From Juanes To Don Omar, 10 Songs To Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres by Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres by Remezcla
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Over the last few years, more of our cultures have been reflected and represented in covers of Christmas classics and new, original songs.

We rounded up 10 of our favorite festive songs for your upcoming Christmas—and Nochebuena—celebrations because we all know that’s when the party really gets started for the Latine crowd. We recommend following all CDC guidelines this holiday season, given that we’re in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. All gatherings should be small and socially distanced.

Now, back to the music. There’s something for everyone here: covers that are faithful to the originals, covers that take artistic liberty, and original songs that are bound to become new classics. Here’s our list of songs that you can check out to get into the Christmas spirit:

Juanes & Jay De La Cueva – "El Niño Del Tambor"

Colombian superstar Juanes and Fobia’s Jay De La Cueva joined forces for their cover of “El Niño Del Tambor,” a Spanish version of “Little Drummer Boy.” The guys give the Christmas classic a hard rock edge that sounds like it was influenced by Gary Numan. The song and performance are part of Juanes’ Christmas special Celebremos: Eterna Navidad that’s now streaming on Pantaya.

Georgel & La Marisoul – "Duende"

Representing our queer family, Mexican singer-songwriter Georgel comes through with a new Christmas classic, “Duende.” La Santa Cecilia’s La Marisoul features on the song that Georgel wrote with his partner Guillermo Rosas. Both artist’s soulful voices compliment each other beautifully as they sing about an elf that inspires romance. The Motown vibe gives this collaboration a timeless sound.

Fuerza Régida – "24 de Diciembre"

For that Nochebuena peda at home, Fuerza Régida comes through with “24 de Diciembre.” Mexican corridos tumbados and Christmas collide on this song that captures the magic of being with family during the holidays. Rancho Humilde’s top-selling band acknowledges the difficult year that was 2020 with optimistic hopes for next year. Their album Navidad Con La Régida also includes covers of “Feliz Navidad” and “Burrito Sabanero.”

Rocío Saiz – "Last Christmas"

From our amigos in Spain, the Chillers’ frontwoman Rocío Saiz tackled the ’80s Christmas classic “Last Christmas” by Wham! This year the Madrid-born singer put a Spanish spin on the song penned by George Michael. Her version opens faithfully to the original with the hypnotic xylophone before becoming a house music-influenced banger. Saiz is ready to turn out the Christmas party with this one.

Carlos Rivera, Yuri, & Arthur Hanlon – "Noche de Paz"

It’s not Christmas without hearing the classic “Silent Night.” Last December for the Nuestra Navidad album, Mexican powerhouse Carlos Rivera and his pop icon compatriot Yuri covered the Spanish version “Noche de Paz” with Arthur Hanlon on piano. Rivera’s soaring voice with Yuri’s delicate touch made this stellar collaboration feel all the more magical. The Christmas spirit is strong within this one.

Camilo – "5 Pa Las 12"

Colombian singer-songwriter Camilo was the only Latin artist to be included on this year’s Spotify Singles: Holiday playlist. For his contribution, he covered the classic “5 Pa La 12” that was first popularized by Venezuelan singer Néstor Zavarce. His version channels the intensity of “Carols of the Bells” with a flamenco kick. Camilo and that handlebar mustache of his deliver on the passion required to carry such a commanding cover.

José Feliciano, CNCO, Lin-Manuel Miranda, & more – "Feliz Navidad"

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the greatest Christmas classic, Puerto Rican legend José Feliciano recorded a new version of “Feliz Navidad” with 30 artists. Among the Latines on his remake are boyband CNCO, Hamilton hitmaker Lin-Manuel Miranda, Cuban icon Jon Secada, and singer/actor Jencarlos Canela. Feliciano also spreads the love to artists across all genres like Shaggy, Michael Bolton, Gloria Gaynor, and Jason Mraz. It’s “the more, the merrier” on this Latin trap-leaning take that he recorded exclusively for Amazon Music.

Don Omar – "Navidad Pa' La Calle"

Puerto Rican rapper Don Omar feels his tropical music oats with his new Christmas anthem “Navidad Pa’ La Calle.” The song samples El Gran Combo’s salsa classic “Pa’ Fuera, Pa’ La Calle” with a reggaetón music kick. In the lyrics, Omar shouts out many reggaetoneros, like his fellow OGs Daddy Yankee, Wisin, and Arcángel, as well as the latest generation of stars like Bad Bunny, Karol G, and Anuel AA. He’s got the streets covered this holiday season.

Sebastián Yatra – "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town"

For this year’s Feliz Christmas, Vol. 1 album, Colombian heartthrob Sebastián Yatra tackled the classic “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town” with his own Spanglish twist. He channels his inner Frank Sinatra on this enchanting big band version. The music video is adorable with Yatra dancing around a cozy cabin while waiting for Good Ol’ Saint Nick to come through. The album also includes Mexican pop star Danna Paola covering Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” and pop-rockers Morat’s retro “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

Trio Vegabajeño – "Cantares de Navidad"

Technically this is an old song, but much to everyone’s surprise Bad Bunny re-released it on his latest album El Último Tour Del Mundo. The Puerto Rican superstar honored his Boricua roots by including Trio Vegabajeño’s version of “Cantares de Navidad” as his album’s closer. He introduced a new generation of fans streaming his album to the Latine Christmas standard. It’s Benito’s way of wishing his fans a Feliz Navidad and Happy New Year.

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