MEXICO CITY — The Puerto Rican urban duo Gigolo y La Exce continues their saga with “Las II Torres”, their second full-length album after 2020’s “Las Torres”, for which they invited friends like Arcángel, Dalex and Jay Wheeler while revealing a more romantic side in their songs.
The 15-track album, which includes the singles “De la mata,” “Chantaje” with Wheeler, “Sativa” with Justin Quiles and “Nuevo” with Eladio Carrión, was released Friday under Rimas Entertainment.
The idea of ”Las Torres” comes from the fact that both consider themselves like that, like two strong towers.
“Two great artists who each have their personality, their style and we unite them,” La Exce said in a recent video call interview from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“And these towers cannot be knocked down,” Gigolo added.
Gigolo grew up with a grandfather who sang, but originally he did not intend to be a musician himself: he was drawn to dance. Once on stage, he realized that music could be a means of expressing himself.
“I’m a little talker, at least on a personal level, (I saw) that in music I could express myself without having to talk to anyone,” he said.
La Exce, meanwhile, grew up in a house where music played at all hours.
“No one sang, but music was fundamental in my family,” he explained.
The two met through mutual friends and started making music together when they were around 22 years old. They are now 29.
La Exce’s stage name was part of a longer name, JeyCi La Excelencia, which she shortened over time. As for Gigolo, La Exce says that he is flirtatious as his name indicates, but he defends himself by saying that he is “introverted”.
“They say you have to be careful with the quiet ones,” Gigolo added.
One of the pleasant surprises of “Las II Torres” is “Chanel”, a romantic ballad with acoustic guitars.
“It was a song that was a ‘dance hall’, we had it recorded more than three years ago and we decided… to make it a little more acoustic, giving the album another sound, another vibe,” said La Exce. “We’ve done ‘lives’ (live broadcasts) singing like that and they’ve asked us for acoustic ones, so we wanted to give them that space on the album”.
In a similar tone is “Sexo vs Amor”, a song that says that happiness is not achieved by putting sex and wealth above love. Gigolo composed it with the help of his dog Bartolo, a French Bulldog.
“He gave the guidelines, the tone… Between the two of us at least we started it, the intro and the chorus,” he said. “The theme is one of my favorites also because it has feeling, and it’s reggaeton.”
Other guests on the album are Bryant Myers, Rafa Pabón, Juhn and Brray, with whom they had the opportunity to physically compose and record together despite the pandemic. On the album, the only collaboration that was recorded remotely was “Blackmail” with Wheeler, one of the songs they released as an advance on the album.
“We were at Archangel’s house, he has a trailer there and we recorded in the house’s trailer,” Gigolo said about the creation of “Ice.”
After collaborating with Dalex on songs like “Na Na Na” and “Fuerte”, the American musician reciprocated with “Angel” on “Las II Torres”, a song about a pretty girl like an angel, but who wants to sin.
“He presented it to me in the studio, he told me ‘I have this song’ and we accommodated it differently than it was,” said La Exce. “It’s good reggaeton with a double meaning.”
With the debut of the album, they released the trap single “Te superé” along with a video recorded in Miami in which La Exce is upset because his girlfriend is leaving, while Gigolo appears on television singing with a look from the 90s.
“It is one of the first videos that we make as if we are separated,” Gigolo explained.
“We wanted to make it more cinematographic, more classic,” added La Exce.
As exponents of reggaeton from a generation younger than Daddy Yankee, who recently announced his retirement at the age of 45, they expressed gratitude for this pioneer of the genre.
“I think it’s a good thing that he retired so he could stay undefeated like (Floyd) Mayweather,” Gigolo said. “And that he produce, that he start looking for talents, producers, composers, that he start producing records for other artists.”
For his part, La Exce expressed hope that it is not really the end of his career: “Maybe he will retire for a while and maybe he won’t do any more tours, but he will keep throwing music. I don’t think I’ll ever release music again.”
In any case, they trust that the urban genre will continue on the crest of the wave thanks to the contributions of new talents.
“If salsa had had that blessing that reggaeton has had that exponents continue to come out, it would be alive,” said Gigolo. “I still listen to salsa, I love it, but it’s not like reggaeton where music comes out right now.”