Colombian singer Maluma has been compared with Justin Bieber in part because, like Biebs, he scored a record deal as a teenager. But the 24-year-old is making his own mark: “I like to say my genre is the Maluma genre,” he told Rolling Stone. “I don’t want people to know me as a reggaeton star. I want them to know me as Maluma, the star.”
Juan Luis Londoño Arias, known internationally as Maluma (the name is a combination of the first two letters of the names of his mom, Marlli; his dad, Luis; and his sister, Manuela) had an incredible 2017. Four of his videos, combined, reached more than a billion views on YouTube — more than any other Spanish-speaking artist. In the English-language market, only Bieber, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, and Nicki Minaj have those kinds of massive numbers.
Rolling Stone has dubbed him “Latin pop’s next crossover star.” He’s already an honorary member of the club, making music with crossover sensations like Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Marc Anthony. The megahit “Chantaje” with Shakira earned the pretty boy/dirty boy three Latin Grammy nominations.
His social media following is explosive, especially on Instagram. Last year, he was No. 5 on the list of most-viewed Instagram Story posts for a public figure — impressive! Maybe it’s Maluma’s sense of style that has fans double-tapping? Adding to his bragging rights, Maluma walked the runway and performed at Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2018 menswear show in Milan.
His success just keeps growing, as his fourth album made Rolling Stone’s list of most anticipated albums of 2018. He says F.A.M.E. (faith, soul, music, and essence) will have a Spanglish vibe; predictions are it will top the charts. He’s also teaming up with Coca-Cola to be a part of its official song for this summer’s World Cup.
“This is what I was born for. I think I’m just starting my career right now.”