Meet Amenazzy, the Hopeless Romantic of Urban Latin Music
While his sensual musical style has been celebrated in the Caribbean, he is now recognized throughout all of Latin America — and just getting started.
It's no secret that in the world of “el genero urbano” (Latin urban genre), Amenazzy is a force to be reckoned with. With over 6 million monthly listeners and 46 million streams for his “Baby” collab with Nicky Jam and Farruko on Spotify, the 24-year-old is proving, track by track, that he was made for the industry.
Born Jose Daniel Betances in Santiago, Dominican Republic, he earned the nickname “El Nene” when he joined a group of lyricists at age 10. His love of music developing early, he looked up to rappers like Lil Wayne, Arcangel and Jowell y Randy.
We first heard Amenazzy back in 2013 when he was featured on Los Mellos on The Track's “Despues del Party.”
Though El Nene La Amenaza was catching on in the Dominican Republic, he explains to CHICA, “I couldn't take advantage of that in that moment.” He was doing well at the local clubs, but there was no plan to get off the island. “I saw the business side of things very ignorantly, I didn't have management or some kind of projection.”
He then dropped “La Chanty” in 2014, a romanticized cover to Rich Gang's “Lifestyle” featuring Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan. The young artist found demand for his music from a more feminine audience, those who want to hear a sound with mystique.
His original name, “Amenaza,” translates to “threat.” It was more appropriate when his melodic voice was used for rap battles. After his romantic themes found appeal, he softened his name to El Nene La Amenazzy.
How would he describe his music? “It's a love passage. A passage to identification.” This is expressed in his song “Me Hace Falta.”
Soon things took off. His 2016 single “Mujeriego” peaked at No. 22 on Billboard's Latin Hot 100 and lived on the charts for five weeks. Amenazzy has a growing audience in South America, specifically in countries like Chile. “I think a lot of people identify with my music the way I do, which is the end goal.”
He's collaborated with the urban genre's veterans like Nicky Jam and Arcangel as well as those coming up alongside him like Larry Over. In 2018, he played the role of Jeicop in the Dominican film Colao.
Released this February, his video for “Baby Mala” features clever Grand Theft Auto–inspired visuals and themes, like the switching of weapons, street culture and, of course, cars. “We brought out what was the GTA saga. It was a video game that marked my generation. When my director [Rodrigo Films] gave me the idea to turn the video game into a music video, I thought it would be super cool.”
You can watch the video below.
The young “Solo” singer hopes to develop and finalize his first album and is looking forward to 2019. “This year will be promising because I will be setting new goals, which fills me with adrenaline and satisfies me a lot. Once we achieve it, we will know that we are made for this.”