Laura Puentes (aka Rosa Pistola) is having quite a year. Fresh off of performances at EDC Mexico, Boiler Room’s Apocalipsis showcase with DJ Playero, and gigs across the globe, the 30-year-old reggaeton selector and successful clothing designer plans to expose Mexico’s longstanding perreo scene to new audiences.
“I want this to be played the world over, and when people hear it, I want them to say ‘Oh, this is Mexican reggaeton!’” she tells Remezcla via Skype about her forthcoming mixtape La Linea Del Sexxx. “The way there’s Puerto Rican, Colombian, and Panamanian reggaeton, I want people to realize that Mexico also has a reggaeton style. And this style has been around for a really long time; it just doesn’t get its due,” she says.
Her new single “La Linea Del Sexxx (ft. El Habano)” finds Puentes acting as a self-described “reggaeton DJ Khaled,” bringing producers and rappers together to form unlikely collaborations. “Like Khaled, I pick my favorite producers and artists and I match them up together and oversee the entire project,” she explains. “Everyone told me to not work with El Habano because his style was so ‘underground’ and very chaka as they say here. But I don’t like to listen to people’s opinions about what I should do.” she says, smirking.
The video for the song, staring La Super Goga, harkens back to reggaeton’s gunshot-and-moans heyday, but also draws heavily from the gritty CDMX club scene. “I was inspired by old Nicky Jam and Daddy Yankee videos with women bouncing and dancing half-naked,” she laughs. “I tried to keep it within the traditional reggaeton video style, but mine’s maybe a little more fashion and ‘dark.’ For me, ‘fashion’ means ‘friki,’ and ‘dark’ because I like things that sound and look subversive and violent.”
Puentes also hopes this project can inspire others to forge their own paths in the music industry. “The doors have been open forever, but this industry is [like] gonorrhea…I’m the main boss in charge of this [mixtape]…The idea is to show [that] I feel like a woman in power. Everyone who knows me, knows I’m in charge. This is my truth. I want to show what I am, what I enjoy. It’s a fuckload of work and I want people to value it,” she says. “And it’s great to motivate other women to have that same kind of boss mentality.”
Rosa Pistola plays New York’s Mad Tropical with Rubby, D’Marquesina, Modabot, and Shell X on May 17. Rosa Pistola also plays Red Bull Music Festival New York’s Reggaeton Hasta Abajo event on May 19.