How Karol G Conquered the Reggaeton Industry, Against All Odds

Karol G Reggaeton BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Fierce.

Karol G, the pop-reggaeton singer widely known for her single “Tusa,” told the LA Times the time a record label warned her to avoid reggaeton. In the interview, she opens by saying she enjoys being “the bad girl.”

But for Karol G, ‘bad’ can have a good connotation. Like being reckless with your friends, wearing a revealing outfit, racing through the city in a hot new whip. That’s the way Karol G is, describing herself with the appellative of her most recent single, ‘Bichota.’

Live from her apartment in Miami, the artist spoke about how she spent her 30th birthday, on four wheels in the Dominican Republic with her family, came back to Miami, and bought herself a Ferrari Spider 812 GTS. Her most recent album was released on Friday, with Latin MC’s inspirations like Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny. 

“For years, I heard that women do not do reggaeton. Reggaeton and urban music belong to men, but as a woman, you belong to men,” she said, describing a prevalent way of thinking in South America, no matter what year we live in. However, she believes that women are on another level now. One where “we are well prepared to lead.”

Karol was raised in Colombia and got her first break opening for J Balvin at a quinceanera. From there, she studied pop and R&B female artists like Rihanna, Alicia Keys, and Amy Winehouse. 

Her collaboration with Puerto Rican singer/rapper Bad Bunny “Ahora Me Llama” became her breakthrough hit and was the lead single for her debut album Unstoppable, released in 2017. In late 2018, her song “Secreto” became a hit in Latin America.

But it wasn’t until Karol asked one of the most influential rap singers to date for advice, Nicki Minaj, that she gained the confidence to break into the industry. From that moment, Karol said, “My whole mentality in the industry changed when Nicki gave me a chance.” 

Her take on the industry is not that there are few women in the industry and that specific genre; it is about “letting new women participate.”

Aside from the controversies she’s been in after the George Floyd uprising, she’s a fantastic artist who continues to sore. However, she says she learned a lot from that experience: “I believe in what people are fighting for today, for rights, for equality. But I understand now, as a leader, I have to be better connected.”