These Are the New Urbano Artists You Should Be Keeping an Eye On

One of my guiltiest pleasures is jamming out to Urbano music. I do it everywhere — car, house, gym, funerals (okay, not funerals). But pretty much anywhere I need a mood boost (or a reason to feel okay about dating that guy 15 years younger than me) I crank up Wisin y Yandel. Yes, I know I'm a mom now, but I'm so not sorry. I'm always looking for new reggaetoneros and raperos to add to my playlist. I am super excited right now, because there are some great new Urban Latino artists to watch for in 2020. Te lo juro. Keep scrolling to find out who they are!

click to play video


This 26-year-old singer and rapper has been popular since 2017 in her native Argentina, but she's about to take on a much bigger following worldwide thanks to having made some fabulous duets with superstars such as Bad Bunny.

She's come a long way since she started singing with her father's Ledesma-based cumbia band at the age of 11. In a field that all too often reduces women to mindless gyrating objects, Cazzu's high level of artistry, including her empowering vocals, lyrics, alternative styling and innovative music videos make her a true breath of fresh air.

click to play video

El Micha

Over the years, many outstanding urbano acts have defected from Cuba, including Orishas. But singer and rapper Michael Fernando Sierra Maria, better known by his stage name El Micha, is one of those who chose to stay in his natal Havana, where the self-taught musical genius has gained a massive following.

Because of the continued isolation of Cuba, the 39-year-old, whose influence in Cuba has been compared by critics there to Beny More, has remained something of an undiscovered treasure for much of the rest of the world.

But that's changing, as major music streaming services have begun including his music on urban Latino playlists. His take on reggaeton is slightly different from the norm, because Cuba's isolation has made it something of a musical version of the Galapagos islands, where everything is evolving just a little differently. In his case, this is a great thing.

click to play video

Myke Towers

Puerto Rican Latin trap artist Myke Towers (born Michael Torres) has been steadily building a following since 2016, but his popularity began to explode towards the end of 2019, thanks to strategic exposure via duets, including one with Becky G. His trademark look — nerd-chic with glasses, blazer, and necktie — speaks to the 26-year-old's fresh, enlightened-feeling approach to the genre.

Towers seems to have very little interest in the kind of sexist fare that made mega-stars of so many early urban Latino pioneers. In fact, his dress jackets, worn with a tinge of irony, seem to be a wink to the past from newcomers who are more Greta Thunberg than they are Gisele Bundchen.

click to play video


Blessed with one of those birth names you can only find in the Caribbean, Puerto Rican rapper and singer Jefnier Osorio Moreno is just 19 years of age.

Following the road to stardom first tred by Justin Bieber, the comely teen developed a massive following organically on social media, and soon gained the attention of mega-stars in the urban Latino space, who began offering to record duets with him, both to support him but also to capitalize on his army of fans.

Drawing inspiration from his main inspiration, Daddy Yankee, Lunay made his first appearance as a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 Latin charts last year, charting at 73, and is expected to continue his rocket-rise to global stardom this year.

click to play video


It was almost impossible to go anywhere last year without hearing "ReBoTa," the first hit single from Puerto Rican rapper Guaynaa. He appeared on the global radar in the wake of Hurricane Maria, when he posted a freestyle rap criticizing the way Trump handled (or didn't) disaster relief efforts on the island. The video went viral, showcasing the fascinating juxtoposition of Guaynaa's (ironic?) prep-schoolboy style with an authentic reggaeton delivery.

He's first in line to carry the torch first lit by Rene Perez of Calle 13, and with his intentionally ridiculous air-humping of everything in sight (including a coffin, in one video) Guaynaa brings to mind the satirical oversexed playfulness of that group's early work (like "Atrevete").

But make no mistake, this traviesito makes enough intellectual wordplay to keep even the most erudite listeners delighted. His name makes reference to the snooty preppy stereotype of people from Guaynabo; he himself was born in Caguas.

click to play video


The only Panamanian on this list, 26-year-old singer and rapper Carlos Isaiahs Morales Williams, stage name Sech, has a calming, distinctive tenor voice, and a laid-back delivery that wouldn't be out of plays in the heyday of Duke Ellington, that makes him instantly recognizable in the crowded urban Latino universe.

He cites 1990s Panamanian rap sensation El General as a huge influence on him, and his work carries much of the same upbeat, danceable intensity. Oh, and how could I forget? He plays piano like a mofo. His rise to stardom is amazing when you consider he began as a street vendor from a poor part of Panama City, serenading potential clients.

click to play video


Named after her mother's favorite singer, Mariah Carey, Mariah (she only uses one name) was born in Miami, with roots in Puerto Rico and Cuba. At 19 years old, her talent as a singer and rapper is undeniable. Her family and friends were pressuring her to go on American Idol by the time this self-taught vocal phenomenon was 13. She says she was too shy, and waited until the ripe old age of 15 to begin recording herself in private in the studio.

Her early public recordings, duets with some of the male titans of Latin trap, saw her falling into the predictable "sexy" tropes, but now that she's coming into her own, her songs are taking no prisoners. "Blah" is an anthem for women's independence, financial and emotional, that makes me want to get up and cheer. Or twerk. And, really, why not both?