Back in December 2021, Edgar Barrera and Casta (real name: Luis Miguel Gomez Castaño) hit the studio to create a new track. That same day, they joined singer-songwriter Rios (real name: Andrés Jael Correa Rios) for an impromptu session. The result: an urban bachata single that two months later landed in the hands of Manuel Turizo, and is currently the No. 1 title on Billboard’s Tropical Airplay chart.
“I’ve been a big fan of the genre since I was little, and that’s what motivated me to release a bachata,” Turizo tells Billboard of his banger “La Bachata.” “It’s definitely the first song I do in this genre, but it won’t be the last one. More bachata songs will come, with the favor of God and in due time.”
But tapping into a new genre came naturally for Turizo.
“Coming into 2022, his vision on his musical direction was clear,” notes John Eddie, Sr. Director, A&R, Sony Music Latin. “The focus was to create music that came from the heart, not following any specific genre or trend. ‘La Bachata’ shows Manuel’s maturity as an artist and person. When he first played the track, all the pieces fell into place. ‘Where’s the urban here?’ never crossed our minds. We knew it was pure and [from honest intentions], a hit!”
With a touch of urban beats and weeping string melodies, a la Aventura in the 2000s, “La Bachata” officially dropped on May 26. Disappointed in love, the Colombian artist sings about an ex who hurt him, and yet he still misses her. On June 4, the track debuted at No. 20 on the Tropical Airplay chart, climbing to No. 1 for the first time on Aug. 6. “La Bachata” snagged Turizo his second No. 1 on Billboard’s Tropical Airplay chart — and first as a lead artist. (The song has also become his biggest hit on the Global 200 chart, reaching a new peak of No. 15 on the chart dated Aug. 27.)
Barrera, who produced and composed the song, hopes this marks one of many projects alongside Turizo, and one of many bachata songs under his belt. This one even received the stamp of approval from genre great Romeo Santos.
“Romeo called me and I asked for his opinion. I didn’t want him to feel as if I was disrespecting the genre,” he says. “On the contrary, he said the song came out great, and that he appreciated what I was doing for the genre. Personally, I felt amazing, because the King of Bachata himself gave me his stamp of approval.”
Below, Turizo and Barrera break down “La Bachata”:
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Edgar Barrera: “Rios, Casta, and I created this song on December 10, 2021. It was the very last session I did before the year ended. We began working on a bachata song without any intention and finished the demo in 30 minutes. Then we finalized the lyrics, melodies, and the entire song as you hear it on the radio today, in 45 minutes. Months later, Manuel Turizo called me in February so that we can begin working together. I told him I had this bachata song and when I played it for him, he immediately said needed it. He recorded it the next day.”
Manuel Turizo: “The lyrics of the song are [essentially] about heartbreak, and perfectly describe that moment when you want to reach out to your ex and ask them to give it another try. But we shouldn’t even ask for it. If the person wants to return to your side, they will.”
Turizo: “The video is very much inspired by 2000s aesthetics, which is the concept I’m bringing on my next album, called 2000. This is the era I grew up in, and wanted to incorporate some of that in this abstract video. It’s a lonely guy listening to his CD player, singing the song to a woman who’s dancing with other men.”
THE PROMO PLAN
Micheline Medina, Director of Artist Relations & Marketing, Sony Music Latin: “The marketing and promotion plan for this single was a combination of different things. However, I have to highlight that the organic TikTok creations and Instagram reels run in The Dominican Republic, Peru, and Mexico as key factors to the success.”
Isabel Feria, VP, Artist Relations & Marketing, Sony Music Latin: “Manuel has a very distinctive voice, and it works beautifully in melodic songs like this one. I feel people are looking and gravitating more and more towards these sounds and lyrics — people want to dance and feel good, and ‘La Bachata’ delivers on both!”
Turizo: “I feel that music is always an unpredictable roulette — because all the songs that we release are because we love them. But this bachata song connected in a very beautiful way with fans. A song like this one needed to be released. Latinos love this genre.”