Image Source: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Manuel Turizo
It’s been a year since Manuel Turizo’s hit single «La Bachata» went viral, and the Colombian singer hasn’t slowed down since. This March, he released his highly anticipated third studio album, «2000.» The LP beautifully captures what the 23-year-old artist has become famous for — exploring different sounds and genres.
«I love to try different things. Each time I go to the studio and I’m looking for a single, I try to find what else I can do in music — what else can I show to the people in music,» Turizo tells POPSUGAR. «I’m not that type of artist that’s just going to [work] in a straight line, only in one style, or in one genre.»
Turizo proves that in «2000,» which features a mix of artistically crafted songs across genres — from bachata to classic reggaeton, pop, R&B, afro-beats, and even a merengue with his latest hit «El Merengue,» a collaboration with Grammy-nominated electronic music producer and DJ Marshmello. While it’s not uncommon for artists to toy with different genres, Turizo is exceptional at creating a sound that’s very much his own.
«El Merengue,» for instance, is by no means your traditional merengue number. It has a very electronic feel, paying homage to the merengue electrónico music from the early 2000s. Turizo’s decision to do a merengue track with an electronic music producer also reflects his unique approach to working with various genres.
«The collaboration, before [even] going to the studio to do the song, I had another vision in my mind,» he shares. «I had a vision to do something more related to what Marshmello used to do most of the time — like an electro-pop in English. But once we got to the studio and we started talking about what I’m working on right now, which is to show more the Latin culture in the music, we tried to mix both worlds and all the vision and all the style of Marshmello.»
And embracing this melding of worlds has paid off. In April, «El Merengue» hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Tropical Airplay Charts, with Turizo replacing himself as No. 1. The music video, produced by Chadrick Preuss and Sandeep Vadlamudi, has accumulated 25 million views in just the past two months.
Although he’s found unthinkable success more recently, Turizo started becoming a recognizable name in Latin music back in 2016 with his popular love song «Una Lady Como Tú.» Collaborations with reggaeton artists like Ozuna, Anuel AA, Sech, Nicky Jam, Rauw Alejandro, Myke Towers, and more led to his global start. But since «La Bachata» was released, he has not only proven that his success isn’t limited to just one genre but that he’s innovative with every song that he creates. In April, he accepted the award for Favorite Tropical Song for «La Bachata» during the 2023 Latin American Music Awards. At only 23, Turizo has cemented his position as a global Latin music artist.
Image Source: Mindy Small/Getty Image
«I was not the type of artist that had to work very hard to get attention [to my music]. Since my first song, I had a huge [hit],» he shares. «But you have ups and downs each time, and sometimes in those ups and downs, you get lost on what your vision is or on what you want to do. You start looking beside you, and you try to see what others are doing, and you start trying not to copy, but you follow the trends.»
But Turizo isn’t in this to follow trends; he wants to create his own. «If you only follow trends, then people are going to forget [you], and the music industry is going pretty fast,» he says. «Songs come out in two months, and then you forget it, and I don’t like that. I wanted to offer different things and try to create my own way. My own road.»
Turizo hasn’t just come to this ethos by himself. He’s learned about the importance of really standing apart as a music artist from one of his idols, legendary merengue and bachata artist Juan Luis Guerra, whom he recently met in person.
«He had a performance in Miami, and I went there, and, my god, for me, it was a dream,» he says, his excitement palpable. «I met him, and he’s such a great person. For me, not only as a singer [but also as] a composer. He is one of my biggest influences because I love music that really tells you something . . . it’s storytelling, like you’re reading a book. That’s something he has in every song that he’s done.»
Like Guerra, Turizo also wants to tell a story — and surprise listeners — with every song he releases.
As he confidently concludes: «Manuel Turizo is not one more of the bunch of artists that are around the world. Manuel Turizo is doing his own thing and with a lot of respect to everybody.»