Dopamina

Manuel Turizo

Dopamina

Days away from turning 21, Manuel Turizo has the résumé of a reggaetón veteran. After the romantic rapture of 2019’s ADN and an unbeatable run of collaborations in the last couple of years, his second album, the explosive Dopamina, sounds like the beginning of a new era. “I don’t like doing the same thing over and over,” the Colombian singer and songwriter tells Apple Music. “I like experimenting, learning, and trying to do new things, and this is an album where I freed myself completely.” His newfound freedom becomes evident in songs like “Caliente,” a collaboration with will.i.am and El Alfa that takes Turizo’s sound to the Caribbean with visionary boldness. Elsewhere, there are love letters, wronged lovers, and plenty of party invitations. “People pigeonhole you really quick,” says Turizo. “I’m a singer. I’m not a pop artist, a balladeer, or a reggaetonero. I sing what I feel, and I don’t care what it is.” Here he talks through each of the stories behind Dopamina.
“Tiempo” “This is a song about loneliness. It’s about a guy who is still waiting for the woman he loves, but she’s with someone else. It deals with heartbreak in the first person. In this music, men hardly ever talk about being dumped; they’re always alpha males leaving women behind. I wanted to change that.”
“Caliente” (feat. will.i.am & El Alfa) “This is a whole new trip, completely different from anything else. I think the three of us are very unique artists, but we managed to create an authentic combination. The idea was to use this opportunity to make something that no one was expecting. I wrote the song with [his brother, songwriter and collaborator] Julián Turizo and [Colombian producer] Sky, and then we presented it to El Alfa and Will. We knew we had something really fresh and we needed artists that would bring their own identities to the mix. They both killed it.”
“Mala Costumbre” (feat. Wisin & Yandel) “I’ve been a huge Wisin & Yandel fan since I was a little kid. As soon as we wrote the song, I was imagining them singing the chorus. About a year later, the laws of attraction came into play and Yandel loved it when I sent it to him. But I needed both of them, so I sent it to Wisin too. It’s a song that I love and remember very fondly because it was a dream that came true.”
“Kayak” (feat. Farruko) “‘Kayak’ sounds more like the Manuel Turizo people know. It came out in a studio session with Slow Mike [of ChocQuibTown] and [Colombian songwriter] Keityn. We wanted to keep the beach vibe in the song, and that’s why we thought of Farruko. He always kicks ass on tropical tracks. We were done in a half hour, because Farruko never writes anything down. He goes into the booth and starts dropping line after line. Pure freestyle.”
“Hoy Vuelto a Beber” “More than heartbreak, this is flirting with a flavorful rumba vibe. It’s like saying, ‘I don’t know what gives, but I always fall for you.’ And it’s Afrobeat, which sounds really happy and danceable.”
“La Nota” (feat. Rauw Alejandro & Myke Towers) “[DJ and producer] Sensei, Julián Turizo, and I made this one in Bolivia over two years ago. We put it away until until we decided to put it together and release it as the first single of what would become the album. It’s true reggaetón. Myke—everyone that works with him will tell you the same thing—does everything right there and then. You send him something and you get it back the same day. It was all crazy fast. The video took longer, because the pandemic kept pushing things back.”
“Cosas Malas” (feat. Justin Quiles and Dalex) “This is straight-up perreo, one for the disco. When I wanted to get a song like that, I knew I had to call Quiles and Dalex, because it’s just their thing. Sometimes I feel like we are going to be on lockdown forever, but I keep writing for the disco, even if it’s at the worst possible time. In the end, music brings joy no matter when.”
“Te Fallo” “Here I’m telling a girl, ‘Hey, you’re just making a fool of yourself next to this guy that failed you.’ As in every song I write, I wanted to capture in music the emotions that we all go through in different situations, and have everyone relate to that.”
“Ahora Eh” “We wanted to make this one a real reggaetón for the disco. [The title] comes from a local way of saying, ‘Now it’s you coming after me, now it’s you wanting commitment.’ It’s literally saying good riddance to your girlfriend.”
“Amor en Coma” (feat. Maluma) “It’s about how to break up with someone painlessly, which is impossible. You can never leave on good terms. We all go through that at some point, and it had to be said in a song. You are with someone, you get bored, and you don’t know how to tell them. I’ve been wanting to collaborate with Maluma for a while, because I want that big Colombian scene to really show what it can do, because maybe there’s still some work to do. The song sounds very much like Maluma and very much like Manuel Turizo. He’s a great artist and it’s an honor to record with him.”
“Quiéreme Mientras Se Pueda” “This was the first song I put out during the pandemic. With everything that was going around, last year I kept very quiet. But I really needed to get this one out. I couldn’t wait. So much was happening that music didn’t seem like the most important thing, but I felt that ‘Quiéreme Mientras Se Pueda’ was going to bring some fresh air. The story has a lot to do with what we’ve been living through in the pandemic and all the people we lost. You never know what day will be the last one.”
“Antes Que Te Vayas” “I knew from the beginning that this had to be the last song, because it’s a farewell, but it has a very happy vibe and I feel like it defines me. We all have good and bad times, but I’m always smiling and feeling happy.”

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