By Nayeli Esquilin
From its birth in late ’80s Panama, its total ban in Puerto Rico in the ’90s and its current world domination, the Reggaeton genre has seen many phases throughout its lifespan. Influenced by reggae, dancehall and rap, all sounds born from the Caribbean and coastal regions. The Reggaeton genre took the Latin American airways by storm and its mainstream success has allowed the sound to evolve. With this evolution, some new-age artists have experimented and pushed the genre to the extremes, seeing how many times they can transform it.
This new style of reggaeton has been dubbed Neoperreo, which is a deconstruction and reconstruction of old-school, classic beats and house music. This subgenre emerged from Central and South America, specifically Mexico City and Chile. Unlike the past generation’s pioneers, who were primarily men, Neoperreo is dominated by women and feminine-presenting individuals.
From producers to lyricists, these five artists are creating their own spin on classic Latin club hits with messages of confidence, sexual liberation, and pushing the bounds of gender expression within Latine culture.
Tomasa Del Real
Often referred to as the mother of Neoperreo, Del Real has led the way for new-wave producers and other Latine artists. Born in Chile and based in Los Angeles, Del Real didn’t initially start with music. She was a tattoo artist who would experiment with rapping and producing in her spare time, occasionally dropping some singles here or there. Little did she know her experiments would create an underground movement for the genre.
Her top tracks are “Barre con el Pelo” (Feat. DJ Blass), “Perrera del Futuro”, “Tu Senora” and “Bratty Puti” (Feat. Eli Fantasy).
Argentina-born and Spain-based artist Ms Nina has been noted as an important contributor to Neoperreo alongside Tomosa Del Real. Breaking through the scene in 2017, Ms Nina strives to create space for inclusivity within the reggaeton genre. With her messages of empowerment and strength, she broke the mold for female artists’ roles within the genre.
Her top tracks are “Tu Sicaria”, “Nast”y, “Noche de Verano”, “Los Angeles” and “Gateo” (Feat. Isabella Lovestory).
A trailblazer in industrial electronic music, Arca is a multifaceted artist. The Venezuela-born, Barcelona-based musician has co-written and produced for many popular artists like Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Bjork, The Weeknd, and Lil Uzi Vert. Releasing music since 2012, Arca’s eclectic sounds have transcended almost every corner of every genre. With these under her belt, it only made sense for her to dabble in Neoperreo. She created her own spin on an old-school favorite, “Rakata” by Wisin y Yandel, and eventually worked with Rosalia and Safety Trance on the track KLK. Her top Neoperreo tracks are “El Alma que Te Trajo” (Feat. Safety Trance), “Rakata”, “Prada”, “KLK” (feat. ROSALIA) and “Mequetrefe”.
Isabella Lovestory blends electropop with Neoperreo. Since the initial release of her debut single in 2019, Lovestory has grown a cult following within the underground scene. Like many other Neoperreo artists, she juxtaposes the traditional themes within Reggaeton by creating messages of freedom of self and empowerment.
Her top songs are “Mariposa”, “Golosa”, “Kitten Heel”, “Gateo” (Feat. Ms Nina) and “Fashion Freak”.
The newest project titled Safety Trance by DJ and producer Cardopusher, who was born in Venezuela and based in Barcelona, Spain. Cardopusher has worked in many different genres since the start of his music career. It blends classic reggaeton beats with industrial techno. The first song out of this project was “El Alma Que Te Trajo” a collaboration with his friend Arca, which gained mainstream success from audiences outside of the Neoperreo landscape.
His top tracks are “El Alma que Te Trajo” (Feat. Arca), “Ratatata”, “Cuando Suena El Dembow”, “Destruccion” and “Besos De Fuego”.
From producers to lyricists, these five artists are creating their own spin on classic Latin club hits with messages of confidence, sexual liberation, and pushing the bounds of gender expression within Latine culture. Now more than ever, Neoperreo has the potential to take over the airways and dance halls, leading to the exposure of unseen Latine culture and music that the mainstream industry doesn’t portray.
Written by: Preethi Mangadu