The 20-year-old Dominican-American singer Yashua returned on Friday with “Todo Es Igual,” an impressive track that smolders with some of the same melancholy intensity as Drake’s “Passionfruit.”
The beat, produced by Manuel Lara and Robbie Meza, places a ping-ponging melody next to pitter-patter percussion. Each verse slopes slowly upward, but each pretty chorus — a long, descending line on a synthesizer and a mournful, disembodied wail from Yashua — sends the singer back to the bottom of the hill. Then Yashua restarts the process of gradually building the track. He sings in both Spanish and English, addressing himself to an ex, and comes to a wonderfully blasé conclusion: “Don’t cry, because everything is the same.”
In the clip for the track, Yashua continues his ongoing dialog with the dance repertoire of Michael Jackson — the footwork and hat-tricks here suggest that he has closely studied the “Smooth Criminal” video. He is the only person in the visual, but he knows how to hold the camera, strutting and jumping and pirouetting and ripping his shirt.
Yashua has quietly released a string of strong singles this year. The first was “Silencio,” which showed he could adhere to the rules of Spotify’s premier Latin music playlist, Baila Reggaeton. Later came “Pena,” a sultry R&B cut that sounded like little else in mainstream Latin pop. Thanks to tracks like these, Yashua earned a deal with the superstar Marc Anthony’s Magnus Media and the Pulse Music Group. He’s now on the same roster as established stars like Alejandro Sanz and Gente De Zona.