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First Stream Latin: New Music From Gerardo Ortiz & Piso 21, Alvaro Diaz & More

Alvaro Diaz, Felicilandia (UMG Recordings)

When the global health crisis hit in early 2020, Alvaro Diaz took the opportunity to create a lot of music, telling Billboard, “This pandemic took out the best of me and everything that I created during the quarantine is even better.” Now, the former Billboard Latin Artist on the Rise presents his new studio album Felicilandia, home to 16 conceptual tracks. Inspired by Disney World, Diaz makes sure to give fans the ultimate amusement park experience, starting with the magical 56-second intro. The first official track on the album is his Randy-assisted “OG Black,” a slow-tempo rap song that transforms into a catchy perreo toward the end. In “Problemon,” his collaboration with longtime colleague Rauw Alejandro, Diaz transports fans to outer space with hard-hitting futuristic reggaeton beats. And it’s in songs like “Nitro” and “Casual Day” where Diaz sticks to his trap essence.

He pays tribute to reggaeton de la vieja escuela as heard in “Llori Papi” with his sample of Zion’s “Fantasma” and “18+1” with Hector El Father’s “Los Rompe Discotekas.” More notably, in “18+1” with Jesse Baez, Diaz fuses alternative rock, synth pop and even the sirens you hear on a carnival ride. On “Chinita Linda” with Venezuelan group Rawayana, Diaz flaunts an old-school jazz rap influenced by A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. Including other collaborations such as Tainy, Sebastian Yatra and Feid, to name a few, Felicilandia wraps up with what seems to be Diaz’s mother singing Palito Ortega’s all-time classic “La Felicidad.” Stream and listen to the album below. — JESSICA ROIZ

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