Be Strikingly Different

Manuel Turizo Speaks On Focusing on His Craft & Upcoming Album, ‘Dopamina’

In 2020, Manuel Turizo continues to make his imprint in the musical world. In a few short years, he has grown from a viral online sensation to a worldwide star!

“MTZ,” at the young age of fifteen, knew in his heart music is what he is placed to do in this world. Music could almost be counted as a member of the family; it is an integral part of their home and a connection they all share. His mother is a musician as well as his brother Julian, a key element in Turizo’s career. With the help and support of Julian, he decided to take his passion and love for music into a more professional approach. After choosing to relocate to Medellin, Manuel focused on his craft and Julian also did behind the scenes as a producer. They knew they were on to something special and not long after taking the risk, did it all pay off. Together they were the duo that could and still do.

Photography by Kia Settles
Custom jumper by Sylvio NYC
Retouching by JAB the ZORRO

After releasing a few singles, Manuel had started to gain some traction locally. It was however until March of 2017, when he released “Una Lady Como Tu,” that the universe aligned itself for him. Initially the single was a viral sensation, it wasn’t long till it became of the biggest smash hits of the year and even featured a remix by Nicky Jam. To date, the video has received over 1 Billion views on Youtube and over 460 million streams on Spotify. The song was the breakout moment for Manuel; it was the first of many true moments of success for him. During this time he also began to perform to new and previous fans alike, selling out bars, clubs, and local venues. Soon after he signed with Sony Music’s distributed La Industria, opened for Ozuna’s tour in Colombia while continuing to release hit after hit.

In the past three years, Manuel’s rise continues to cast a shadow on the previous one. Making the right collaboration and right business moves, he is on track to be a household name. Most recently he’s part of the collaboration “La Nota” featuring fellow hitmakers and peers Myke Towers and Rauw Alejandro. The record has already become a fan favorite and it sure one to sing along to when concerts are a thing again.
The single is merely a peak to what’s to coming soon. Manuel is readying himself for his upcoming album Dopamina, bouncing off the chemical ingredient the brain produces; it’s mean to provide pleasure. The album isn’t the only thing fans can look forward to as 2021 also has some great things in store for him. We were given an exclusive that he’ll be working with a major Reggaeton legend additional to one of the year’s biggest stars.

Photography by Kia Settles
Retouching by JAB the ZORRO

Manuel’s belief in the evolution of his career and personal life are evident in the few years he’s been in the spotlight. He believes not only artists should welcome change but also the general public too. Life moves forward for him, never backward and instead of fighting it, the mind should be open to it. Adapting what life has in store is a mantra he welcomes with open arms into all of himself. Manuel has only begun to show what he’s capable of and with the way it’s shaping, this star is on the rise to claim 2021.

How did you get started with music? When I was 15 years old I felt it. All of a sudden I realized there was a voice within me that kept telling me to go out and follow my dreams, that I had to work for what I wanted because no one would bring it to my doorstep. Every night I dreamt that I was on a stage performing and I had to make this come true. So, at 15 years old I moved to my brother Julián Turizo’s house in Medellín, and we started working together with him as a producer.

Photography by Kia Settles
Retouching by JAB the ZORRO

And what was it that gave you a moment of validation that you were on the right path? We had no money to produce a song. I was young and still in school. But then we met a producer who gifted us the first songs I released on December 6, 2016, which were “Una Lady Como Tú,” “Vámonos,” and “Baila Conmigo.” “Una Lady Como Tú” became a hit. First in Colombia and then in Latin America and people began to notice me. Then we met La Industria INC, and released “Esperándote” under the label, and that single got over 700 million views on YouTube. Realizing the reach and impact I could have was the validation I needed to keep going.

What role does your brother play in your career? Julián took me in when I decided to kickstart my career, and he became my producer. He is involved in every song I record, and I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for him. He’s more shy, and doesn’t necessarily love the spotlight, so sometimes I joke that I’m the beauty and he’s the brains behind the brand that Manuel Turizo has become.

What inspires you to create music? Being able to wake up and do what I love, knowing that I’ve been so lucky to be where I am, that I’m in a privileged position and can use my platform to do good. Love also inspires me, and not necessarily romantic love, but all its manifestations all around us.

Photography by Kia Settles
Retouching by JAB the ZORRO

What does collaborating mean for you? I think it’s a great way to help your audience grow. To be able to get together with an artist who is completely different and creating a seamless sound that not only is going to appeal to their fans, but to my fanbase and bring people together through it. It’s really what is turning the genre into a movement.

Talk to me about the creation of La Nota? “La Nota” is the first single of my second album Dopamina. The first album was ADN. This is the single that opened the doors to everything new that’s coming from Manuel Turizo. I feel like people think they fully know me and my style, and they do have a clear concept of my general proposal, but there’s so much more to Manuel Turizo than what’s out there now.

So, with “La Nota” you can start seeing this evolution. It’s not something necessarily different, but it’s something more elevated. To make the song really pop, I felt like I needed someone to really dig into it and kill it, and Myke Towers was just the right person. I called him, showed him the song, and the next day I had his verse in. I had the opportunity to meet Rauw Alejandro, so I also showed him the song because I felt like his voice would be the perfect contrast to my voice. He hopped on this project and people seem to really enjoy it. I personally love it, I feel like we killed this track!

Photography by Kia Settles
Custom jumper by Sylvio NYC
Retouching by JAB the ZORRO

What can fans expect from the new album, Dopmanina? Your brain releases dopamine when you’re feeling pleasure when you’re doing things you like, when you’re with the person you love, when you’re eating something you enjoy or watching something entertaining. So this album is that, a dopamine release because it’s going to make you feel that good! 

Any exclusives we can give talk about? My next single is a collaboration with major reggaetón legends, and I have another song coming out with one of the biggest stars this year. So, stay tuned for 2021 because it’s going to be epic!

What does Manuel see for himself in 5 to 10 years? I want to be able to grow as much as I can within this profession. I’m someone who lives for this, and I say this truthfully: I wake up every day thinking about how I can improve, how I can grow because I really love doing what I love. I love going to the recording studio and making music, I love going on stage and singing to people, I love talking about music. So I hope I can keep doing this when I’m 60, continue to connect with people and make them feel good too.

Photography by Kia Settles
Retouching by JAB the ZORRO

The definition of Contrast is ‘to be strikingly different.’ What does it mean to you to be strikingly different? I think it’s mostly about not wanting to do the same thing over and over again. I feel like artists should be in constant evolution, and not only artists, but people in general. We should want to evolve in our personal lives, our professional lives, keep learning new things, discover other things you had no idea about, and for the artist, then test the waters with your audience, to see how they respond, and continue adapting.

Latin Music Editor at Contrast Magazine.