When it comes to RnB singers, many in America follow the formulas set forth by the recent mainstream successes of Frank Ocean, Bryson Tiller, Drake, and more. Very few, however, take the genre on as their own and twist it in a way that is catchy, yet distinguishable from most popular artists.
Peruvian-born, East-Coast raised, and currently LA-living, Alejandro Chal, aka A.CHAL, hit the ears of millions in 2015 when he released “Round Whippin.” A tale of nighttime driving down a California boulevard with a good looking woman in the seat next to him; the song hit it big on both Spotify and Apple Music playlists. The song was even featured by Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 Radio Show. It was a repetitive record, so catchy that it angered you when you were singing it from 10am in the morning till 10pm at night.
Just 2 summers later, A.CHAL released a new album, ON GAZ, filled with stories of self-confidence and naughty relationships. Being a huge fan of his atmospheric, slowed-down vibes, I gave the entire album a listen and immediately found my favorite song off the record.
Listen: “Love N Hennessy” – A.CHAL
“Love N Hennessy” is the quintessential summer hit that will have scores of clubbers, partiers, and beach-goers screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs. The song is mainly in English but A.CHAL throws in some Spanish words and references to make the song flow even better. The Spanglish nature of his artistry, particularly on this song, makes singing along that much more fun… think the immediate rise of “Despacito.”
The song kicks off with a catchy hook before the crashing bass and kick drum drops. In standard A.CHAL nature, the hook is repeated twice in a row, then several times throughout the song. A piano riff is introduced but it’s simplicity helps give the song a bright, sunny backdrop. It’s catchy, melodic, fun, sexy, and an immediate Summer 2017 classic. Translation is in parentheses below…
Dame un poco love with some Hennessy,
(Give me some love with some Hennessy)
You know I like it when you’re mad at me
I know you’re with him pero even aqua
(I know you’re with him but come here)
I know you’re with him but you’re callin’ me
A.CHAL doesn’t shy away from claiming he’s into a girl even though she already has a man. Things get complicated in the second verse as he talks about situations when the same girl confronts him.
Throwin’ drinks when you see me out
You don’t like it when I bring a girl around
I gotta calm you down, sit you on the couch
Pullin’ on your hands, grabbin’ on your mouth
He creates an image of a Snooki-like, Jersey Shore confrontation with drinks being thrown at one another. We’ve all seen this happen before at a party or club and therefore, A.CHAL connects with his audience in a big way. Towards the end of the song, A.CHAL really turns the dial up on his Spanish singing as he emits self-confidence and calls himself the GOAT (greatest of all time) 6 times.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Fuego, fuego, tu lo haces pones todo
(Fire, fire in everything you do in front of me)
Do en mi delente, and I want it
I’m the goat, goat, goat
When it comes to me and you me tienes loco
(You got me going crazy)
Yo te busco en la noche, baby
(I’m looking for you at night, baby)
In this summertime smash of a song, A.CHAL proves that not only can he set the mood for a late night cruise or a 2AM club, but also that he can also do it in a way that relates to a majority of the audience listening to him. While his vibes are incredibly slow, druggy and sexy, each one of his songs tells a different personal anecdote. In “Love N Hennessy,” he found a way to question our dating culture without explicitly asking a single question.
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