Following close behind Colombian superstars like J Balvin, Maluma, and Karol G is rising singer-songwriter Manuel Turizo. “Those are people who have been working so hard for many years,” he says. “I’m on the same path and I hope my big day comes like it did for them.”
The 20-year-old from Montería, Colombia is not off to a bad start. His breakthrough single, 2017’s “Una Lady Como Tú,” has over 1.4 billion views on YouTube. “I feel very fortunate to have the career I have,” he tells LADYGUNN. “But I also feel like I have many more years to live ahead of me. I have a lot of dreams I want to make come true and many goals that I want to accomplish for myself.”
In a reggaetón music scene where Auto-Tune is commonplace, Turizo’s deeply rich voice is a standout. There’s a sultry side to it on the flirty “Vaina Loca” with Puerto Rican singer Ozuna. The song became his first hit on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2018, peaking at No. 98. There’s also a soulful side to it on his recent single “Quiéreme Mientras Se Pueda,” or “Love Me While You Can,” an anthem for an era where life is more fragile than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Turizo is still coming up in the industry, he hasn’t been alone in his journey. His reggaetón bops are refreshing, infused with the sound of his brother Julián Turizo’s ukulele. They write, record, and (before the pandemic) toured together. On the back cover of Turizo’s first album, last year’s ADN (Spanish for DNA) is the message: “La Sangre Y La Tinta Nos Unen.” “The blood (sangre) unites us because we are brothers,” he says. “The ink (tinta) because we write together. He’s always supported me.”
On the La Industria Inc. imprint, Turizo has also gotten support from labelmate Nicky Jam, a Puerto Rican pioneer in the reggaetón. He grew up on the music of Jam along with other icons in the genre from the early 2000s. “I liked a lot of Wisin y Yandel, Rakim y Ken-Y, and Arcángel,” Turizo says. But he also has R&B influences like former Mexican duo Sin Bandera and American superstar Usher.
Turizo is turning up the heat in his career with the newly-released “La Nota” featuring Boricua upstarts Myke Towers and Rauw Alejandro. This is a second taste of Turizo’s next album Dopamina, or “Dopamine.” The one-time teen heartthrob is now positioning himself as Colombia’s next big pop star. He talked with us about his biggest career moments so far, making his new single in quarantine, and what to expect next.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET CONNECTED WITH LA INDUSTRIA INC.?
When I released my first single that I’m most known for, “Una Lady Como Tú,” it was first big in Colombia. It was number one and the people were playing it everywhere. That’s when La Industria approached me. They offered me help and support that I didn’t have. I knew how to be a musician, but I didn’t know how to go about having a music career.
HAS YOUR LABELMATE NICKY JAME GIVEN YOU ANY ADVICE?
I met him after we did the remix of “Una Lady Como Tú.” My first album had a great song with him (“No Le Perteneces“) and I’ll be on Nicky’s album that’s coming as well. He’s given me a lot of advice; apart from advice on my music career, he’s talked with me about the path that he’s been on and what he’s lived through. He’s given me personal advice from the heart and that’s knowledge I can use to my favor.
HOW DID YOUR LIFE CHANGE AFTER THE SUCCESS OF “VAINA LOCA” WITH OZUNA?
It’s so beautiful that that song was born in Medellín. In December 2017, if I’m not wrong, Ozuna messaged me on Instagram asking me to collab. I sent him what we had of “Vaina Loca” and he loved it. We got together and made that song a big hit. To have been a part of a smash like that, it’s a precious song to me. It’s my favorite. It was exciting when the song hit the Billboard Hot 100. More than chart positions and numbers, I was more excited to be singing that song in front of thousands of people and hearing everyone singing it back to me. I could feel my blood heat up. It was the best feeling.
WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING WITH YOUR BROTHER JULIÁN ON TOUR?
Since we were little, we wrote music together. In the beginning that was our hobby to pass the time. Now we get to live off doing that same thing. It’s something that’s very beautiful. It’s a blessing that we get to do this together. To be doing this as family. To be able to learn from each other. That trust we have. We’re always pushing each other to be better.
HOW DID YOU PASS THE TIME IN QUARANTINE?
I was working a lot. That kept me busy really. I was working on my evolution. I was working on my new album. I was working on my music. I was working on being better every day.
TELL ME ABOUT THE PROCESS OF FILMING THE VIDEO FOR “LA NOTA.”
It was very complicated to be honest. We had to reschedule the video four times because it got cancelled with complications from this time we’re living in. We had to get special permissions. We had [COVID-19] tests. Then we had to get myself, Myke, and Rauw in the same place. Thanks to God that it’s ready. It’s a song I like a lot. It’s a cool perreo.
“LA NOTA” IS A STEAMIER SONG COMPARED TO “QUIÉREME MIENTRAS SE PUEDA,” WHICH IS MORE ROMANTIC.
I agree with you! “Quiéreme” shows a romantic side of Manuel Turizo and “La Nota” shows a sensual side.I like to show various facets [of myself] in my music. I’m excited for you to hear Dopamina.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ‘DOPAMINA’?
It has beautiful collaborations and very interesting ones. I have something with Wisin y Yandel, a song with Maluma, a song with will.I.am, and one with El Alfa.
THERE’S A BIG PART OF YOUR FANBASE IN THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY (MYSELF INCLUDED). I WAS WONDERING IF YOU HAD A MESSAGE FOR YOUR LGBTQ+ FANS.
To my fans in the LGBTQ community, I want everyone to enjoy my music. I’m sending a big hug and blessings. Take care of yourselves during this time. I believe everyone in this life, we have to love them equally. Simply be happy with who you are.
CONNECT WITH MANUEL TURIZO
photos / La Industria Inc.
story / Lucas Villa