KG0516 (Apple Music Edition)

KG0516 (Apple Music Edition)

“I always say ‘Tusa’ changed my life,” KAROL G tells Apple Music. “I will always be grateful to this song and Nicki Minaj.” After outdoing herself with that outstanding 2019 international smash hit, the Colombian star transcends expectations on her new album as she bends contemporary pop music to her will. As previewed via her popular singles “Ay, DiOs Mío!” and “LOCATION,” she continues to astound as one of modern music’s biggest stars, Latin or otherwise. Her commitment to performing in Spanish speaks to how far global artistry such as hers has come since the so-called crossover days. “This has made a huge impact culturally,” she says, “and it makes us so proud that we can sing in Spanish and still reach a massive audience.” Though the album’s title explicitly refers to the date in 2006 when her parents signed her first record contract, itself a subtle nod to her endurance and longevity as an artist, she considers KG0516 to be about much more than just a particular moment in time. “I wanted to take my fans on a flight through my musical journey,” she explains. “Each song takes you to a different place.” Indeed, the diversity of sound on KG0516 goes further than that of its fairly eclectic predecessor OCEAN, building on that multi-genre affair’s strength by expanding her sonic palette. She dives headfirst into the contemporary corridos scene with “200 COPAS,” embraces reggae vibrations on the empowering “BICHOTA,” and brings it back to a summertime R&B classic with the bilingual “BEAUTIFUL BOY.” Befitting her superstar status, she’s curated an impressive set of features, from Latin power players Anuel AA and J Balvin to hip-hop legend Ludacris. She makes room for rising star Nathy Peluso on the popwise “GATO MALO” and goes toe to toe with no less than Ozuna on the ethereal “ODISEA.” Perhaps the most notable of these guests is the inimitable reggaetonera Ivy Queen, who features prominently on the stacked album closer “LEYENDAS” alongside Nicky Jam and Wisin & Yandel. “She opened the path for future female artists like me in the culture,” Karol says. “She proved that we are not limited, and we can be just as successful as the men.” In turn, she lifts up a young woman from the next generation, Miami sensation Mariah Angeliq, for the thumping “EL MAKINÓN.”

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