“Say what they say, reggaeton changed the history of music”: Bizarrap, the Buenos Aires star who triumphed from his bedroom
The Argentine DJ, composer and producer Bizarrap.
The Argentine DJ, composer and producer Bizarrap.

Bizarrap told in an interview with ICON in 2021 that it was not easy for him to get his Instagram account verified. ”I remember that I tried to get out in any media outlet, I didn’t care about television or a newspaper, because Instagram asked me for an interview to verify my account, because there were a lot of guys who pretended to be me. So I wanted the tick blue, and the only thing the person who could provide it asked me for was a note. I requested it from the media and they denied it to me, because they underestimated me, what do I know. Then everything started to grow and they gave me the verified. So everyone I had asked and they said no, they asked me. And I did them because I have no resentment with anyone.

Bizarrap, during the concert
Bizarrap, during the concert “Oh My Goal!” organized by LaLiga held this Saturday at the RCDE Stadium, in Barcelona.
Marta Jerez (EFE)

Today, that account has 13 million followers. Bizarrap was the most listened to Argentine artist on Spotify in 2021 and his BZRP Music Sessions, videos of original songs that he makes with urban vocalists, always exceed 10 million views on YouTube, many are around 100 and the most popular, the one he did with Nathy Peluso, has 313. “At first he edited videos of rap battles. But when I started with sessions, Visits went up. And with Nicky Nicole’s, everything exploded: she was the most listened to in Argentina. I looked at the Spotify top 200 and there were 11 songs of mine. I investigated and there was no precedent. There I said to myself: ‘Well, that’s it, I have to dedicate myself to this full. Because if I am dedicating a third of my time to it, imagine if I give it the whole day’. So we come to what is happening now.”

The last of the sessions he published, four days ago, with Villano Antillano, a trapper Puerto Rican transsexual, coinciding with LGBT Pride month, has already exceeded 12 million visits. Very far from the adjustment of accounts of Residente with J Balvin, who published in March and has already exceeded 107 million. In 2021 she said that of the new artists she had heard the most impressive was the Spanish Babi. “I always say it’s amazing, because it’s amazing. I would like to do a session with her as soon as I can.” And he pointed out that she wanted to record a more organic, more physical album, with instruments. At the moment there is no news. Right now he is on tour in Spain. In Barcelona he performed in front of 23,000 people. At the Dreambeach festival in Villaricos (Almería) 25,000 are expected.

Everything from Ramos Mejía, a residential municipality in the metropolitan area of ​​Buenos Aires, where he still lives and where he has his studio at home. “It is a small city about 40 minutes from the capital. This is a quiet neighborhood, there is no noise at night, everything is quiet. Generally people who come to Buenos Aires do not visit it. Here there was a square, the Plaza Miter, which now not so much, but in 2012, which was when I started, they came to rap from the capital and from other provinces. It was a place where, I don’t know why, there was a lot of rap”, explained Gonzalo Julián Conde (Buenos Aires, 24 years old). When he hides behind big sunglasses and a cap, nails painted, dressed in dark sportswear, he is Bizarrap, the most famous producer of urban music in the Latin world. “He considered me a musician and composer. Nowadays it is not necessary to know how to play all the instruments to be a musician. But I’m all the time with the piano. I do the beats of the songs, I show them to the artists. First we think about which side we want to go. If a trap, a rap, a reggaeton… the lyrics are things of the artists, I help, but they are almost 100% theirs”. At first he recorded them in his home studio. “Now I work in a studio of my manager in the center, so as not to make people always come. Some don’t want to come, others, however, just want to work here”, he recalled last summer.

Much is made of his talent for marketing, of the skill with which he manages his social networks and how he has managed to get everything off the ground from them, but there is a reason. For more than two years, from 2017 to 2019, she combined the studies of marketing in college with a position at Warner Music, one of the great record multinationals. “He used to work in the music industry. He was A&R [iniciales de Artistas y Repertorio, algo así como un cazatalentos]. I entered when I was little, I was 18 years old and I learned a lot. I entered by luck, it was strange: I already had Bizarrap and they called me for an advertisement, they wanted me to announce a song. I went to their offices because they wanted to pay me to do an Instagram story. Then they played a song for me and I said: ‘It’s good’. Then another: ‘It’s more or less’ and another… I gave them my opinions and it looks like they liked it. I told them that I was studying marketing near the offices and they asked me ‘Hey, don’t you want to work here?’ And I told them: ‘Come on, hit it’. That’s how I learned tricks and secrets of the industry. It was like an advanced course, a crash course in meeting people from YouTube, from Spotify, from magazines, from other record labels… I traveled to Miami and met a lot of producers. Although he earned more making the Bizarrap videos. And it was a beating. From 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. I went to the faculty, from 2 a.m. to 6 p.m. to Warner and then at home to produce until 2 a.m. So one year. It messed with my head.”

It was that infernal rhythm that led him to focus on Bizarrap. “I was late, for fear of failure. he thought: ‘Look, if people don’t like it…’. And he was not clear that he was going to dedicate myself to music. Maybe to videos on YouTube, but to music…”.

He did it and it went well with an artisan structure, he assured then: “I’m not in a multinational, but my manager has his own label, Airplay, which is also Nicky and Duki. And it is a small label but we we rebank and we all pull to the same side. I love it, it’s where I feel most comfortable and most represented. Although we also work with multinationals. I did everything: he made the songs, he edited them, he uploaded them with my computer. I can’t do that anymore, but I feel close to that feeling. This is just another label boutique, centralized, in which we work hand in hand so that everything turns out as well as possible”, he affirmed.

In part, its success is due to the fact that it has known how far it can be lowered without it looking plastic. trap, a genre that when he started was linked to marginality. “I feel like it has evolved here. At the time there were artists who represented only the hardest part. There are still some, and it’s good, because that’s where it comes from in the US, but in reality now, as one critic said, pop as a genre doesn’t exist, it’s sticking to other genres. It already happened with reggaeton and now it happens with him trap. It is not a bad thing, it is becoming more commercial and consumable for everyone: Before, the trap It couldn’t be eaten by just anyone. Now, the kids, the adults… anyone can consume it, because it’s well done. Being more pop, the lyrics can’t be as explicit as they were. But in Latin America it was known how to change and that it is not a genre related to crime. And I also feel that reggaeton deserves much more recognition, for everything it has fought for. Whatever they say, reggaeton changed the history of music. Reggaeton made Americans dance in Spanish. It is done”.

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