Sebastián Yatra is staking his declare on the Latin pop throne. Final fall, the Colombian singer-songwriter was invited by Latin pop kings Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias to open their joint U.S. tour. Only one yr later, the rising pop prince is presently being heard world wide with music from his new album Dharma, which has already amassed over 2.3 billion streams because it was launched on January 28, and Disney’s Encanto soundtrack—he sings the heartfelt “Dos Oruguitas,” a tune penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Yatra can be on the Academy Awards shortlist for Finest Authentic Track—a nomination could lead on the musician to carry out on the Oscars.
“That’s simply insane!” the 27-year-old exclaims over Zoom from his dwelling in Miami when requested in regards to the nomination. “I can’t imagine it! I’m nonetheless processing all of it. I’m crossing my fingers to see what goes down with the Oscar nominations, and I’d like to be in L.A. for the ceremony.”
Earlier than going world, Yatra was born in Medellín, Colombia and later relocated to Miami along with his mother at age 5. After taking part in Troy Bolton in his college’s manufacturing of Excessive Faculty Musical at 12, he determined to develop into a singer. His inspirations as a child mirrored his bicultural roots, from Colombian icons like Shakira and Juanes to pop crooners like Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, and Andrea Bocelli. After spending a decade writing and recording songs that hit in Latin America, Yatra cracked the U.S. in 2016 along with his breakthrough smash “Traicionera.” The steamy reggaeton tune remembers his expertise caught up in a romance with a fascinating “traitress”—and an equally amorous music video charmed over 540 million viewers on YouTube.
“Residing on this work bubble, singing each single day elsewhere, I didn’t see [the song’s success] as somebody might see it from the surface,” Yatra says. “For me, it was similar to, thank god we did good with this tune, and we hold working and dealing. As soon as I stepped again a bit, I lastly opened my eyes to the superb prospects and the way a lot all the things had modified.”
“Traicionera” was from Yatra’s double-Platinum licensed debut album Mantra, which featured a sound that leaned closely into reggaeton music. For the follow-up, 2019’s Fantasía, he determined to document an album stuffed with ballads. Yatra proved that he might be profitable in any style when the music video for the tender “Un Año” with Mexican group Reik racked up over 658 million views on YouTube. In 2020, the album garnered him a Grammy nomination for Finest Latin Pop Album.
“I didn’t write Fantasía or make an album solely of ballads considering of how huge of successful it might be or not,” he says. “I did it as a result of I knew it was one thing that might truly join and accompany you in so many various moments of your life. It’s been the most effective choices I’ve ever made. It offers me vitality and gasoline to maintain going and hold trusting my intuition.”
Following Fantasía, Yatra expanded his attain with collaborations like “Magnetic” alongside Okay-Pop group Monsta X and “Runaway”—a observe that featured the Jonas Brothers singing in Spanglish. Issues got here full circle to the Latin market when OG heartthrobs Martin and Iglesias chosen Yatra to open for his or her tour, which was first postponed in 2020, however resumed final fall.
“That was an enormous dream come true. Ricky and Enrique have been an enormous inspiration,” Yatra remembers. “The explanation I began doing ballads after which celebration songs, I noticed the instance that that might work with out being caught in a single style due to Ricky and Enrique, seeing all the things they’ve finished throughout the board and of their careers.”
Like Martin and Iglesias, Yatra himself has all of a sudden develop into a Latin heartthrob. Whereas on tour, he in contrast abs with the 2 luminaries in Instagram posts. “I feel Enrique has extra abs than me!,” Yatra says with fun. Reflecting his pop star standing, his different abs-filled IG posts have adoring feedback from ladies and homosexual followers, which he acknowledges with a smile. “I’m happy with my followers within the LGBTQ group,” Yatra says. “I’m with anyone that’s simply true to their coronary heart. Be sincere with your self and no matter your coronary heart says. It’s the appropriate factor. I really like that everybody is with the ability to specific themselves extra these days and simply be true to themselves.”
In his new album Dharma, Yatra follows his coronary heart with a little bit of Buddhist philosophy that he found whereas in quarantine in the course of the pandemic. “Dharma means accepting your actuality,” Yatra says. “In Buddhism, it’s the opposite facet of karma. Karma is the teachings—and classes harm. Dharma is when you study from these classes, you’ve got a better conscience and also you settle for life as it’s. Dharma, to me, is being current and right here, and it has to do so much with this level in my life and what I need the remainder of my life to be.”
Yatra took extra inventive management with the album and pushed himself sonically as a pop star. “I actually let myself go and be directed by my feelings,” he says. Within the hovering “Pareja Del Año” with Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers, Yatra blends reggaeton with a string association that’s nearer to Bach than Daddy Yankee. He faucets into his angst-driven various facet in “Melancólicos Anónimos.” Later, within the sunny “Tacones Rojos,” Yatra embraces his internal rock ‘n’ curler like a Latino Roy Orbison. He additionally pays homage to his Colombian roots with the vallenato in “Dharma” alongside native legend Jorge Celedón and Spanish singer Rosario.
Yatra moreover honored his nation in Disney’s Encanto, a movie that facilities a magical casita in Colombia. Lin-Manuel Miranda hand-picked him to sing the film’s primary theme “Dos Oruguitas.” The Spanish ballad obtained a Golden Globe nomination for Finest Authentic Track and can be at No. 36 on Billboard’s Scorching 100 chart, along with the Oscars nod.
“It got here out in Spanish throughout the globe,” Yatra says. “Even in China, Russia, and Australia. In all places! This tune is being heard in Spanish, on this lovely film, which is fairly epic for me and for Colombia. Working with Lin-Manuel and the entire staff at Disney was an enormous pleasure. They gave me house to be inventive and put my coronary heart and magnificence into the tune.”
Later this yr, Yatra might be making his appearing debut within the Netflix Spanish musical Érase Una Vez… Pero Ya No. His world tour for Dharma kicks off this month in Mexico. He can even tour the U.S. solo for the primary time towards the tip of 2022. Via all of it, Yatra stays zen about his future.
“I finished worrying a lot in regards to the consequence of issues,” he says. “I really feel like extra doorways are opening now that I’m extra targeted on the method and having enjoyable with it. I’m simply having fun with my music and my artwork. I’m falling in love with it as soon as once more and I’m having time.”