Lyanno Talks How He Picks His Collabs & Wanting To Do Bachata

Photo by Jonah A, Diaz.

When Lyanno came onto el movimiento in 2016, things moved quickly for the young artist. Now 25, his career doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. The R&B singer’s new single alongside Lunay, “Dos Opciones,” comes at the heels of his most recent EP Pa’la Calle and a flurry of other collaborations–all of which were released earlier this year during the pandemic. 

The sensual “Dos Opciones” opens with a slow, spacey melody, and Lunay enters with the first, achingly lustful lyrics: “Today I’m desperate/ how many nights I’ve waited to touch you again/ I’m addicted to you/ I like you too much/ I can’t wait.” The bass beat drops with a dembow kick and Lyanno starts to sing, the bass picks up the pace, and thus begins the genre-mixing sound the artist is known for. His smooth vocals are enticing and romantic, tender even, despite proposing a raunchy escapade. It’s there, at the cross-section of reggaeton’s bellaqueo vibe and Lyanno’s soulful voice where “Dos Opciones” epitomizes the artist’s approach to music. “Since we started to record, we knew we had something special in our hands,” says Lyanno on a Zoom call with Remezcla. 

While on a press junket in Miami, Lyanno, born Edgardo Cuevas Feliciano, signed onto Zoom with Remezcla to talk about “Dos Opciones,” collaborating with artists such as Lunay and Rauw Alejandro, and his first full album.

This interview has been translated from Spanish and edited for clarity.

You’ve had a busy year leading up to “Dos Opciones.” What’s next? 

I just finished my first album, which is going to be called El Cambio [The Change]. It’s going to debut at the beginning of 2022. I’m really really content. This song with Lunay is a part of that album as well so, at least for now, people can get a taste of what the album is going to be. It’s going to be very complete, with lots of collaborations and lots of musical styles. No one’s going to be bored listening to it. 

How was collaborating with Lunay? 

Well once we finished recording the song, we thought it would be a good idea to do it with Lunay. I hadn’t been able to collaborate with him since 2018, so three years. He and I have been friends for many years, but we hadn’t been able to get together because of our calendars and the different projects we were working on. But it’s always good when we get together in the studio. You can tell in the song and from past collaborations that our great voices sound good when they’re together and that’s how it was in this case too.

You’ve done collaborations with more than a handful of artists this year alone. How do you decide to jump on a collaboration? 

I always imagine the other parts of the song. So if I think of a song and I want collaboration on it, I think about who would fit in that part. I reach out and if they’re down to do it, we get together, and usually, the people I collaborate with are super fire. I get along with everyone in the world, which is why within a year you can see so many collaborations coming out. 

In the past, you said this moment in music is changing. With all this change, where do you see the direction of your own music going? 

Well, obviously one needs to stay updated with what’s happening in music, but I try to do it in a way that I don’t lose my essence. What I mean is I don’t follow patterns. I’m not a person that does what’s happening simply to do it. So I do have influences, but I don’t leave my roots the moment I approach a song, even if music is changing much more rapidly than years before. 

“I’m not a person that does what’s happening simply to do it… I don’t leave my roots the moment I approach a song, even if music is changing much more rapidly than years before.” 

But you are a certain type of genre blender. Is there anything you’ve listened to recently that you felt an influence from? 

You know what I’d like to combine? I think Romeo already did it, but combine a bit of bachata with R&B. Like making a fusion, because the bachata sounds sensual—it goes hand in hand with what I do. I think bachata would be pretty interesting.  

Speaking of collaborations, you just performed with Rauw Alejandro in Puerto Rico. Can we expect a Rauw Alejandro collab? 

I was on tour first in Spain and then he invited me to his concert in Puerto Rico. It was something else. I am so happy with what’s happening with him, and of course!