It was a process three years in the making, but Sofia Reyes' debut album Louder! finally dropped last month, marking a major moment in the Mexican pop star's career. While the LP tackles an impressive amount of genres—from the summery, gypsy-music stylings of "Conmigo (Rest of Your Life)" to the acoustic-leaning "Puedes Ver Pero No Tocar" and the euphoric banda sound of single "Llegaste Tú"—the record also stands out for seamlessly blending English and Spanish to feel accessible to any listener regardless of their native tongue.
The best example of Reyes' brilliant bilingual style was seen in her single "Solo Yo," which features her mentor/fellow Latin superstar Prince Royce and was released in both in Spanish and English, and shot to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart. The accomplishment made the 21-year-old the first lead female singer to top the chart in five years and felt like a taste of how far the singer could take her brand of bilingual pop.
Fuse spoke to Reyes about her unique musical viewpoint, female representation in Latin music, when we're going to hear new songs (soon!) and more.
Fuse: Congratulations on the album release. How excited are you that Louder! is out?
Sofia Reyes: I've been working on Louder! for the past three years, which is a long time. But it's so exciting for me. I feel proud of my team because we worked so hard on this album. It's my first album, it's like my baby, so it means so much to me and I'm so happy that now everyone can hear it finally. I don't know, I'm just so happy!
Something that I think is so cool about your music is how you blend the English and Spanish, which is how a lot of people speak. Was that a conscious decision? It's very unique.
Thank you! When I grew up, I listened to music in Spanish, but I also listened to music in English. For me, it felt kind of natural. Spanish is my first language, but when I moved to L.A., I released some digital singles fully in English. But we were in a session and "Muévelo" came out bilingual. We started writing the song in English but, at the end of the day Spanish is my first language, and it really just happened. I felt so natural and people really liked it. It was something new, for sure. As you were saying, I feel like there are many people who speak so many languages, especially Spanish. I feel Spanish is a very important language in the world and it keeps growing. Mainstream artists want to collaborate with Latin artists now and it's awesome, I love that. I felt like making my music bilingual would get to more people around the world.
“When I go to Latin award shows, 90 percent of the performers are men and just one or two girls are performing. It's something I don't understand.”
That was even seen when "Solo Yo" made you the first lead female to score a No. 1 on the Latin Songs chart in five years. But it's a little sad that it took this long for another female to hit the top.
I agree, I always talk about that because, especially in the Latin market, there's just a few women singers. Actually, I don't think there's just a few, we just have to support more female artists. There might be so much talent around the world. It's so weird for me. I know a few—and I keep finding more Latin singers which is awesome—and I try to support them as much as I can. We need it. I always give this example, when I go to Latin award shows, 90 percent of the performers are men and just one or two girls are performing. It's something I don't understand, but in my case I feel proud to be Mexican, to be Latin, and represent women all around the world. It's amazing and such a blessing that I have this opportunity.
What are some artists you have your eye on?
There's so many. Mau y Ricky from Venezuela, they're amazing singer-songwriters and their music is amazing. DVICIO, they're from Spain. Pablo Alborán, he's from Spain too. Jesse & Joy, they just won a GRAMMY Award, amazing, they're from Mexico and I'm so proud of them. Ed Sheeran, I love him so much and I think he's amazing. Dua Lipa, Sia, Adele, of course.
Bringing it back to you, "Llegaste Tú" is the current single. Are there plans for the next single? Or is other new music coming?
I believe "Llegaste Tú" will be the last single from this album, but I'm still writing songs, I never stop writing songs. We're working on my second album because I want to release the first single by the end of the year, for sure. We're working on that. What we're doing is so amazing, so amazing, I'm so excited to put it out. But yeah I keep writing, writing and writing, and I feel like it's important to keep your mind creative. I'm trying to keep the bilingual lines, we're adding more Latin sounds—but I don't want to tell you yet! Still working on it! But I'll probably release my next song for the next album in the next couple of months.
What's been Prince Royce's response to all of this?
He's so happy and proud. We have "Solo Yo" together, but we also wrote "Your Voice" and "Don't Mean a Thing" together, he's been a big part of this album. He also called me the other day, when he heard that I was No. 1 in physical sales in Mexico. He's very happy, he's proud, and that makes me happy.
Louder! is out everywhere now. Look out for Sofia Reyes to tour Latin America and more areas in 2017. Stream Louder! below via its official YouTube playlist: