EXCLUSIVE: Calle 13 "Said No to Reggaeton" on New Album

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Puerto Rican duo Calle 13’s fourth studio album Entren Los Que Quieren drops on November 16th and the countdown is officially on. A mix of genres and sounds, the record tackles a range of topics, including personal freedom, cultural unity and conformity. Latina.com spoke to the usually quiet Eduardo José Martínez (aka Visitante) about the music and his controversial partner in crime. Here’s what he had to say:

What does “Entren Los Que Quieren” mean to you?

It means that everyone’s invited to enter. If you don’t want to, well don’t.

What are some of the musical influences in this record?

“Calma Pueblo” has a Beastie Boys vibe. Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez participated in that track, which has a rock edge to it. “El Baile de los Pobres” has a Bollywood vibe with electronica and strings. We mixed South American rhythms together for a song called “Latino America.” The album is both strong and soft.

Was there any sound that you refused to use?

We said no to reggaeton. I wouldn’t do anything with bachata. But you can never say never. I never thought I’d make a merengue song [like “Vamo’ A Portarnos Mal”]. Anything can happen.

You have some great collaborators on this record—Susana Baca, Totó La Momposina. Anyone you’d love to work with?

It would be awesome to work with Bjork and Paul McCartney.

What’s your favorite track on the album?

“Preparame la Cena.” It’s a song about being imprisoned. Sometimes you can be imprisoned and still be outside. The song is going to be used for [the HBO Latino series] Capadocia.

You guys have made a lot controversial songs. Do you ever disagree with Rene about an issue?

In this album there’s a song about love—I mean love, love, love. I didn’t agree with that song. I have my issues with love. Love is a complicated topic.

What’s next for Calle 13?

We’re putting together a documentary about our trip to Havana. We have to go back and finish it. It’ll be out next year. We also want to do another trip like the one we did in Sin Mapa. But that’s just a conversation at this point.

 

 

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About this author

Grace Bastidas, Deputy Editor

Born and raised in Queens, New York, where more languages are spoken than anywhere in the world, Grace Bastidas is Latina’s Deputy Editor. She oversees lifestyle content, including topics as diverse as career, health and relationships, and occasionally writes about her own experiences in The Good Life section. As a writer, Grace’s work has appeared in The New York TimesNew York magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure. She is fluent in Spanish.

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