By Omar Younis
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Already one of the biggest names in Latin music, Colombian pop star Maluma is hoping to cross over to a wider audience with an upcoming album of Spanish and English music.
Maluma, the 23-year-old singer from Medellin, Colombia, has already collaborated with some of Latin music’s most successful cross over talents, such as Shakira and Ricky Martin.
“I’m trying to find the balance and do like, ‘Spanglish’ music or some songs in Spanish and others in English or do a translation,” Maluma told Reuters at the end of his U.S. tour in Los Angeles.
Maluma’s second album, “Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy,” was released in 2015 and became his breakout record, with hit singles “Borro Cassette” and “Sin Contrato.”
So far, his native Spanish has already garnered him a legion of fans on social media. Maluma, whose real name is Juan Luis Londono Arias, is the most-followed Latin male artist on Instagram with more than 22 million fans.
“That connection that I have with my fans is really special and every time when I have moments, when I have free time, the only thing that I think about is what I’m going to post, what I’m going to say to my fans,” he said.
“I think that’s the key to being a success right now,” he added.
It was Maluma’s social media presence that brought him to the attention of pop star Selena Gomez, whom Maluma invited to collaborate on a new song.
“I found out that she was following me and I tried to be in touch with her to make some music but we can’t do it … maybe because she’s a busy girl and me too, I’m a really busy man, and maybe next time we can do something,” he said.
Maluma’s world tour next takes him to Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
“I have a lot of surprises in store,” Maluma teased of his upcoming shows, although he remained tight-lipped about whether any special guest stars might join him on stage.
“I like to prepare each tour in a different way. Now that I’m heading to Mexico, I’m preparing something special for my fans in Mexico.”
(This story has been refiled to correct paragraph 5 typographical error to million instead of millions)
(Reporting by Omar Younis for Reuters TV; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Shumaker)