Pop

Ten Years Of Becky G: From Aspiring Pop Star To Latin Music Staple

Over the course of the past 10 years, the way we consume music has evolved. In the past, an artist would traditionally drop a single, generate hype, drop a follow-up track or two, then release a full-length album. In the case of Rebbeca Gomez, better known as Latin music superstar Becky G, her full-length debut album Mala Santa didn’t arrive until 2019, nearly 7 years after making her major label debut as a featured artist.

Her first major label contributions came in the form of Cody Simpson’s “Wish U Were Here” while her first single as a solo artist was the will.i.am-assisted “Problem” in August 201. Her first entry onto the Billboard Hot 100 would come by way of Cher Lloyd’s “Oath,” just two months later. Though it only reached No. 73 on the charts, it was the first of many hits for Becky, who, at the time, was poised to be a pop star with her spunky, rap-singing vocal stylings, and her flashy, colorful wardrobe.

Becky G has gone from a promising viral pop act to one of the biggest names in Latin music. While her trajectory has been incredible to watch, Becky, 25, is only getting started.

At the time of the release of “Oath,” Becky had developed a small fan base from her YouTube channel, on which she shared covers of Frank Ocean’s “Novacane” and Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “Otis,” the latter of which caught the attention of producer Dr. Luke, who signed her to a joint deal with Kemosabe and RCA Records. But she was relatively unknown in the pop landscape.

Still, she maintained her ambition to become a household name, hopping onto remixes of songs like Kesha’s “Die Young,” and creating her own versions of iconic hits.

In 2013, Becky released a single called “Becky From The Block,” which was a more family-friendly rework of Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny From The Block” from 10 years prior.

“I won’t stop till I get to the top / Always had a little, but I want a lot,” she sings, emulating the original artist.

In an interview with Los Angeles Times, Becky revealed that she aspired to be the next Jennifer Lopez.

“She’s honestly one of my role models,” Becky said, “one of my idols, like somebody that I’ve looked up to since I was very little, since I watched Selena.”

Becky released her debut EP Play It Again in July that year, on the title track of which, she raps, “I’m a creature, I ain’t lyin’, not a cheater, I’m a lioness / They sayin’ that I’m the best and I ain’t drop an album yet.” As she began gaining more traction in the pop landscape, the anticipation for a full-length album was high. Surely, the following year would prove to be more promising.

In April of 2014, Becky released “Shower,” a bubblegum pop track about young love, which became a viral hit on Vine. With the song’s relatability and its catchy “la-di-la-da-la-da” adlibs, “Shower” reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Many listeners were instantly hooked on “Shower” upon first listen. In an Interview with Time, Becky said she knew she had a banger on her hands but wasn’t sure where it would lead her.

“We listened to it all the way through and all of us couldn’t say anything,” said Becky of hearing ‘Shower’ for the first time. “We just were quiet and looking at each other and smiling. I think we all had that little spark in our eyes and that little feeling it was going to be something special. We didn’t know what it was going to be, but we knew it was going to be special.”

While this seemed like an opportune time to begin an album rollout, Becky was still finding her footing as an artist. Her songs were undoubtedly taking off, but she was still searching for the right sound. Later that year, she released “Can’t Stop Dancin’,” which contained a less poppy sound and headed in a more Latin-inspired direction. A remix of the song featured a then-up-and-coming J Balvin.

The following year, she would collaborate with Thalia, who is often referred to as the Queen of Latin Pop, on a song called “Como Tú No Hay Dos.” It was clear in her voice and enthusiasm on the songs that she was a natural for these Latin dance records, however, it seemed as though her label was set on making her a pop star, as she would release Latin collaborations in tandem with the Dr. Luke-produced “Lovin’ So Hard” and “Break A Sweat,” the latter of which was rumored to be for Demi Lovato.

Toward the latter-half of the 2010s, she would begin releasing strictly Latin music, beginning with “Sola,” on which, she celebrates her freedom after leaving a toxic relationship. Her breakthrough came in 2017 in the form of the Bad Bunny-assisted “Mayores,” on which sings of her affinity for older men. This song reached No. 1 On Billboard’s US Latin Airplay chart, as well as No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart.

Becky would continue to rise in the realm of reggaeton and Latin pop with her sensual anthem, “Sin Pijama,” which features Natti Natasha. The song contains an infectious chorus of female sexual empowerment, on which the two sing back and forth, “Si tú me llamas / nos vamos para tu casa / Nos quedamos en la cama / sin pijama, sin pijama,” which translates to “If you call me / We’ll go to your house / We’ll lay in bed / Without pajamas, without pajamas.” The song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s US Latin Airplay chart and No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart.

Both songs appear on Becky’s 2019 debut album, Mala Santa, which arrived after years of standalone singles, guest contributions, and viral moments.

This May, Becky released her sophomore album, Esquemas, which contains the Karol G collaboration, “Mamiii,” an empowering break-up anthem which features the superstars cutting ties with the unappreciative men in their lives. The punchy reggaeton single topped the Billboard US Hot Latin Songs and US Latin Airplay charts, and reached No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it both artists’ highest charting songs.

As of now, Becky has reached new highs in her career, and only plans to continue rising.

Earlier this month, Becky released a new single called “Amantes,” with Daviles De Novelda, just months after the release of Esquemas. The song marks Becky’s first dabble in bachata music, showcasing her effortless versatility.

Proven by her decade-long career, Becky is not afraid to experiment with new sounds, nor does she play by anybody’s rules. In a recent interview with Teen Vogue, she said she only plans to grow as an artist and continue to be a voice for her community.

“I’m a student of life, man,” Becky said. “I may have 10-plus years under my belt of being in this industry, but one of my favorite quotes is, ‘If it’s not growing, it’s death.’”

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