Latin GRAMMYs Trophies
Photo: Rich Polk
Get To Know The Song Of The Year Nominees At The 2021 Latin GRAMMYs Awards: Tainy And J Balvin, Carlos Vives And Ricky Martin, Maluma, Rauw Alejandro, Camilo & More
For the first time in Latin GRAMMYs history, 12 songs are competing for the Song of the Year honor. With the caliber of nominees ranging from Latin icons like Juan Luis Guerra to hit-making rising stars such as Camilo, it’s no surprise why the category is bigger than ever.
Latin music fans will find out who will take home the coveted Song of the Year award — which recognizes the songwriters behind some of the biggest hits this season — at the 2021 Latin GRAMMYs on Thursday, Nov. 18. Before the show, take a deeper look into the songs nominated this year.
"A Tu Lado" - Paula Arenas
Paula Arenas is nominated for four Latin GRAMMY Awards this year, including her first for Song of the Year. She penned "A Tu Lado" (or "By Your Side") with fellow Colombian songwriter María Elisa Ayerbe, who also produced the song. In the tender ballad, Arenas beautifully sings about supporting her partner through their life together. The lyrics were inspired by her husband, Beto Pérez, who has stood by her as her star has risen. The love song is a standout from her 2019 album Visceral, but was officially released as a single earlier this year.
"A Veces" - Diamante Eléctrico
Colombian rock band Diamante Eléctrico have previously won three Latin GRAMMY Awards, but this year marks their first nominations in the Record of the Year and Song of the Year categories. Their SOTY candidate, "A Veces" (or "Sometimes"), is a vulnerable moment on the band's album Mira Lo Que Me Hiciste Hacer, as frontman Juan Galeano sings about navigating through life's contradictions. The delicate ballad — which was penned by all three of the Diamante Eléctrico members — masterfully pinpoints indecision with absolute lyrical precision.
"Agua" - Tainy and J Balvin
Puerto Rican producer Marco "Tainy" Masís and Colombian superstar J Balvin made a splash last year with "Agua," (or "Water") a track written for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run. Bringing refreshing nautical wordplay with a naughty edge, J Balvin and Tainy put a reggaeton spin on the classic Spongebob theme song and adapted it into an anthem for all ages. The feel-good collaboration was penned by a team that included Colombia's Juan Camilo Vargas, Kevyn "Keityn" Cruz, and Alejandro "Sky Rompiendo" Ramírez, as well as Puerto Rican singer Jhay Cortez (the show's late creator, Stephen Hillenburg — who wrote the theme’s original lyrics — is also part of the nomination).
"Canción Bonita" - Carlos Vives and Ricky Martin
Latin GRAMMY veterans Carlos Vives and Ricky Martin joined forces for the first time for the uplifting "Canción Bonita" (or "Beautiful Song"). The icons' worlds collided, with the vallenato of Vives' Colombian roots meeting the reggaeton-pop of Martin's Puerto Rican background. The lyrics for the Song of the Year nominee were just as colorful, with this dream duo highlighting the beauty of Puerto Rico, an island that Vives has also called home. Vives and Martin co-penned the bright track alongside Argentine veteran Rafa Arcaute and “Despacito” producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres.
"Dios Así Lo Quiso" - Ricardo Montaner & Juan Luis Guerra
Former Latin GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ricardo Montaner celebrates a Song of the Year and Record of the Year nomination this year, both for "Dios Así Lo Quiso" (or "God Wanted It That Way"). In the heartfelt ballad, the Argentine icon teamed up with Dominican legend Juan Luis Guerra for their first collaboration. Montaner and Guerra sing about their heaven-sent romances over salsa music with a light, Latin-pop touch. Montaner and Guerra co-wrote the soaring love song with Camilo, brother duo Dav and Johnny Julca, and Yasmil Marrufo.
"Hawái" - Maluma
Colombian superstar Maluma took the world on vacation with him on last year's smash "Hawái." In the standout from his Papi Juancho album, he tackled heartbreak in the age of social media. He masterfully masked his heartache with one of the dreamiest destinations on the planet, taking fans on an emotional trip accented by his signature flirty flow. He wrote the charming Song of the Year nominee with his longtime collaborators, The RUDEBOYZ (Kevin Jiménez and Bryan Lezcano). Hitmakers Edgar "Edge" Barrera and Kevyn "Keityn" Cruz also had a hand in writing the tune, which had a total of 10 co-writers.
"Mi Guitarra" - Javier Limón, Juan Luis Guerra & Nella
GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY winner Javier Limón is most known for his flamenco-infused songs that won him Producer of the Year at the Latin GRAMMYs in 2004. Earning his first Song of the Year nomination this year, it’s evident that the Spanish musician’s songs are still connecting nearly 20 years later. Though Limón penned "Mi Guitarra" (or "My Guitar") by himself, he invited Juan Luis Guerra and Venezuelan singer Nella to bring his heartfelt ode to the timeless instrument to life. Limón's lyrics paint a beautiful picture of his love for making music.
"Patria Y Vida" - Yotuel, Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo & El Funky
Cuban artist Yotuel rounded up his compatriots Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo, and El Funky to write an anthem that gave hope to the people of Cuba amid the country's political turmoil. The guys flipped the Cuban Revolution mantra of "Patria Y Muerte" (or "Country and Death") into the empowering "Patria Y Vida" (or "Country and Life"). The message made an impact: In July, Cuban citizens played Yotuel's collaboration in the streets as they protested against the country's communist rule. Yotuel and his collaborators wrote the song with Latin GRAMMY winner Yadam González and Spanish songwriter Beatriz Luengo.
"Que Se Sepa Nuestro Amor" - Mon Laferte & Alejandro Fernández
Mon Laferte originally hails from Chile, but the singer-songwriter’s career blossomed after she moved to Mexico City. She gave regional Mexican music an alternative edge with her album Seis, a love letter to her home away from home. In the LP's standout track, "Que Se Sepa Nuestro Amor" (or "Let Our Love Be Known"), she recruited Mexican singer Alejandro Fernández. In the mariachi-infused scorcher, Laferte and Fernández trade verses about their secret romance, a love that she's ready to shout from the rooftops. Laferte’s co-writer on the track is another Mexican star, contemporary singer-songwriter El David Aguilar.
"Si Hubieras Querido" - Pablo Alborán
Pablo Alborán is no stranger to Latin GRAMMY nominations, as he has had 23 in his career. The Spanish singer-songwriter looks to notch his first win this year, as he’s up for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. The sultry "Si Hubieras Querido" (or "If You'd Have Wanted") — Alborán’scontender in both the Song and Record of the Year categories — runs through the "what ifs" of a relationship that ran its course with longing and lustful lyrics (“We were the envy of so many/ Now I envy those who looked at us,” he laments in Spanish). Alborán wrote the Vértigo standout with Nicolás "Na'vi" De La Espriella, Diana Fuentes, and Julio Reyes Copello.
"Todo De Ti" - Rauw Alejandro
Following a Best New Artist nod in 2020, Rauw Alejandro added Record of the Year and Song of the Year to his list of Latin GRAMMY nominations thanks to “Todo De Ti.” While Alejandro is known for his reggaeton and Latin trap hits, he embraced disco-influenced pop with "Todo De Ti" (or "All of You"). The Puerto Rican pop star played up his smooth-operator persona with irresistible lyrics that sing his partner's praises. Alejandro co-wrote the summertime anthem with his longtime collaborator Luis J. González (aka Mr. NaisGai), fellow Puerto Rican artist Rafael E. Pabón Navedo, and Eric Pérez Rovira.
"Vida De Rico" - Camilo
As the most-nominated artist at this year’s Latin GRAMMY Awards, Camilo scored two Song of the Year nominations: One for his part in Ricardo Montaner’s “Dios Así Lo Quiso,” and another for his own hit, “Vida De Rico.”. In "Vida De Rico" (or "Rich Person's Life"), Camilo endearingly sings about living a good life with his partner that's rich in love and not money (“I can’t give you a penny/ But I can give you a thousand kisses,” he croons in Spanish). Camilo co-wrote the quirky love song with Mexican hit-maker Edgar "Edge" Barrera, who also has two songs in this category.
The 2021 Latin GRAMMYs, hosted by Ana Brenda Contreras, Carlos Rivera and Roselyn Sánchez, will air live on Univision on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT). It will also air on cable channel TNT at 19.00 (MEX) / 20.00 (PAN-COL) / 21.00 (VEN) / 22.00 (ARG/CHI), and on Televisa on Channel 5. Learn more about the 2021 Latin GRAMMYs Awards via the Latin Recording Academy's official website.