Maluma is the stage name of award-winning Colombian singer, songwriter, and rapper Juan Luis Londoño Arias. Maluma has managed to cross over from a reggaeton audience to the mainstream thanks to the catchy and popular early singles such as “Obsesión” He has over 61 million followers on Instagram.
Maluma’s name is a tribute to his family. Before he began singing professionally, his now-famous stage name was a tattoo on his left leg. He made the word up from the initial syllable of his family’s names — his mother Marlli, his father Luis, and his sister Manuela.
He adopted the name a few years later when he started singing and gained fame as a teenager. He originally pursued football as a vocation for eight years and was gifted enough to attract the notice of the media in his native Medellin.
Maluma initially sang for fun at birthday parties, weddings, and celebrations. Given the rise of social media, and YouTube in particular, he then purposely focused on music exclusive.
In 2011, at the age of 16, Maluma cut his first independent single, “Farandulera.” Due to its popularity and emergent radio airplay in Colombia, the song gained the attention of Sony Music, which signed him.
The following year, Maluma released Magia, his debut album. Several of its singles — “Obsesión,” “Loco,” and “Miss Independent” — received consistent airplay and hit the charts in Colombia and Latin America. His next single, “La Temperatura,” entered the North American charts and earned him a Latin Grammy nomination in 2013.
In 2012 debut song “Magia” became a hit on the radio with listeners across South America. In 2015’s Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy landed on top of Latin Pop, Urban, and Tropical Charts. Maluma has been on fire since then with a steady stream of viral videos, charting singles, albums, and guest spots.
In 2016, Maluma released a collaborative track with fellow Colombian star Shakira, “Chantage,” and the video became very popular, racking up over one billion views online within four months.
The track “Cuatro Babys,” which reflected him as a swaggering casanova with a handful of women in and out of his bedroom, sparked a backlash when offended listeners called out the song’s objectification of women. Some circulated a petition to have it removed from digital platforms. It wasn’t, and Maluma, later apologized.
In 2017, Maluma was named “Artist of the Year” at the Premios Lo Nuestro, a Latin music awards show presented by Spanish-language television network Univision.
That same year, he began work on his next album, writing songs in English as well as Spanish. In November 2017, he delivered an initial pre-release single, “Corazon,” featuring Brazilian singer Nego do Borel, that peaked at number five at Hot Latin Songs.
In May, he released the full-length F.A.M.E., produced mainly by the artist’s Medellin camp, including Édgar “Edge” Barrera and “Rude Boyz” Kevin ADG & Chan el Genio, with further duet contributions by Timbaland (“Mi Declaracion”), Prince Royce (“Hangover”), and Jason Derulo on the bilingual “La Ex.” The album reached the top spot on the Latin Albums chart and number 37 on the Hot 200.
Early 2019 saw Maluma release a remix of the single “Mala Mia,” featuring contributions from Anitta and Becky G. A few months later, he collaborated with Madonna on the song “Medellín” from her album Madame X.
The pair’s performance of the song at the Billboard Music Awards. In May Maluma released his fourth studio album, 11:11, supported by the singles “HP” and 11 P.M. He has collaborated with Ozuna, Ricky Martin, Madonna, Daddy Yankee, Shakira, and others.
Towards the end of theyer, YouTube Originals announced the release of its documentary on the singer entitled Lo Que Era, Lo Que Soy, Lo Que Sere, directed by New York based Dominican filmmaker, Jessy Terrero. In 2020 he released two songs and he is busy working on his next album.
Below are some insights directly from Maluma:
- My favorite color is gold. Something about this color makes me feel empowered.
- My favorite thing to do when I’m home [in Colombia] is to be with my friends and family and my dogs and horses. I love my country!
- I love sushi.
- I have 20 horses! One of my horses is having a little one. It’s a beautiful process, seeing nature recreate.
- I live by the saying “Dream bigger.”
- I love visiting my ranch in Colombia. It’s so peaceful there.
- One of the biggest moments for me in 2019 was performing with the queen, Madonna, at the Billboard Music Awards.
- My stage name is in honor of my family. “MA” for my sister, Manuela; “LU” for my dad, Luis; “MA” for my mom, Marlli. They’ve been there for me since the beginning and continue to support me.
- I consider myself an old soul even though I’m 25.
- I don’t like getting attached to material things. Family and friends are all I need for good memories.
- If I had 24 hours left to live, I’d spend time with my family and make sure they know how much I love them. I’d hug and kiss them so much.
- My celebrity crush is Kendall Jenner. Have you seen her? She’s gorgeous and pure elegance.
- Performing at Madison Square Garden for the first time was so memorable for me. I have the date [March 25, 2018] tattooed on me.
- I once had my tattoo artist ink me while I was in the air, flying to a different show.
- The song that pumps me up before a show is “El Cantante” by Héctor Lavoe.
- I can paint. I love art and it makes me feel at peace when I do it. It’s why I started my El Arte de Los Sueños foundation. It helps kids who don’t have the opportunities to chase their artistic dreams.
- If I weren’t a singer, I’d be a soccer player. I was training to become one before I got injured.
- Some of my influences are Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson.
- I named my fourth album 11:11because I was inspired by angel numbers. I’m very spiritual.