Manuel Turizo Is the Colombian Star Who Will ‘Never’ Stick to One Genre
Manuel Turizo wants to do it all. Nearly a year after his smash hit “La Bachata” exploded across social media (and brought him onstage with Coldplay), the Colombian singer (and heartthrob) has released his third album 2000, a testament to his versatility that captures just how much he wants to play with different sounds and storylines.
“I’m never going to stick to one box, and I kept that in mind when making this album,” he tells Rolling Stone over the phone from a bustling airport in Honduras just before launching the LP. “This is an urban album, yes, but it taps into different styles.”
2000 is filled with house music influences, love songs, classic reggaeton, and even an emotional ballad about his struggles with stardom and the consequences of living life as a music star on the road.
The album is Turizo’s most personal collection of songs yet, so it’s no coincidence he named it after the year he was born. (The cover art features a sweet photo of the singer as a baby.) It also captures where he is in his career now after blasting into fame after his songs have become huge chart-topping juggernauts.
“Before, I didn’t have a team of people who worked with me and depended on my success,” he says. “Back then, it was about how I could become an artist, but now there are so many people who depend on me. It’s like I’m a car and I never can be without gasoline.”
The LP is also not stacked with features like 2021’s Dopamina, which featured other artists, from El Alfa to Myke Towers to Maluma, on almost every track. Instead, 2000 offers an intimate look at who Turizo is amid so much success. “I’m still the same person,” he adds. “These are real songs with messages. There are so many songs out there with cool rhythms but they don’t have a message. I want my songs to always have something to say.”
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While speaking to Rolling Stone, Turizo broke down five songs from his new album and shared how the deeply personal new project came together.
“No Te Sientes Igual”
“The vibes of this song are so positive, and a little hippie. I made this song with my brother [Julian] and a few other producers. We wanted to make a track that was colorful. I love working with my brother. He was the first-ever member of my team. It’s really great to have him by my side: he respects my opinion, I respect his. He complements me. He’s been there with me since day one. It’s incredible.”
“This is one of my favorites. All of the songs are so different and special but I love this one. It has touches of house music and a really cool drumbeat. This one that’s sure to be played for the clubs. I’m learning every day how to grow as an artist and also as a person.”
“U La La”
“That song was born in the most casual way. I was at my home, had just woken up, and I was thinking of random ideas. At first, the song’s hook just came to me. [sings chorus] We started building over that and based the whole concept on that French expression. It was me telling a story through the lyrics.”
“When I got to the studio with Marshmello, I didn’t know him so well. had a different expectation of what I wanted to do. I thought we would make some music much more similar to what he makes. When we got there, we wanted to do something that would bring him closer to the sound of Latin music. I’m proud of where I come from and by uniting our two cultures for both of our audiences, we were able to give merengue a bit of a more electronic feel. The song was co-written with Gale. It’s great to support female talent. We want to see more songwriters, producers, and artists that are female. It’s something so big. It’s really helpful to have a woman writing with you and complementing you from their perspective. It makes you grow in such a positive way.”
“That’s the first song that I made for this album. When the pandemic was ending, I was with some musicians talking about life and we had so many similar feelings. When you’re so focused on your music career and what you love, you start to lose touch of other parts of life. We’re blessed to have these careers but it’s a job that’s complicated. It takes up so much of our time. We can’t have a normal life with a normal social circle. We’re always on the move so we rarely get to spend time with the people we care about the most. We made the song based on that melancholiness. But that’s life. We have our gift. I love this and I would never let it go. We invited a children’s choir to sing the end of the song. That was meant to be the personification of me as a child versus me now.”
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