After making history with a pair of albums in 2020, Bad Bunny has teamed up with Tommy Torres for ‘El Playlist de Anoche.’ Here’s what you need to know.
2020 was the year of Bad Bunny, and 2021 isn’t looking so bad for the Puerto Rican singer/rapper, either. Bunny (b. Benito Martinez) made the best of the bad year with two massively successful projects: the 24-time Multi-platinum album YHLQMDLG and El Último Tour Del Mundo, which became the first all-Spanish language album to reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Chart. While most musicians would take the rest of the decade off after such an incredible performance, Bad Bunny hopped back to work by teaming up with Puerto Rican Latin pop star Tommy Torres for El Playlist de Anoche.
Technically, El Playlist de Anoche (Spanish for “Last Night’s Playlist”) is a Tommy Torres album, but this is a collaborative album in nature, with Tommy and Bunny co-writing and co-producing all of the album’s nine tracks. It’s Tommy’s fifth studio album and the first since 2012’s 12 Historias. Tommy, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been involved in the Latin music scene since the late 1990s. His first recorded composition, “No Puedo Olvidar” by pop group MDO, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart. Since then, he has had a successful career both behind the scenes and in the spotlight. Some highlights include: producing Ricky Martin’s MTV Unplugged special in 2006; scooping up numerous Latin Grammy Awards (while winning the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album, Paraiso Express, in 2010) as well as winning Composer of the Year at 2010’s ASCAP’s Latin Music Awards. In 2001, he embarked on a solo career, releasing music that made him a star in his native Puerto Rico and across the Spanish-speaking world.
For Bad Bunny, it seems like now would be a good time to develop his producer chops. As of 20201, Bad Bunny has released four albums: 2018’s X 100pre, 2019’s Oasis (with J Balvin), and 2020’s 1-2 punch – YHLQMDLG, short for “Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana” (Spanish for “I Do What I Want”); and El Último Tour del Mundo (“The Last Tour Of The World”). The latter featured collaborations with Rosalía (“La Noche de Anoche”) and Jhay Cortez (“Dákiti”), while the former saw Bunny work with Daddy Yankee (“La Santa”) and artists like Yaviah, Ñengo Flow, Sech, Myke Towers, and more. In between the albums, Bad Bunny released Las que no iban a salir (Spanish for “The Ones That Were Not Coming Out”) a compilation album. Oh, he also appeared on the “Moonlight Edition” of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia, joining her for “Un Día (One Day)” with J Balvin and Tainy. The song earned them a Grammy nod for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2021 awards.
So, with all that going on, how did El Playlist de Anoche come about, and what’s next for Bad Bunny and Tommy?
The Release Date of ‘El Playlist de Anoche’
El Playlist de Anoche arrived on July 23, 2021. It came via Rimas Entertainment, an independent label run by CEO Noah Assad — who also happens to be Bad Bunny’s manager, according to Billboard.
“I can’t say I was surprised, because Bunny always keeps me on my toes,” Assad told Billboard about Bunny co-writing and co-producing the album. “He’s always reinventing and thinking of new ways to explore into a different world and when he told me about this one, I literally jumped up in excitement. It’s something that, as always, no one sees coming.”
The team up was successful. After nearly eight years’ absence from the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, El Playlist de Anoche debuted at No. 7. “I felt such a crazy excitement from fans since the album was released,” he told Billboard. “So, comparing that to past experiences with my last three releases, I would lie if I told you I didn’t have the expectation for it to debut in the top 10. Obviously, times are different now, since it’s more about streaming-based than actual sales, but still, the positive reaction has been crazy.” The album also climbed the Spotify and Apple Music charts.
Why Did The Artists Collaborate Together?
Bunny and Tommy first met in 2019 at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico. Tommy had been recruited to play piano on the ballad “Amorfoda.” However, as Bunny told Billboard in a digital cover story, it “happened so fast,” and they didn’t really keep in touch.
“One day last year, I was at the Rimas office, and I said that I had written a song that I thought would be perfect for Tommy to sing,” Bunny told Billboard. “I had never told anyone or made an approach until that moment because I thought, ‘Why would Tommy, who writes canciones cabronas [badass songs], want me to write a song for him?’ But one of his team members was there and said, ‘I think Tommy would really like that idea.” So they called him right then and there, and he said yes.’
“I’ve been producing for other artists many years now,” added Tommy, “but this is the first time that an artist-producer tells me, ‘I want to do something for you.’ To have someone like Benito, who has been surfing across a wave of creativity and really gets this generation — well, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
The two rented an AirB&B in West Hollywood and spent two weeks writing and producing nine songs. “We didn’t talk about a strategy, what we wanted it to sound like, nothing. We just showed up and started making music,” said Bad Bunny. Tommy said that not having any expectations from a label or a producer was “liberating,” but there were some challenges. How Bunny “phrases parts of the song” was completely different from how Tommy would phrase it. Learning how Bunny would sing things was like, as Tommy said, “learning a new instrument.”
Tommy told Billboard that the song “Demasiado Amor” is “a great example of how we wrote [together]. We’d get to the studio, talk about a million things, eat sushi and then sit and play the piano, and boom, in less than an hour and a half, we’d write an entire song. One, because the sessions just flowed so well and two, because Benito comes up with ideas so fast, it’s out of this world.”
“We didn’t do this because one of us needed to,” said Bunny. “And no one is doing a favor for anyone. It just happened. We wanted this, and it felt right.” That feeling extended to the album. No other voices are on the record besides Tommy and Bad Bunny’s.
Plans for Tommy Torres and Bad Bunny
As of Aug. 2021, Tommy has a trio of dates set in Puerto Rico at the start of January 2022, per Songkick. Bad Bunny will kick off a massive tour in February 2022, per Songkick. It doesn’t appear like the two have any planned concerts together, but considering the spontaneity of this album, that could change in a heartbeat.