If there’s something Gen Zers is known for, it’s the rise of TikTok – and utilizing it to their benefit. Two of these exponents are the up-and-coming artists in el movimiento, Jossef and ROBI, who ihave used the social media platform to uplift their bourgeoning music careers. And what happens when the two emerging artists put their efforts together? They roll out their new collaboration, “Contesto o Ignoro,” released on Nov. 3.
Jossef and ROBI appear to be like-minded, based on a video conversation with the pair. It’s no surprise since they’re both in their early 20s and are part of the new wave of Puerto Rican artists – a movement they refer to as “La Nueva.” Though they’ve known of each other for a while now, they had never worked in the studio until “Contesto o Ignoro,” a reggaeton-inspired track that came together rather easily.
“When it came out in the studio, it was a beauty. I like it a lot, I feel it has an old school sound, but with La Nueva,” ROBI tells Remezcla. “I think it gives it a touch of nostalgia, but at the same time, it feels fresh, it feels new.” At Jossef’s home studio, ROBI says that once he was presented with the song, he knew it was the one he wanted to collaborate on. For him, the production sounded just as much like him as it did to Jossef’s signature reggaeton style.
Echoing the sentiment, Jossef adds, “At the end of the day, we are doing reggaeton, but it feels different. The fusion between a rare sound and reggaeton, that’s what makes it special. Also, the nostalgic feeling is what makes it special.”
“Nostalgia will always connect, always. People love nostalgia, ¿me entiende?” he adds.
Connection is a huge theme for the two artists. They both reinforce the importance of creating a track with lyrics that people can connect and identify with – something they’re no strangers to doing. As mentioned before, the two consider what their fans relate to when making music, and a lot of it has to do with how they use TikTok.
ROBI – who was discovered by Feid through a viral TikTok video of his “Pantysito” verse – vouches for the app’s power of communicating with fans in a more personal way. “[The app is] a mix between organic content and more of your life. I feel like TikTok is like a personal platform; it’s a platform where fans engage more with who you are as a person rather than your music,” ROBI explains. “You make music and when promoting it on there, you have to balance the content you upload as the individual and the content you upload as the artist. I try to do it that way. I try not to bombard people with my music, but rather give them my full personality.”
Throughout the conversation, it’s clear that they both know the power of authenticity. “As ROBI says, it’s much more organic,” Jossef responds. “I would say people understand us. People like to know who the person is – not who the artist is – but who the person is.”
They further connect the app’s organic way of bonding to how they aim to bring that same relatable sentiment with their new song. “The idea is to create things that people connect with, just like we talked about TikTok – which is super organic, super real. Well, [it’s] the same [case with] the lyrics,” Jossef explains. “The lyrics have to be real so that people connect, so that they identify themselves, and feel part of the song.”
And since they’re very engaged on TikTok, before wrapping up the conversation, we ask them what their currently favorite trend on the app was. ROBI says it’s Rauw Alejandro’s “PUNTO 40” challenge – a trend that currently has over 1.3 million views under its name. And in case you were wondering what they would do if they had to contestar or ignorar – it’s a split decision. “I answer,” Jossef says. “I ignore!” ROBI playfully yells over Jossef.
Listen to “Contesto o Ignoro” below.