cardi B — these are strong women and great examples of what it means to be an empowering woman. Also, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee and others. They are artists with careers worthy of admiration.

FIERCE: I know you’ve been working on a lot of music for this year. What can you tell us is in store for Katalina in 2019?

Katalina: There are incredible songs written by international composers. I will also have my debut as a songwriter in a song that I think people will really identify with.

FIERCE: Can we expect more ballads like “Adios” or more dance songs like “Sacude” or a mix of genres?

Katalina: With me, there will definitely be both. This is something I think I have been very clear about. I feel that music is more free now and you do not have to limit yourself to only one genre. I like challenges and I dislike routine, so you can always expect a mix.

FIERCE: You are so young, at the start of your career, what do you hope people can say about Katalina in 10 to 15 years?

Katalina: My dream is to become an icon in music worldwide. I would love for people to say that I inspired them to fulfill their dreams, that I helped empower other women, that my life has been a great example of triumph. In 10 to 15 years, with the help of God, I will leave my mark throughout the planet.

Watch Katalina’s latest single, “Adios,” below:

Read: Up Next: Meet Victoria La Mala, The Mexican Badass Empowering Women With Urban-Banda Jams

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