We’re only about 30 years away from Quartz’s prediction that the U.S. will be the largest Spanish-speaking country on the planet. Those of us who are the children and grandchildren of immigrants make up the 12 million bilingual people in this country and music is one of our biggest cultural reflections. This week, let’s take a deep-dive into songs that can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter how fluent or not fluent in Spanish.
1. “Échame La Culpa” – Demi Lovato and Luis Fonsi
Did you know that Demi Lovato speaks Spanish? Neither did I. But it makes sense, seeing as her roots are in Dallas, Texas and her father is a Mexican immigrant. Lovato teams up with Luis Fonsi for this track about a love that was just never meant to be. It’s super catchy and yes, it’s both in Spanish and English. The pair even make a reference to The Beatles, so put on that track and “just let it be.”
2. “Despacito” ft. Justin Bieber – Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi
Summer was full of hits, but none were as memorable and as annoying, as “Despacito.” Justin Bieber hopped onto the track after hearing the original in a club in Medellín, Colombia and the remix blew up. This song is a part of a genre that can be classified as “pop reggaeton,” which mixes the classic beats and styles of reggaeton artists like Daddy Yankee and Don Omar with modern Spanish-language bubble gum pop.
3. “Havana” ft. Young Thug – Camila Cabello
Former member of Fifth Harmony Camila Cabello dropped her hit “Havana,” in which the singer reminisces on meeting a man who sweeps her off of her feet in the capital city of Cuba. The track is weighted with piano and a powerful, soulful voice — there’s a reason that Cabello was the best member of Fifth Harmony. Young Thug’s verse seems a bit out of place, but it is definitely reflective of a trend that mixes rap and hip hop artists with Latinx pop artists.
4. “Mi Gente” ft. Beyoncé – J. Balvin, Willy William
You can’t go wrong with anything Beyoncé. She jumped onto this track in a similar way that Bieber did with “Despacito,” riding the wave of Latinx pop and trap music. J. Balvin and Willy William are always producing party hits, but “Mi Gente” seriously takes the cake, especially because Ms. Knowles takes over the remix. Mouths will drop when listeners hear Auntie Yoncé spitting lyrics in Spanish. She even gives her daughter, Blue Ivy, a shoutout.