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Juan Luis Londoño is one of Latin music’s top singers, known around the world as Maluma. His chart-topping songs have a smooth reggaetón sound. He’s sold over 18 million records and his Papi Juancho world tour continues this year.
He can now add feature film actor to his pop culture resume. Marry Me — his new movie with another global singer and superstar, Jennifer Lopez — hits cinemas today, Feb. 11. The Kat Coiro-directed rom-com, also starring Owen Wilson, can also be streamed on Peacock.
As with most of her films, Lopez takes an active role in deciding who her fellow lead actors will be, and it was no different with Maluma for this film. “I’ve had a great relationship with Jennifer for years and when her team approached my team, I truly connected with the role,” he shares with The Hollywood Reporter. “When I read the script, I felt the film’s concept is another side that our fans don’t see when the cameras are off.”
Without giving away too many details, Maluma’s character Bastian is not exactly a sterling character. “I definitely can relate to his career lifestyle, but Bastian is someone that is not loving and very self-centered — and this is not Maluma. But, I enjoyed the role as I got to play someone who challenged me.”
Having a sister himself and female friends, Maluma grew up advising the women closest to him not to date men like Bastian. “I helped my friends in high school write songs for their crushes to win them over. I truly believe in romance and I am excited that my first movie in Hollywood is a romantic comedy. I believe a great man is supported by romance and humor,” says Maluma.
Marry Me was supposed to drop in theaters last February, but due to the pandemic, Universal Pictures decided to delay the release. And while it’s a romantic comedy arriving just ahead of Valentine’s Day, the love holiday is not one that Maluma is used to celebrating. “In Colombia, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but for me, Valentine’s Day is every day. We need to show and spread love daily. It’s a mantra that I personally live by and during COVID it was a time that I personally reflected this,” he says.
In addition to his music, Maluma has forged a unique, ever-changing personal style, with Vogue having called him “men’s fashion’s hottest new muse” in 2019. At the Marry Me premiere on Feb. 8, he stood out in a black and green double-breasted houndstooth-pattern overcoat by Grayscale.
“My style is unpredictable. I love fashion because just like music it’s a way of self-expression through styles, colors and much more,” says Maluma, who works with Ugo Mozie as his personal stylist.
“Ugo has amazing style and what we have in common with style is that we represent our cultural essence through the looks we put together. For me, that was important for someone to understand and help me deliver it through my fashion. Usually, for events or my tours, I have a vision of what I am feeling or envisioning, and Ugo helps me execute whether we obtain it from designers, or he helps me design it. He knows how to sketch and sew, I don’t so it’s a great match.”
But he also credits his parents as foundations for his taste. “I grew [up] seeing my parents well-dressed and groomed, and it didn’t matter where they were headed to, they always looked well put together. So, that has influenced and inspired me,” he says.
Last year, the singer collaborated with designer Olivier Rousteing on a Miami-inspired capsule collection for Balmain. At the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, Maluma rocked a highlighter yellow suit by Rousteing. Dior and Fendi designer Kim Jones has dressed him as well, and for his last 11:11 world tour, Jones designed a custom wardrobe for Maluma.
Lately, the star has been donning a lot of Versace. For the 2021 Met Gala last year, Donatella Versace designed a leather cowboy-chic look for the singer. “I have always been a big fan of Versace since the ’90s and how they have impacted the fashion world. I met Donatella a long time ago when I went to my first Milan Fashion Week, and got to visit their Versace House in Milan. Since then we clicked and have been friends. Versace is like family to me and they have been part of key moments in my career with fashion, like at the Met Gala.”
Maluma is also the first music artist to design a bottle for Hennessey V.S.O.P. Released in a limited edition, it’s a nod to his Latin culture. “This collaboration was super exciting for me,” he says. “To be the first artist to design a bottle for Hennessy V.S.O.P. was a beautiful experience. But overall, I wanted this experience to represent my hometown of Medellín [Colombia]. In the design, I incorporated the bright and vibrant colors of my Papi Juancho album and tour. And, on the bottle and box, we included the designs of iconic buildings in Medellín. My goal was to share with my fans that never stop dreaming or settling — from Medellin to the world.”
Starting at the end of this month, Maluma will be on tour, beginning in Croatia and on to Poland, Greece, Italy, Belgium, France, Albania, the U.K. and Spain. just to name a few stops. “I miss Europe so much. My fans there bring a different energy to my concerts, and I’m so excited to be back and bring them the best version of me on stage,” he says.
On April 30, he will perform for the first time in his hometown of Medellín. “This performance in Medellin was one of my biggest dreams to accomplish. I was telling my sister the other day, who would have thought me, Juan Luis, will be performing as Maluma and not Juan Luis the soccer player.”
Soccer was his first love and he grew up playing the sport seriously until music took priority. “I think this performance is happening at the perfect moment in my career where everything is happening at the same time. This performance will be a thank you to my country and hometown for supporting me, and helping me become Maluma.”
In 2022, Maluma also has plans to debut his own fashion line and a content production company. “We have so much happening,” he says. “I am working on the development of my brand Royalty by Maluma, which will debut as my first fashion collection for women and men at Macys on March 23. Also, I am focusing this year on creatively directing more of my videos and unfolding my vision for Royalty Films. 2022 will be the official start for my fans to see me as an entrepreneur.” He also plans to release a new album this year.
And what about seeing more of Maluma on the silver screen? “I loved the entire experience and I had great support on set by Jennifer and Owen. Acting is something that I always wanted to do and I am excited for the next movie. My team has received some offers and interests, so let’s see what is next. But, I would love to play a role in an action film like Batman or James Bond. Imagine the first Latin James Bond or Batman!”
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