THE LATIN ARTIST YOU NEED ON YOUR PLAYLIST: MORA
Gabriel Mora Quintero, commonly known as Mora, is most known for his work alongside Bad Bunny. Having started producing in 2015, he is now stepping into the spotlight with his debut album, Primer Día de Clases. The 16-track LP features newcomer artists such as Jhay Cortez, Lunay, Mariah and genre vets Farruko and Arcángel.
From beginning to end, you can tell that each song in the album has its own identity but also ties in an alternative sound as a whole. Mora's first full body of work shows us he is capable of variety -- which is hard to pull off in genres like reggaetón. I mean, the only other artist that we know of that does a phenomenal job at this, is no one other than Bad Bunny. Each song gives us different angles, sounds, and approaches -- that can all lead to an evolution of reggaetón and commercial trap.
As mentioned prior, Mora began to produce in 2015 with his cousin. He was in school at the time, studying business administration but quickly realized it wasn't for him. For that reason, he began to skip classes during his first semester to go to his cousin's house and watch him produce. Hence, the name of his debut. At that time, he began dropping tracks as the producer via SoundCloud for local artists Jon Z and Eladio Carrion. In 2018, Mora released his hit song "Que Habilidad" which caught the attention of Noah Assad, Bad Bunny's manager. Soon after, Rimas reached out and Mora was signed. That is when Mora started writing for Bad Bunny and other artists while working on Primer Día de Clases on the side.
On March 14, 2020, we were gifted with Benito's YHLQMDLG -- which for many served as Mora's debut on the track "Una Vez." Regardless, for Mora, it did earn him his debut on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart, with "Una Vez" peaking at No. 18. During an interview with Billboard, Mora shared that seeing his name on that chart gave him confirmation that he was on the right path. He not only sang on "Una Vez" but worked as a producer in the album and also wrote on other album favorites "La Difícil" and "Soliá."
We yet have to witness Mora play live but he did perform his hit "Una Vez" with Bad Bunny in the most-watched Uforia Livestream concert. In an interview, the Puerto Rican native stated if it were up to him he'd go on a world tour and serenade his fans but for now he will continue to work on his music.
Diving in a little deeper into his album, the 28-year-old singer-songwriter smoothly demonstrates that he can bind in the likes of trap, slow-tempo reggaetón, and tropical tunes into one record. Here are a few of my favorites off the album.
"Cúando Será" with Lunay
On this hit, Mora teams up with the youngest rising Puerto Rican heartthrob, Lunay. The youthful, alluring voice of Lunay's goes hand-in-hand with Mora's rough, rugged flow. In this song, both artists snatch the women of their eyes from guys who aren't up to their standards.
"512" with Jhay Cortez
This single could have been placed in a more traditional project, production-wise. However, it's still consistent with the darker and more experimental state of Primer Día de Clases.
"Afuego" with Mariah
For this track, Mora recruited Mariah Angeliq -- a rising female voice in the reggaetón scene. The young singer finds her groove on the sensual collaboration. The "Perreito" hitmaker turns up the heat on the captivating club banger.
"Te Conocí Perriando"
One of the album's peaks, shows us Mora is outstanding at making darker, obscure reggaetón -- with some of the best phrases and melodies you'll hear on this LP.
"En Un Avión" with Arcángel
On this track we have Mora link up with reggaetón pioneer, Arcángel. Both artists come through with a strut that complements the beat and rhythm of the trap track.