After winning 25 Grammys, an artist has a certain privilege — no, a responsibility – to mix it up. Calle 13’s Residente is far from content to rest on the laurels he’s collected after decades of creating cutting social commentary through raucous Puerto Rican hip-hop and reggaeton. Today he touches French-Spanish pop with singer-actress Stéphanie Sokolinski in the first preview of his upcoming album Residente.
“Desencuentro” is a story of two kindred spirits who will never meet in person. “The same thing happens among the people we meet, the countries, moments in general,” explains Residente in a press release. It’s clear that he’s been thinking along the lines of globally dispersed soulmates — he began 2017 by announcing that Residente would be based on the surprising, geographically diverse results he received after doing an analysis of his DNA. After learning his genome includes heritage in Burkina Faso, the Caucasus, Ghana, and other far-flung motherlands, he embarked on a stunningly beautiful educational journey that he documented in a film and multimedia website and served as the inspiration for the upcoming album.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of a project examining global interconnectivity and diaspora in this particular historic moment. The album is set to drop on March 31, and Residente fans will get a chance to hear songs off the new album live when his global tour kicks off in Mexico City on June 17.