Fresh off the press circuit for an exciting “New Artist of the Year” win at the Latin AMAs, Lunay is on cloud nine. The 19-year-old from Puerto Rico’s Corozal is on a rapid ascent, having already collaborated with urbano’s finest — from remixes featuring Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny on “Soltera” to “A Solas” with Anuel AA — all in barely his first year on the scene. It’s not something that eludes him: Ask Lunay anything about this last year, and his response begins and ends with gratitude.
“[Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny] outstretched their hands to me by coming on the “Soltera” remix. That, for me, was the best gift. It was the best thing that could’ve happened to me,” he says. Lunay, whose birth name is Jefnier Osorio, is busy making good on their support, along with the expertise from his managers Chris Jeday and Gaby Music. “I’ve learned a lot from them about the business: What it’s like to be a part of the creative process, to focus and work hard and respect your colleagues,” he explains to Remezcla. “I owe them a great deal because they opened the door for all of my successes.”
But if his debut album, Épico, (out today, Oct. 25) is any indication, Lunay hasn’t had anything simply handed to him. He has burst through the open door at full force, delivering Épico: A 14-track wonder of reggaeton, dancehall and trap influences that mark a young artist who is already well on his way to mainstay status in música urbana. (Épico is certainly a manifestation, if not ambitious, in its “epic” name.)
“It’s been about 14 months of working with the other artists on the album,” Lunay reveals. On Épico, he hasn’t abandoned his collaborative edge — the debut includes new features aplenty, including tracks like the yearning “Mi Favorita” starring Wisin y Yandel, or the exceptionally raunchy “La Cama” with Myke Towers. Of course, there’s also past collaborations included, like the “Soltera” remix that propelled Lunay into our summer-radio collective consciousness.
Yet where Lunay proves himself most is on one of his personal favorites: “I love ‘Malas Intenciones,’” he confesses, and it’s easy to see why. The track is a standout twist on the subject of this summer’s “Soltera.” Whereas the latter is an upbeat celebration of single ladies, Lunay’s follow-up with “Malas Intenciones” delivers a wistful lover’s perspective on the matter. “She doesn’t believe in love, the illusion’s already dead,” he sings over a dragging tresillo beat. It’s romantic sensibilities like these that will prove to be an edge for Lunay amidst reggaeton’s evolving themes. That, and his boyish good looks.
While he could certainly skirt on that virtue alone, Lunay is dedicated to his craft. (Still, we’d be remiss not to mention: he’s already experienced a fan “break in” to his hotel room, and high school-aged hopefuls showed up to the Remezcla offices in search of the reggaetonero.) Altogether, he cares deeply about the experience his listeners take away from this new album: “It’s my gift for them — I started working on it thinking of all of my fans,” Lunay explains. “I hope they carry all of these songs with them in their hearts,” he concludes, and for a moment, it’s easy to forget that this is urbano we’re talking about. But who says Épico can’t leave us lovesick and partying, after all?
Listen to ‘Épico’ here: