‘Big flex, a middle finger’: Melbourne’s Jalmar trailblazing Latin music down under

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‘Big flex, a middle finger’: Melbourne’s Jalmar trailblazing Latin music down under

Words by Matthew Parnell

If you sit down, right now, and listen to the two songs Jalmar has officially released, you’d wonder where the rest of them are.

This is a man who’s brought a fully formed sound and identity, released two songs, should have more in the locker.

There’s no awkward growing pains, it feels like it’s exactly what it wants to be, and it’s in a corner of the market that seems, suddenly, like it’s crying out for a trailblazer. Enter Jalmar.

What you need to know

  • Jalmar is bringing Latin reggaeton styles to Australia
  • He’s released two debut singles that are garnering a lot of attention
  • He says his biggest influence is Sampa the Great

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

“I want to cement our spots as the Latin pioneer for Australian music, I am gonna be the pioneer for Latin music and that’s been a big thing for me, bringing this beautiful culture”.

This is borne out of a trip to discover what his culture was, and seeking to represent it in his music. In his words, his goals for his music is that he “wants to bring [the music] to life to empower people to rage and dance, those are the main things to feel”.

These connections to his culture are the reason he cites his biggest influence as Sampa the Great, seeking to tap into his South American heritage the way she taps into her African heritage. The music, his artistic identity, they’re all things that come from what he refers to as “divine timing”.

When he was recording the first single, ‘Mijo Rico’, he was just trying to become comfortable with his Latin style.

“It was just a divine timing moment, the fact that I got the whole thing right straight away”, and regarding coming to create music as Jalmar, rather than any moniker?

“It was all divine timing, all these moments that created this whole world”.

The songs he’s released, and all the ones he will release, have been recorded in partnership with Younique, who handles all the production- down to the flamenco guitar, the trumpet, the works- and you can really feel the chemistry.

If his first song was just learning the style, his second is him revelling in it. it’s overt, celebratory, just… more, and there’s a reason for it!

It’s a “big flex, a middle finger to all the people that doubted me and weren’t very nice to me in the beginning and are nice to me now … I wrote that on the plane on the way to Sydney to secure a deal”.

He’s coming up, channelling obviously artists like Bad Bunny and J Balvin, inasmuch as they’re the most relevant Spanish speaking artists, but also connecting with his heritage like Sampa the Great, and although he hasn’t formally announced anything it sounds like he’s sitting on a bunch of stuff that he says will be slowly released through his Instagram.

Jalmar’s debut singles can be found on all major streaming services, and he can be found @jalmaaar on various social media.