Maluma, a Colombian Reggaeton singer, songwriter, and actor, cites the single “Tonika” that features Ziggy Marley from his album “7 Días en Jamaica (7 Days in Jamaica)” has representing a major move for his career and for Latin culture in general. He added that having the opportunity to work with Ziggy Marley, the son of Bob Marley who Maluma credits as one of his greatest musical inspirations, left him nearly speechless and hoping that the collaboration provided a positive addition to the Marley legacy. “Working with Ziggy was like having a sliver of the island’s roots embedded in my legacy forever,” Maluma said.
Before taking a week-long trip to Jamaica in January of 2020, Maluma had considered ending his singing career. The singer, 27, was exhausted from years of working without a break, but he found what he needed to push on in Jamaica through a connection with the island’s people and culture, and through the chance to honor Bob Marley. By the end of his visit, Maluma said he was renewed and inspired, elements that resulted in his latest project: a visual EP called “#7DJ (Seven Days in Jamaica).”
Charly Black, a friend and collaborator of Maluma’s and a reggae and dancehall star in his own right and who is featured on the EP, showed him parts of the island known only to locals. With Black’s help, Maluma obtained insight into the country he had dreamed of visiting for years, saying that he always felt connected to the island and has always been a huge fan of reggae, which is a strong influencer of reggaeton.
Maluma, who was born Juan Luis Londoño Arias in Medellin, Colombia, in 1994, is glad that this album was released close in time to Black History Month as it allows him to thank the Black community and the contributions it has made to music, which also inspired his career. He added that it is difficult to see what the African American community must deal with in the United States and that it is important for the Latino community to honor the contributions and accomplishments of Black people and to emphasize that it stands with them. According to Maluma, the album is a small way to show his love for Jamaica and for Black culture.
Maluma celebrated the release of “#7DJ” on his 27th birthday by hosting a gathering with Rohan Marley, Bob Marley’s eldest son, the former Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett who is also featured on the EP’s music videos, and Prince Royce. Fans were invited via Instagram to join Maluma in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, Florida.
To celebrate the release of #7DJ, which coincided with his 27th birthday, Maluma hosted a small get together with Marley’s eldest son Rohan Marley, former Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett (who is also featured in his music videos for the EP), and Prince Royce, all of whom were given tests for COVID-19 on-site before the event.
Maluma began recording songs at the age of 16 and released his debut album “Magia”in 2012. His breakthrough album was 2015’s “Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy” in 2015. This led to collaborations with several artists, including Ricky Martin, J Balvin, and The Weeknd. His single “Hawái” top the Number 3 spot on Billboard’s Global 200 Chart and was the first Number One single on its Global Excl. US Chart. Maluma is one of the top-selling Latin music artists, having sales of more than 26 million, inclusive of both albums and singles.
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