On ‘Aura,’ AQUIHAYAQUIHAY’S Zizzy Rides a Rollercoaster of Reggaetón Rhythms

Photo by Maldito Moreno. Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla.

Zizzy has been integral in building the sound of AQUIHAYAQUIHAY, one of the most forward-thinking pop groups in Mexican music. Now, he’s ready to step up to the plate on his own and make his mark in the world of reggaetón with his ambitious new EP, Aura.

Throughout the eight tracks found in Aura, Zizzy spreads his wings to bring different interpretations of dembow rhythms. “I wanted it to be my calling card,” he tells Remezcla. “To show the kind of music I can make. I wanted to chase different emotions, see where they would take me, and build it like a rollercoaster. Dancing has been a constant source of escape for me, a way for me to forget about my troubles. In AQUIHAYAQUIHAY, I write a lot of sad songs, so [for this EP] I found a way to embrace sadness in a healthy way. It was like building a playlist for my perfect party.”

In AQUIHAYAQUIHAY, I write a lot of sad songs, so [for this EP] I found a way to embrace sadness in a healthy way.”

His history with reggaetón goes back to his early teens. “I ran away from home when I was 15,” he explains. “My first job was getting people into reggaetón clubs. I grew up in Monterrey and reggaetón is huge over there, I got immersed in that culture. I got to see Arcángel, Cosculluela, Ñengo Flow, and many others for free. At the time, I wanted to be a rapper but there was beef between rappers and reggaetoneros, so I made reggaetón on the down low and kept working on my hip-hop music. Now that I found the people to work with, I feel it’s the right time to release this stuff.”

Indeed, according to Zizzy, working with other producers and writers is what makes Aura a special project. “I think it’s a very important aspect of music,” he says about collaboration. “When I saw that I could work with Beatboy and Manuel Lara, I thought ‘Wow, I can do this amazing thing.’” 

In an era when the business side strives to bring together as many big names as possible regardless of the results, Zizzy’s approach to collaboration seems as human as it can get. He calls prolific producer Beatboy—known for his work with Daddy Yankee and Jowell & Randy— “one of my best friends” who happens to work in a number of songs on Aura. Likewise, his work with Manuel Lara came from mutual admiration when he showed Zizzy a beat and him improvising vocal ideas on top which made both flip out on the spot. Another noteworthy collaborator is Aron Piper, the actor better known for appearing in the Netflix series Elite, who is featured in the track “Dans Club.”

Although he’s putting all his chips into this new phase in his career, Zizzy is far from leaving AQUIHAYAQUIHAY behind. In fact, he’s more committed than ever to the band. “This is my journey and I have to follow my instincts,” he says. “I try to be very professional about the time I dedicate to what project but yeah, there’s a ton of stuff that will be coming out soon with AQUIHAYAQUIHAY. That’s my life’s work that I’m making with my best friends who I practically grew up with on the streets. Even on the EP, they helped me a lot.” 

Aura also marks another venture for Zizzy behind the scenes, as it will be released on his own Slowly label, which he runs with friend and key collaborator Adrián Be. “It’s all about building something not only for me but for the artists on the label. You have to really seize all the opportunities you get. I want everybody to sit at the best table and put Mexican music on top in every country.” 

Zizzy is enthusiastic about this aspect as he has connected with various artists in other countries to build. He has songs on the way with Álvaro Díaz, Big Soto, Baby Jey, and Young Cister. “I think that my success will help Mexico get a bigger hold in different territories. This way, Slowly and other Mexican artists can get a foothold in countries like Spain, Venezuela, Chile, France, and Puerto Rico. My success is not just for me, I want to share it with everybody. I want to be one of the pillars of this movement.”

Listen to Aura below.