2016 was a banner year for releases by Latino musicians, with impactful projects by everyone from Helado Negro to J Balvin. This year is proving to be worthy competition, with albums by Princess Nokia and Mitú proving that Latin music, in all its dizzying forms, continues to thrive.
In that spirit, we put together a list of some of the most noteworthy releases to keep an eye on this fall and winter. Of course, release dates are subject to change; artists might surprise drop new material at any moment or push a release back without warning. Check back here as we update releases in the coming months.
Get the intel on our top 10 picks below, and scroll down for the full list of releases.
Ibeyi - Ash
Release date: September 29
Label: XL Recordings
On their 2015 self-titled debut, Lisa Kaindé and Naomi Díaz, the French-Cuban twins behind Ibeyi, summoned spirits of the dead, using their album as though it were a spectral, glowing séance. The sisters leveraged unvarnished, downtempo electro-R&B to recall their father, the late percussionist Miguel “Angá” Díaz, and their older sister Yanira, all while honoring ancient orishas of the Yoruba faith.
Ibeyi was a profound example of Yoruba traditions brought into the present day. On their forthcoming album Ash, the sisters have evolved into more direct, confrontational writers, exploring their connection not just to the spiritual realm but also to today’s tumultuous physical world. Tracks from the project include “Away, Away,” a mediation on the chaos of our current era. The twins also teamed up with Meshell Ndegeocello, Chilly Gonzales, and Mala Rodriguez to reinforce the album’s bolder approach.
Their newest song, “Deathless,” features saxophonist Kamasi Washington and chronicles a traumatic experience Lisa-Kaindé had with French police. Lisa-Kaindé dedicated the song to “every minority. For everybody that feels that they are nothing…I want them to listen to our song, and for three minutes feel large, powerful, deathless.” Like a much-needed salve, Ash arrives to soothe us just when we needed Ibeyi most. –Julyssa Lopez
Spiff TV - The Union
Release date: December 2017
Label: Sony Music Latin
Spiff TV is a proven tastemaker. As a video director and A&R for some of rap’s biggest acts, he’s billed himself as a “one-stop shop” who has shaped beats and visuals for Rick Ross, French Montana, and more.
But the Dominican and Puerto Rican Orlando native has always had a foot firmly planted in reggaeton. As a young upstart pushing around crates for DJ Nasty, Spiff often rubbed elbows with Don Omar and Noreaga, and even released a short 2015 film called “Reggaeton Invasion.” It was only natural for him to blur the lines between hip-hop and reggaeton, which he did expertly when he linked up Future and Yandel for the 2015 banger “Mi Combo.”
Now, the jack-of-all-trades — whose real name is Carlos Suarez — is preparing to release The Union, an aptly titled project that doubles down on musical collision, joining trap, hip-hop, R&B, and reggaeton. He offered another sampling of the possibilities when he corralled Prince Royce and Chris Brown for “Just As I Am,” and a Balvin-Fetty Wap bop might be in the works. While crossover collabs abound these days, Spiff has been perennially ahead of the curve, pioneering early on and showing the magic that can happen when you bridge the intrinsically connected worlds of hip-hop and reggaeton. –Julyssa Lopez
Kali Uchis - TBA
Label: Virgin EMI
Release date: TBA
Kali Uchis’ debut EP Por Vida felt every bit like a giant cone of frothy cotton candy, spun from pastel visuals, nostalgia, and sugar-sweet vocals. The Colombian-American singer’s retro soul sound instantly earned her comparisons to a modern-day Billie Holiday or Amy Winehouse, and the project’s success saw her ascend into one of the most promising stars of 2015.
Enter controversy. When Uchis dropped the promo images for “Tyrant,” a winding, dancehall-inspired track from her forthcoming album, fans began to wonder if she had darkened her previously bleach-blonde hair to capitalize off of a brown Latina narrative. The questions surfaced in a FADER cover story that implored, “Who is the Real Kali Uchis?”
Figuring out the answer is a work in progress, but Uchis’ upcoming 2017 album promises at least a gander into who she’s becoming. Already, a more self-assured version of the artist is emerging as she flexes her voice in collaborations with Juanes and Reykon El Lider. She’s also spending time exploring her family’s native Colombia, where she shot a recent video for the twinkling “Nuestro Planeta,” hinting that her new music may offer the most intimate, true-to-roots side we’ve seen of her so far. –Julyssa Lopez
Cardi B - TBA
Release date: October 2017
Label: Atlantic Records
Bawdy. Outrageous. Unfiltered. Unafraid. The descriptors for rapper Cardi B are endless, and each of them serve as reasons to be excited for her debut album, which she announced would drop in October during her set at Made in America Festival. Oh, and of course, there’s also the fact that “Bodak Yellow” has been playing non-stop since exploding to no. 2 on the Billboard charts like a psychotic grenade, leading The New York Times to dub it the rap anthem of the summer.
The reality star-turned-music-phenomenon hasn’t forgotten her Dominican roots amid her dizzying rise to fame, either. After “Bodak Yellow” took over, she released a Spanglish remix of the song featuring Dominican rapper Messiah El Artista, which she’d already previewed to electrified crowds at this year’s Dominican Day Parade in New York. For most, smashes in English and Spanish would be victory enough, but we’re in the Year of Cardi B. She’ll be ending 2017 with an album that could add a Bronx-born domincana’s name to the too-short but endlessly influential list of women changing the face and sound of rap. We don’t know too much about the release, but we’re hopefully that her turns to Spanish — and odes to reggaeton legend Ivy Queen — keep her in a caribeña state of mind. –Julyssa Lopez
Clubz - Destellos
Release date: October 2017
Label: Buen Día Records/Casete
The world has been waiting with bated breath and in black pullover sweaters for Mexican duo Clubz to release their full-length debut since first hearing their stylized indie pop earworms in late 2013. After riding the hype and success of their fuzzy guitar-laden Texturas EP and its synthier follow up Épocas, the Monterrey duo is finally ready to share Destellos, the fully gestated brainchild of the band’s musical evolution. Clubz have teased several releases indicating the growing breadth of their musical source material, pointing out an affinity for the stadium pop of classic acts like Prince and Hall & Oates in an interview with Remezcla early this summer. Their desire to feature more live instrumentation is showcased on tracks like lead single “El Rollo,” where its evocative 80s saxophone mirrors classic TV theme songs of the era, and “Popscuro” where the song’s heavy bass groove takes you by the hand through nearly four minutes of perfect pop bliss. “Áfrika,” perhaps Clubz’ catchiest song to date, is also the clearest evidence of their vintage synthesizer collection, producing one of the stickiest melodies and singalongs in their small but pristine catalog. –Richard Villegas
Coral Casino - María
Release date: October/November
Label: Finesse Records
Coral Casino, the Argentine duo composed of Roque Ferrari and Lara Artesi, transitioned from the smooth, romantic sounds of their debut mixtape $lytherin to a fully realized reggaeton dream on their three-track EP Summer Romance, released two years ago. With their shiny new style, people who were too shy to whine their waists are they’re happily perreando hasta abajo, grinding in ethereal clouds of puffy pads and breezy synths. Since then, they’ve dipped their toes in trap (“Clase Clase”) and dancehall (“Tenía Todo”) waters, genres in which their auto-tuned vocals fit right in. Now they’re ready to take the next step and release their first album María. Whether they’re working with Orodembow, King Doudou, or a producer from the Finesse Records crew remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: with their unapologetic love for mainstream pop and their bold collision of genres, all we can do is let them surprise us. –Cheky
Valesuchi - TRAGICOMIC
Release date: TBA
Chile’s Valesuchi has been on the forefront of the Santiago de Chile club scene for a few years now, playing masterfully threaded DJ sets all over the country. So how is it possible she still hasn’t dropped a full album yet? With only one EP – Golosynth, released by Discos Pegaos in 2014 – and plenty of remixes, collaborations, compilation tracks, and SoundCloud loosies under her belt, Valentina Montalvo is finally putting out her long-awaited debut full-length on Subsubtropics, and the suspense is killing us. If her DJ sets and previous works are any indication, we can expect dance music rooted in house and techno with dashes of funk and disco. Her hardware-based productions are always wonderfully off-kilter, but there’s no time for any analysis when your body is already dancing to trance-inducing mechanic beats. Let’s be ready for whatever she decides to offer us. –Cheky
Fuego - Fireboy Forever III
Release date: TBA
Label: Mr. 305 Inc.
Trap wields a firm grip in the Spanish-speaking world and we’ve got traperos like Anuel AA, Messiah, and Bryant Myers to show it. But no one has explored the genre more convincingly than Fuego, the Dominican rapper who cemented his lurching sound on his widely acclaimed Fireboy Forever II album. Fuego had experimented with merengue urbano in the past, but he found his groove once he signed to Pitbull’s Mr. 305 Inc. and let a stream of trap burst forth.
Now, a follow-up is in order, and Fuego is delivering his comeback to fans with Fireboy Forever III. He’s offered a few glimpses into the project with tracks like “4,5,6” which harnesses the same dark, freewheeling vibe of Fireboy Forever II. But other previews, including his recent R&B trap ballad “Por Ti,” also see Fuego slowing things down and toying with a few new inspirations. The album is also rumored to feature new production collaborations from DJ Chino and Southside and Steve Lean of 808 Mafia. As trap continues to reverberate, Fireboy Forever III may serve as a road map to guide us through all the places the genre’s leading traperos are barreling toward next. –Julyssa Lopez
Lola Pistola - Curfew
Release date: September 29
Label: Burger Records
Lola Pistola has been on our radar for quite some time, since she was a DJ and producer under the name Fiasco, spinning records at parties in New York and San Juan, as well as occasionally guesting with Füete Billete. Later she got a cosign from AJ Dávila with her debut single “Tú Pensabas,” which he produced during the sessions of his album Amor Terror. Now, after an EP titled Everyday/Routine, Lola is finally ready to drop her first album on the venerable Burger Records, which promises plenty of heavy guitars and hooky vocals, as we have already heard from lead single “Carroll St.” She’s still not done reinventing herself; in the video, she dons a drag-inspired costume. Look out for Curfew to bring a new side of Lola Pistola to the game – it promises to be very exciting. –Marcos Hassan
Los Blenders - Ha Sido
Release date: October 2017
Label: Buen Día Records
The Mexico City band came out of a hipper-than-thou scene of beer-soaked garage kids thrashing it out. That scene fizzled out quickly, but Los Blenders moved on; they sobered up, took care of business, and began packing every venue they played, which led them to opportunities like appearing in a TV commercial alongside will.i.am (yes, really). They have been touring constantly across Mexico and the U.S. and even got a spot on this year’s Coachella lineup. Now they’re ready to deliver a proper follow-up to their Chavos Bien LP. The lead singles of Ha Sido, “Ya No Te Quiero” and “Amor Prohibido II,” demonstrate that Los Blenders are refining their formula for greater impact, tighter surf riffs, and many more hooks. Look out for the record sometime in October, thanks to the fine folks at Buen Día Records, which is also home to Ave Negra, Clubz, and Las Robertas. –Marcos Hassan
Farruko / TrapXficante / Carbon Fiber Music
Vaya Futuro / Tips para ir de viaje / Quemasucabeza
Hinds & Los Nastys / El Sueño en Benilandia 7″ / Suicide Squeeze
Awwz / TBA / Finesse Records
Kaydy Cain / Serio / La Vendición
Justin Quiles / Ropa Interior / Warner Music Latin
Rubio / B EP / Jungla Music
EVHA / El Viejo Hombre de los Andes / AYA Records
(Me Llamo) Sebastián / La Sombra / Self-released
Alex Ferreira / Canapé / No Importa Records
Trillones / Tal Vez Sí Exista / Self-released
beGun / TBA / Nazca
Bryant Myers / TBA / La Commission
Camileazy / TBA / Atlas Discos
Oddó / Mala Suerte / Atlas Discos
PJ Sin Suela / Vital / TBA
Noriel / Trap Capos II / Sony Music Latin
Bairoa / Barlovento EP
Sotomayor / TBA
Los Vigilantes / TBA
LOWLIGHT / Crush EP
Grenda / TBA / Static Discos
Baywaves / TBA / Foehn Records
OMAAR / TBA EP / NAAFI
Rubby / TBA
Centavrvs / Somos Uno / Casete
Alex Sensation / TBA / Tu Linea
La Goony Chonga / Dinero / TBA