It’s not often we encounter musical artists that can do it all一rap about being an independent woman, sing dreamy ballads, compose smooth jazz verses, and master a variety of dances (including salsa, hip-hop and contemporary). It seems that the only exception to the rule is the ever-evolving Argentine powerhouse Nathy Peluso, whose fame skyrocketed in early October soon after the release of her second studio album, Calambre. Despite having initially built her career upon classic balladic performances, her talent started to garner a worldwide cult following thanks to her COLORS Show video一a particularly memorable and in-your-face, bad bitch-style rendition of one of her own Calambre rap singles, “SANA SANA.” Two months later, she became a TikTok sensation overnight, after her musical collab with Argentinian producer Bizarrap was made available to the public on YouTube (soon after becoming platinum certified with over 40,000 copies sold in Spain).
Peluso’s recent rise to fame has inspired millions across the world in record time. But what most people don’t know is that her career is as colorful as her musical style (if we can ever agree to there being just one), which formally began when Nathy was 16 years of age. Specifically, it all started when she began performing classics from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Etta James at hotels and restaurants. Simultaneously, Peluso was studying visual arts and communications at a college level. However, she soon discovered that she would much rather grace the stages than spend hours studyingーwhich is why she dropped out of college during her second year. Around this time, Peluso began uploading her first YouTube videos, which landed her even more gigs and more fame throughout Spain and her homeland, Argentina.
In early 2017, Peluso began to record and produce her own music, which she quotes is influenced by “jazz, hip-hop, argentine and spanish folklore, and urban rhythms.” Around this time, she released her first EP Esmeralda and her breakthrough single: “Corashe.” Her next musical phase (circa 2019) was chock-full of experimentationーthis time, with some jazz and neo soul melodies. And so it came to be that her first full-length album La Sandunguera was born: a lyrical masterpiece featuring a range of emotions, vocal theatrics, and musical versatility. This album was so successful that it even won her nominations for the Premios Música Independiente’s Song of the Year and Best Music Video. Although she did not win either award, the success of this album landed her an international tour through Latin America and Europe.
Shortly after her tour ended, Peluso published her first book, Deja que te combata yaーa memoir featuring personal stories, anecdotes, and projects she’s worked on. Besides her incredibly versatile vocal range (and newfound writing), Peluso was, at this point, starting to define herself as a talented dancer throughout her live performances and music videos. Perhaps the most notable of these is, undoubtedly, “Natikillah”: a hip-hop tune that further defines Peluso’s skillfulness as a multidisciplinary singer and dancer.
After signing with Sony Music España and recording some more odes to the classics (including a couple of nods to Etta James and Nina Simones’ Christmas hits), Nathy began working on her second studio album Calambre. During 2020, Peluso released the first single of said album, “BUSINESS WOMAN”: a powerfully memorable rap-filled feminist anthem for the ages. To further promote the album and prove the all-inclusiveness of her lyrical talent, she then released “BUENOS AIRES,” a nostalgic lo-fi tune reflecting the isolation she experienced during her time spent in quarantine. All in all, Calambre is a musical melting pot of reggaeton, hip-hop, soul, salsa, and tango; making the production one of the most varied and striking albums of the decade.
Her latest achievements include her performance of “BUENOS AIRES” at the 2020 Latin Grammys, her nomination at the Premios Lo Nuestro for Artista Revelación Femenino, the release of her latest single “DELITO” and its music video, and her heartfelt rendition of Sara Montiel’s “La violetera” in the 2021 Premios Goya.
Nathy Peluso has not only been an example of perseverance and personal growth, but she has also taught us a thing or two about being fearless when it comes to trying out new things and manifesting ourselves within our own unique and multifaceted personalities. Despite her fans’ growing concerns that she would not achieve as big a success by diversifying her musical portfolio as she has, Peluso has proven time and again that she can do whatever the hell she wants, and still succeed. And so, she has come to embody a true “Business Woman” in her own right.
Nathy Peluso is inspiring and encourages us to express ourselves freely and to pursue our true passion (whatever that may be) without qualms about what others may or may not think of us. Here’s to all of us sandungueras and business women. Happy Women’s History Month, today and always.