42 – Sech

“In the middle of the pandemic, my brother found a notebook with all kinds of things from my life,” Sech tells Apple Music. “They were stories I had written when I was 15 or 16. That’s where the bulk of 42 came from. And I owe it all to my mom never throwing anything away.” The 11 new songs on the Panamanian star’s third full-length studio album (its title is a nod to the uniform number worn by countryman and former Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera) share common roots in the past, but they also explore different moods and emotions with the help of producers such as Cerebro and Dímelo Flow. But contrary to what has become an unwritten rule in the genre, there are very few collaborations on 42, which only reinforces the deeply personal nature of the project. Read on as Sech takes us through the album one song at a time.

“Patabajo” (Feat. Wisin & Yandel)
“I fell in love with the music of Wisin & Yandel at the time of Pa’l Mundo [2005] and Los Extraterrestres [2007]. One day I told myself that I had to do something with that sound but my own flow, a more forward-looking version. I had a lot of fun putting the song together, finding the right tones and figuring out how to travel back to that time. The track just takes you there.”

“Mi Ex”
“I had a really long track for ‘911,’ and Flow said, ‘Bro, how long are you going to sing for? Four or five minutes in just one song?’ So we took a couple of verses out and I started looking for different melodies. Then I came up with a new chorus, intro, and pre-chorus, and put it all together. Both songs are about the same person. I really got it off my chest.”

“¿Qué Somos?”
“I wrote this one driving to Orlando from Miami. I was playing the track in my car and things started coming together. Some time after that, my brother found that notebook with all kinds of things that I had written in high school. One of them was a question—‘Who are we?’—that I never knew how to tackle. This song is my grown-up answer to that.”

“Te Acuerdas” (Feat. Arcángel)
“I’m not sure if Arca just doesn’t like singing romantic stuff or what. He’s always telling me, ‘Bro, what I like singing about is all the crazy stuff, that’s my thing.’ But the romantic songs he’s done have all been huge. That’s why I always go for the romantic angle when we get together. I’m a big Arca fan and I totally knew from the start that I had to do ‘Te Acuerdas’ with him.”

“Feliz de Mentira”
“This is a pretty strange one. When I started singing the melody, it didn’t ring true to my ears, and that’s why I got a mariachi to play on it. I love what Christian Nodal and some of the newer artists are doing with Mexican folk music. The lyrics tell a real story. There was a girl I really, really liked, but she had a partner and they never seemed to be over. I told my friend, ‘Tell her that if they ever break up, I’m first in line.’”

“PSL”
“‘PSL’ is another one of the very personal songs that came from my notebook. I had a friend that I used to get involved with all the time. It didn’t matter if I had a girlfriend or she had a boyfriend. We both knew we had to stop, but we always fell back into the same routine. That’s why I talk about being ‘always in the same place.’”

“Playa” (Feat. Nicky Jam & Rauw Alejandro)
“This is not as personal. It’s the classic story where you like a girl and you always see her on social media but she never pays any attention to you. Then time goes by, you see her again and she’s hotter than ever. I wrote the song in Mexico, just chilling on the beach. As soon as I had it, I knew that I had to call Nicky and Rauw. I never considered anyone else.”

“Duvibes”
“This has a very anarchic vibe. It’s where the session for the ladies to do whatever they want begins. I produced it with Cerebro, and then Flow put some finishing touches on it.”

“911”
“A really personal one, just the name in the dedication is missing. There was a lady that would help me every time I went to the gas station to buy stuff. She knew I had no money and would give me things for free. When I met Nicky [Jam], he reminded me of her, because they were both people that helped me when I needed it most. When they told me we were going to shoot the video at a gas station, I wanted someone to bring back those memories. That’s why Nicky is there.”

“Sal y Perrea”
“This is me doing what my female fans want me to do. They like it when I talk about this sort of thing, like in ‘Otro Trago’ or ‘Relación.’ In the end, guys like it too, because those are the songs they have to play in the car when they are all together. This is for the ladies to have a good time. When things go back to normal, you go out and party, girl.”

“Wao”
“‘Wao’ has a crazy story. There were going to be just 10 tracks on the album, but everyone kept telling me that ‘Wao’ had to be on it. The problem was that I didn’t have a song with that title. Apparently, what happened is that a couple of years ago I was working on a remix and I put out a preview of the track, which I had forgotten. Someone took the audio and put it up on TikTok. When everybody started listening to it, we recovered a couple of things and I finished it just to be able to say, ‘Here’s what you all wanted.’”

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