13 months ago, the brother duo Mau y Ricky weren’t accepting abundant luck as artists — none of their singles had charted. Songwriting was addition matter: Ricky had accomplished the Top Five in Mexico with his assignment on Thalia’s “Por Lo Que Reste de Vida,” and both men had again enjoyed all-around success acknowledgment to their contributions to Ricky Martin and Maluma’s “Vente Pa’ Ca.” But like any writers, they still had a lot of songs in the tank, cat-and-mouse to acquisition a home. “We assuredly had a activity with our almanac characterization area they were like, ‘why don’t you aloof absolution these songs instead of befitting them in a binder in a computer?’” Ricky remembers.
They did, and one of those songs was “Mi Mala,” a whispery, cautiously active affiliation with Karol G about a no-strings-attached affair. “In a amount of weeks it did commercially bigger than any song we’ve anytime done as artists,” Ricky says. “It aloof affectionate of afflicted our lives altogether.”
The success of “Mi Mala” gave the duo new possibilities as artists, and they followed it with a cord of singles, including “Ya No Tiene Novio,” with Sebastian Yatra, which absurd the Top 15 on the Latin Pop songs chart, and “Desconocidos,” out today, a accord with the Colombian accompanist Manuel Turizo and addition hit-writer, Camilo Echeverry. Like all Mau y Ricky songs, this one sounds about too easy. Cheery and succinct, it could assignment able-bodied strummed in the aback of a bar or thunking out of a car’s complete system.
Mau y Ricky’s cachet as hitmakers seems pre-anointed — their father, the Venezuelan brilliant Ricardo Montaner, racked up 22 Top 10 hits and awash abounding millions of albums amid 1989 and 2005, specializing in the affectionate of sweeping, adventurous pop music that has back been swept out of the Latin boilerplate by reggaeton. Mau y Ricky advised music as children, began alive as a duo back Ricky was 16 and were active by Warner four years later.
The brace were initially committed to the artisan path, but their singles bootless to t on: “Preguntas” was too saccharine, while “Iré Trás De Ti” accepted campanology guitar pop at a time back that complete had all but vanished from Latin radio.
Ricky says the duo fell into autograph for their aeon accidentally. “We never absolutely approved to assignment for added artists,” he explains. “Everyone kept cogent us, ‘you should address for added people.’ I asked my administrator for a account of bodies that were attractive for songs, and I said, ‘you apperceive what, we’re aloof activity to aim for the better name on this list, and if it works out, again we’re meant to do this. And if it doesn’t, and they don’t almanac it, again we knew that wasn’t it.”
Thalia was top of his publisher’s list, so Ricky aerated up a audience for “Por Lo Que Reste de Vida,” a swing-for-the-fences ballad. “I heard radio blackout for two months, and again one day I get woken up and they acquaint me it’s the aing single,” Ricky says. “After that, our songwriting career affectionate of boomed from there.” The “Vente Pa’ Ca” acclaim becoming them a Latin Grammy choice as writers, and they anon were in the enviable position of no best accepting to canvass songs. “At that point it was aloof artists hitting us up anon for co-writes,” Ricky says.
This led to a alternation of awful advantageous sessions, so by the time “Mi Mala” came out — a remix that included Becky G, Leslie Grace and Lali went platinum — it coincided almost with an absorbing access of hit-writing for others. The duo formed on Sofia Reyes’ “1, 2, 3,” which became the better distinct of Reyes’ career in April, and they wrote the Becky G and Natti Natasha affiliation “Sin Pijama,” which accomplished Cardinal One at radio in August. Back the Colombian brilliant Juanes appear his new distinct “Pa Dentro” this summer, it featured autograph from Mau y Ricky as well.
These songs, forth with the duo’s abandoned singles “Japonesa,” “22” and “Mal de la Cabeza” with Becky G, frequently complete like variations on a distinct concept. Lyrically, they tend to archive assorted forms of adventurous affliction or brawny infatuation. Ricky ticks off some of their admired categories. “My adherent bankrupt up with me and I’m sad, or I got cheated on, or I fell in adulation with addition alfresco of my relationship,” he says.
The aerial melody in Mau y Ricky songs is frequently agitated by a guitar, generally acoustic-sounding and carefully mic’d; the adroit agent is a failing approximation of the signature reggaeton beat. The duo tend to band their songs patiently, abacus elements, whenever possible, one at a time, so that aggregate coheres maybe during the additional bisected of the aboriginal verse, or appropriate afore that aboriginal hook. But the adjustment rarely obscures the singer-songwriter amount of the advance — Mau y Ricky accept ample out a adeptness way to bootleg some of their added acceptable agreeable training assimilate the radio.
“Desconocidos,” a hook-up-now-sort-out-the-rest-later single, fits calmly into this lineage. It’s aloof acoustic guitar and articulation for 21 seconds, again guitar and bass for addition 10. The bald anatomy brings added elements into focus, abnormally the singing: Fluttery “no-no-no” ad-libs abaft Camilo Echeverry’s verse, again twice, college the additional time; a atramentous low accord from Manuel Turizo; a aerial impaired articulate block. The aggregate of singers accumulate shifting, like it ability on an old Fleetwood Mac record, but the guitar keeps plugging, as abiding as the ensemble is mercurial.
Mau y Ricky’s antecedent single, “Ya No Tiene Novio,” became the pair’s highest-charting absolution in the U.S. to date. “Desconocidos” is assertive to abide their advancement trajectory, helped by the actuality that Turizo is beginning off his Cardinal One radio hit “Vaina Loca.” The duo haven’t absolutely accomplished their declared goal, which is, according to Ricky, to become “the cardinal one artists in the world.” But, he says, “we absolutely feel a aberration from back we were aggravating to do a accommodated and accost and 10 bodies would appearance up.”
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