Ever since his 2016 BAEZ EP and bittersweet collab with producer Naked Geometry in March, we’ve been waiting to see what Jesse Baez would come up with next. The Guatemalan R&B singer has spent much of his 2017 in Los Angeles, touring and navigating the transition between his Mexico City-based crew Finesse Records and new record deal with Universal Music Latin Entertainment, a process that included occasional NYC stop overs to hang with industry giants (and play Remezcla and Broke Kids’ Live at 203 showcase). Now that pause on releases seems well worth it; Baez just dropped a dreamy single with Dominican trapper Fuego on Baez’s brand new Vevo account, a fresh track for a fresh era.
“Tema 1 (SWOOSH)” couldn’t hit a more relaxed note at this crucial juncture for the singer. The song is a slow dance with ambition that notes the corporate footwear needs of those around Baez (“Esas perras quieren Nikes,” an astute blend of product placement and a Frank Ocean nod). Plus, it delivers a cool appraisal of the road ahead. The minimal, downbeat-church bell production provides an ideal canvas for the vocalist’s easy, soulful vocals and Fuego’s appealingly husky co-sign, which was recently and notably applied to Kali Uchis’ “Tyrant” remix. This is an indisputably cool introduction for Baez’s expected expanded fanbase and hopefully a harbinger of industry support for Spanish-language, Latino-produced R&B.
The video itself provides answers to anyone wondering how the two maintain their catatonic glamour in the midst of industry hype cycle. The shot of Fuego languidly exiting a blue-lit, hotboxed white cruiser is a glossy stoner daydream. Pro guess is that they’re smoking sativa, because we imagine 2018 is going to be a busy year for all parties involved. “Llegó tu rookie del año,” Baez declares, a New Year’s resolution made early.
Fuego plays Mexico City’s Viernes de Perreo party alongside Álvaro Díaz, BrunOG, YogaFire, and more at Foro Normandie tonight. To purchase tickets, click here.