The Coronavirus pandemic doesn’t stop artists from producing quality albums. Proof of this is the convincing debut album of the 25 year old rapper, singer and producer Nathy Peluso.
To label the Spanish-Argentinean artist as only a rapper is too simple, as from the very beginning, Nathy Peluso has not only dedicated herself to Hip Hop. This is evident on her first Longplayer “Calambre” (English: Shock), with which she was nominated for the Best Newcomer Award at the Latin Grammys in November 2020.
Since her childhood, Nathalia Beatriz Dora Peluso has been musically influenced in many different ways, and when listening to music, she has never limited herself to any style. Up until the age of 10, Peluso lived with her parents in Buenos Aires and grew up between American soul and swing and Latin American folklore. Her family emigrated to Barcelona in 2005. The move also shaped her musical career. In Spain, she was mainly friends with other Latinxs. This opened up new cultural and musical worlds for the Argentinean.
However, as a teenager, she did not sing salsa and boleros – she performed Frank Sinatra and Nina Simone covers in hotels and restaurants. She went to Madrid to study Audiovisual Arts and Dance Pedagogy, only to quit her studies after only two semesters to pursue a career in music. Shortly before, Nathy Peluso had started rapping rather by chance. As a street musician, she earned her money by writing a poem within two minutes when the audience suggested a word. She couldn’t sing the poems that she wrote, so eventually she began to rap. From these interpretations, her first EP “Esmeralda” was created, which was still strongly influenced by LoFi beats and rap. This changed when the Argentinean released the trap track “Corashe” in November 2017. The angry break-up track became her first success, because so many women her age could identify themselves with the song’s theme.
With her second EP “La Sandunguera”, Nathy Peluso focused more on her Latin American influences. The eponymous track for the album crosses Hip Hop and Latin-Soul. In her lyrics, she talks about the prejudices Latinas are exposed to and gives intelligent and ironic answers to these. Meanwhile, her lyrics deal with topics like love, self-assertion as a woman and her experience and identity as a Latina. Or that she just simply enjoys eating pizza. Nathy Peluso is eloquent and ironic in her lyrics as well as in her puns, which are especially carried by multilingual word games.
But it is not only the diverse and experimental sound that makes Nathy Peluso‘s music unique. In some tracks, it sometimes feels as though there is not only one person behind the microphone. The Argentinean’s voice can not only interpret different genres, but also imitates Latin American accents and sometimes invents its own. “I find different women inside me, different voices”, she recently told the New York Times. “I really love to investigate characters”. A feature that produces smooth rhymes and intelligent punchlines is her “Spanglish”. For example, Nathy Peluso raps at the beginning of the track “I am a business woman”: “Mira, nene, óyeme: don’t play with my ass. Cause if you play with my ass. You will quemarte.”, Or in “Kun Fu”, creates exclamations like “Shake your little culo, flaca!”.
In the 12 tracks of her first album “Calambre”, Nathy Peluso confidently combines Trap (“Celebré”), Hip Hop (“Sana Sana”, “Business Woman”), Soul (“Llamamé”, “Buenos Aires”), RnB (“Trío”), with Latin American genres such as Bolero (“Agarrate”), Salsa (“Puro Veneno”) and Reggaeton (“Amor Salvaje”). This only gives hope for promising future albums. And with the tempo Nathy Peluso has set in the last few years producing tracks, another EP or second studio album should not be too far away.