On Friday, reggeaton-pop’s leading man J Balvin—known from blending more traditional reggaeton sounds with electro-pop sensibilities—dropped his new song “Machika,” and I can’t stop listening to it.
It’s his first single since the groundbreaking “Mi Gente” won over basically every other country in the Americas besides the U.S., and one Very Important American, Beyoncé. (She jumped on a remix of track in September of last year.) “Machika” continues Balvin’s streak of turbo-fueled bangers that kick off with a hypnotic beat that does not let up for a second. The music video for the song is exactly what I imagine Mad Max would have looked like if it had taken place in a post-apocalyptic rainforest. It also kind of makes me want to fight someone? Ahhhhh!
“Machika,” as far as we know, doesn’t mean anything, or at least no one on the internet knows what it means. (We’ve reached out to J Balvin’s team and if they aren’t too busy laughing to respond to our inquiry, we’ll update this post.)
Brazilian singer Anitta, who worked with J Balvin on his song “Ginza,” and Aruban singer Jeon Arvani (who J Balvin met at the gym!) are featured on the track. Jeon is a relative newcomer but after this track, certainly a very welcome one; Anitta absolutely crushes it on her verse, which is great, because so much of reggaeton (and reggaeton-pop) is made by men and I’m very here for that to change.
In short—what are you doing, listen to the song! The video is the thing up top.