Amber Donoso

Ever since Luis Fonsi and Justin Bieber teamed up for 2017’s incredibly successful crossover hit, “Despacito”, reggaeton has been on a skyward trajectory within the global musical mainstream, bringing Latin-flavoured sounds and rhythms to new audiences from New York to New Zealand. Fast forward to 2022, and the genre’s meteoric rise is old news. The future it’s created, though, is more exciting than we could have hoped for. 

Once confined to the South American market, the vibrant sound of reggaeton has since broken free, becoming one of the world’s most popular genres, while inspiring artists working in all styles to write multilingual, cross-cultural, boundary-breaking music that channels the passion and spark of reggaeton into vibrant new forms. One such artist is Amber Donoso, a British-Chilean singer and songwriter reimagining the genre one song at a time.

Born in Chile, Donoso spent much of her childhood traveling between Santiago and London, soaking up music from both sides of the Atlantic. You can hear this in her music, a sparkling, sensual hybrid of reggaeton, pop, and R&B that’s singled Donoso as one of the most promising talents on the creatively fertile global Latin music scene. Singing in both Spanish and English, Donoso has worked with hit-making producers and collaborated with a varied cast of next-gen reggaeton artists on a series of singles that includes “Aventura”, “Bandolera” and her latest release, “Pal Oscuro”. 

We caught up with Amber Donoso to hear about her unique, genre-blending style and find out what inspires this phenomenally talented artist.

Hi Amber. When did you start making music?

“I started singing and playing the guitar when I was 10 years old. It’s actually a funny story, it became a trend in my school to be able to play an instrument – the guitar in particular, so I’d have to put my musical start partially down to that. My father also passed away around that time, and I found writing music and singing was my best way of healing at a very hard stage in my life.”

How would you describe your style?

“I grew up listening to both Latin music and western music. I want to showcase through my music feelings of empowerment and strength, and I try to incorporate elements of music which has inspired me. My music has been influenced by artists such Shakira, Nelly Furtado, Bad Bunny and Gwen Stefani as well as many more. My sound has evolved over the years but I would currently call my music reggaeton that’s influenced by British R&B.”

What is it you love the most about reggaeton and Latin music?

“It just feels amazing. It always makes me feel empowered, sexy and strong. I feel very connected to my culture singing in both Spanish and English. It really is a true blessing to be able to pursue what I love.”

Which artists have influenced you?

“Some of the artists I mentioned previously, but others include Daddy Yankee, Juanes, Madonna and The 1975.”

Tell us about your latest release.

“Pal Oscuro is all about confidence and getting what you want. It’s all about having the power in your own hands and striving forwards without fear. Again, there is a common theme in my songs of female empowerment, and this is again showcased in Pal Oscuro.”

Which song of yours are you most proud of? 

“I’d say an up and coming single of mine called Mami Tsunami. I wrote the song alone in my flat, and it’s always had a special place in my heart. The song is about an ongoing difficult relationship, which then becomes something beautiful and freeing. I actually just shot the music video here in Miami.”

If you could collaborate with any artist from musical history, who would it be and why?

“This is such a hard question! There’s so many! The answer that comes to my head today, would be J Balvin. I think he’s a musical/creative genius and speaks up for his people and culture. He carries himself with grace and kindness, I have a lot of respect for him.”

What’s been the biggest milestone in your career?

“I’ve been very fortunate to have some amazing opportunities. I loved performing on Chile’s largest TV show, Sigamos De Largo. I also recently performed my first live show here in Miami, which has always been a dream of mine. It felt so surreal and so exciting at the same time.”

What do you have coming up in 2023?

“More releases, collaborations and shows!”

Where do you hope to be, as an artist, in ten years time?

“I’d like to have had many number ones, collaborated with some of my favourite artists, embarked on my own worldwide tour, and set up my own makeup and clothing line. And eventually, my own TV show where I can help others by talking about mental health and my journey in life.”