Music can cross borders and language barriers. In our series ‘5 Artists You Should Know,’ we introduce you to local talent from regions all over the world who are dominating their local territory. Familiarize yourself with these five rising artists in Ecuador: Tres Dedos, Ren Kai, MAYKEL, Lolabúm, Nikki Mackliff.
Guayaquil-born artist Tres Dedos, whose real name is John Taleb, came hot onto the music scene in 2018 with his first single “Frente a Frente” hitting No. 1 across radio charts in Ecuador. After a hit debut single, his follow-up song “Por Tu Culpa” spent 18 weeks at the top of radio charts in Ecuador and was placed on numerous viral playlists and ranked in the Top 100 chart in Apple Music Ecuador! While his take-off was quick, Tres Dedos never forgets where he came from and brings personal experiences and stories to all his music, which merges Pop, Ballads, and Hip-Hop.
Singer, songwriter, and actor Ren Kai was born in Guayaquil to a Chinese father and Ecuadorian mother and grew up speaking three languages: Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and English. Music flowed through Ren Kai’s veins at an early age. When Ren Kai was nine, he represented Ecuador at an international arts festival in Shanghai, China, and from there his career only grew. Ren Kai says he finds inspiration from artists like Luis Fonsi, Mana, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, among others while creating his own sound by combining Latin pop and characteristic sounds from Asia.
MAYKEL is one of the first Ecuadorian Bachata Pop singers whose captivating and unique style has crossed borders. His first single “A PRUEBA DE TODO” reached over 17 million views on YouTube, positioning itself at the top of several radio stations in Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Spain. Born in Tosagua, MAYKEL demonstrated his musical skills at an early age as a contestant in the first edition of Pequeños Brillantes, where he won third place! His career has only skyrocketed after that.
Rock quartet Lolabúm was founded in mid-2014 in Quito, Ecuador. Since their formation, Lolabúm has released four studio albums, performed several sold out shows across the country, and earned spots on Ecuadorian music festivals lineups such as El Carpazo, Funka Fest, La Cochera, Saca el Diablo, among others. The group’s sound combines elements from Latin American music, hip-hop, and more. The quartet is made up of singer and multi-instrumentalist Pedro Bonfim, guitarist Joaquín Prado, bassist Martín Erazo, and drummer José Miguel Fabre.
Ecuadorian singer-songwriter Nikki Mackliff began her artistic career in 2010 at just 15 years old. The Guayaquil-born artist has become one of the most prominent Latin Pop artists in the region, with upbeat and dance-worthy tracks. On one of her new singles “Si hubiera sabido,” which was released in 2021 following the Covid-19 pandemic, Nikki said, “Despite everything that is happening in the world, music saves me and I cannot be more grateful to her for being my strength when I want to say no more.”