Maluma review – Colombian heart-throb is more than a pretty face

Wembley Arena
He is potently handsome and bilingually flirtatious, but the Latin pop star’s rich, swooping tenor brings real spirit to his flashy hits

A man who needs no invitation to get his freak on, Maluma is forcefully waggling to Corazon, from current album FAME. His biceps strain the sleeves of his black suit, and his keening voice is made for this kind of steel-drum-accented romanticism. Glancing backward at the primarily female crowd, he finds several thousand phones recording his ascent to the upper tiers of heart-throbdom.

We’re two songs in, but Maluma isn’t pacing himself for the long pop-reggaeton haul to come. He’s hitting it hard from the off, with the conviction of an artist who knows that he’s arrived at exactly the right moment. A year after his small-scale UK debut, Medellín-born Juan Luis Londoño is in the capital for another one-off, but this time as the face of Latin pop – a now-global genre whose mainstreaming owes a fair bit to his own wildly catchy billion-stream hits, from Felices Los 4 to El Perdedor.

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