By Thom Jurek, AllMusic
Maluma is the pseudonym for Juan Luis Londono Arias, a Colombian reggaeton singer known for a sweet tenor voice and streetwise yet romantic delivery. He gained his initial fame as a teenager. He originally pursued football as a vocation, and was gifted enough to attract the notice of the media in his native Medellin. He sang merely for pleasure. Given the rise of the internet, YouTube, and television singing competitions, however, he was swayed toward music. In 2011, at the age of 17, Maluma cut his first single, “Farandulera,” independently. Due to its internet popularity and emergent radio airplay, the song gained the attention of Sony Music. The following year, Maluma released Magia, his debut album. Several of its singles — “Obsesión,” “Loco,” and “Miss Independent” — received consistent airplay and hit the charts in Colombia and Latin America. His next single, “La Temperatura,” entered the North American charts and earned him a Latin Grammy nomination in 2013. Maluma became a star in urban Latin music. In 2014, he was the featured vocalist on Elvis Crespo’s hit “Ole Brazil,” recorded for the World Cup tournament. Maluma returned in early 2015. His first release was PB DB. The Mixtape, a compilation of hits with two new singles, “Me Gustas Tanto” and “Climax.” These tracks charted and set the stage for a brand new album, Pretty Boy Dirty Boy, which appeared in the fall. The recording was produced by Walter Kolm. In 2016, Maluma released a collaborative track with fellow Colombian star Shakira, “Chantage,” and the video became massively popular, racking up over one billion views online within the space of five months. In 2017, Maluma was named “Artist of the Year” at the Premios Lo Nuestro, a Latin music awards show presented by Spanish-language television network Univision. That same year, Maluma announced he was working on his next album, which would feature material in English as well as Spanish.
This article originally appeared on AllMusic.