Paloma Mami is reggaeton’s newest and youngest star | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Paloma Mami is reggaeton’s newest and youngest star


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Paloma Rocío Castillo Astorga, better known as Paloma Mami, was only 18 when she released her debut single, 2018’s “Not Steady.” Lugubrious and resoundingly confident, the song made clear she wasn’t callow: “I don’t change for no dick,” she declares over a soft-edged dancehall beat whose nocturnal aura sets the tone for a night spent wisely (yet sadly) alone. The Chilean-American artist was signed by Sony Latin on the strength of that one single, and since then she’s gained worldwide popularity. Castillo decided to pursue music seriously after watching reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny perform live, and the stage name she chose was inspired by Drake’s Instagram handle, @champagnepapi. Paloma Mami shares those artists’ love for woozy, melancholy atmospheres, but she has no use for their querulous and self-loathing attitudes: On “Fingías,” she rails against an ex-lover over a moody reggaeton beat, her breathless delivery conveying a melange of bitterness, despondency, and longing. Then on “Mami” she plays the role of femme fatale, declaring that she’s “more powerful than two Nefertitis” and commanding her lover to keep calling her “mami.” Though she’s only released a handful of singles so far, Paloma Mami has already proved herself one of reggaeton’s brightest new stars—and at her Chicago debut, she’ll be able to win over a new audience.   v

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