“I didn’t envision any labels taking a risk on my sound three to four years ago,” says UK-Colombian producer Florentino to Remezcla on the eve of the release of his EP Fragmentos. “So joining the Mixpak family [last August] isn’t just something for me to be over the moon about — it’s also allowed me to feel more confident in my musical direction.”
On Fragmentos’ six new tracks, developed over the span of the last two and a half years, the slanger of reggaeton robotics gets a chance to elaborate on his recent pivot towards poppy sounds, exemplified by his recent song “Blink” with Catalonia’s dancehall-rooted genre-surfer Bad Gyal. This EP feels looser, with songs like “Seductora” and “Fantasía” dropping moments of reggaeton vocals into radio-ready pop structures.
That doesn’t mean the producer has donned his shades and is leaving the club for good. Fragmentos also features “2 Late (Dont Call),” a more experimental collaboration with nu-school reggaeton diva Ms. Nina premiering today on Remezcla. It has the Argentine singer debuting her most minimal vocals yet: half of an ice-cold cell phone conversation strung over the producer’s atmospheric meditation on the way phones structure our intimate lives. The meditation on love strikes a less effusive note than Florentino’s characteristic tag “el más romántico de los románticos,” gifted to him by Colombian cousins after they eavesdropped on him bemoaning a break-up to their granddad.
But the way he sees it, Florentino is switching it up as part of a plan to break down boundaries as a music consumer. “I will always write and put out club bangers, that comes easy to me,” he says. “But I also want to see if I can trick vocalists and listeners into consuming my music as if it were pop.”
Actually, the producer rejects the notion that hard barriers still exist between nocturnal and diurnal beats. “Pop music can be anything these days,” he says. “There’s no need to water down your sound. Boundaries have been broken and anything goes as long as the quality is there.” He recognizes some quality partners for this mission in the form of his new label. “Anyone who knows anything about dancehall and club music knows Mixpak have been contributing to both worlds in big ways for a long time now. If you look closely, you can hear their influence on the mainstream.”
Stream our premiere of “2 Late (Dont Call)” above.
Florentino’s Fragmentos EP drops via Mixpak on April 13. Get it here.