Words by Sabia McCoy-Torres—
Dominican merengue artist Renzo has just dropped an imaginative video for “Perdi El Control,” the followup to his debut single “Mi Favorita” (which made it to No. 5 on Billboard’s Tropical Airplay chart, an impressive beginning for a spanking new artist.) Who could blame listeners and viewers for their captivation with the charm of this D.R. native? With dance moves that evoke Michael Jackson, hip-hop, and Spanish Caribbean sazon, Renzo maneuvers his way through a 1950’s Caribbean dreamland to find inspiration for his craft in “Perdi El Control.”
The video’s clever melding of the past and present is fitting for Renzo’s sound, which brings a contemporary flare to traditional merengue. It was Renzo’s creative recreation of merengue that first caught my attention. Born in Queens, N.Y.., but living in Santo Domingo since a young kid, Renzo has steadily migrated between the two cities, and his approach to music, style, and dance represents his bi-cultural experience. He infuses merengue with R&B-style singing, pop notes, and hip-hop percussive drops that unite NYC and the DR.
Renzo’s look is also different for a Latin music crooner, rocking snapback hats, fitted jeans, and cut-off vests a la New York City youth. He is a reflection of the moment in which people are moving all around the world, making geographic differences irrelevant, reshaping music at every corner, and dropping boundaries between genres and the old and the new.
Further highlighting this diversity, you can even hear NYC-based labelmate TECLA’s electro-R&B single “Wake Up”at the beginning) as Renzo practices his dance moves in the mirror. Watch below: