On June 15, Karol G officially became a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world when she dropped her single “WATATI,” the second single off of the Barbie movie soundtrack following Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night.”
The Colombian star, however, was not alone entering the Barbie realm, as she reeled in Panamanian artist Aldo Ranks for the Ovy on the Drums-produced collaboration that fuses hard-hitting reggaeton with EDM tones, and is home to flirty lyrics about having a good time at the club. “Papi, let’s go to the club to have a good time/ A lot of smoke, Aguardiente to get dizzy/ And wow, dance all the way to the floor, that the whole world/ Knows that dancing you’re a murderer,” goes part of the lyrics.
Ranks also makes a cameo in the totally plastic and pink-tastic music video starring the Bichota.
Marking one of his major career collaborations, the opportunity happened after the Colombian artist personally privately messaged Ranks on Instagram, inviting him to be on the song because she grew up listening to his music. According to an interview with a local Colombian reporter, Ranks didn’t know the tune was for the soundtrack, and that it was a huge project. The song is named after one of Ranks’ popular phrases — “watatin!”
“WATATI” has so far reached No. 12 on Latin Digital Song Sales on the chart dated July 1, and has put Ranks on the radar for a new generation of fans.
Below, check out five things to know about the veteran Panamanian star.
His Prolific Career
The artist born Aldo Vargas, 50, has a career that spans more than 30 years. Known as one of the pioneers of the reggae plena movement in Panama (or reggae en Español), he kicked off his career in 1992 and became a household name after renowned producer “El Chombo” invited him to sing some songs on his album Cuentos de la Cripta, such as “Estaban Celebrando.”
Ranks has released four studio albums and is signed to Panama Music.
His Timeless Hits
Ranks is known for his distinct, deep vocals and lyrics with party vibes. He’s fused the reggae plena sound with Afrobeats, dancehall, electronica and other Caribbean flavors to bring to life memorable singles such as “El Alicate,” “La Borrachera,” “Te Ves Buena” and “Sacude la Tanga.”
Ranks positioned himself as a top-tier Panamanian act in many Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador.
He’s a Songwriter
In addition to turning up any event with his lively music, Ranks is also a composer. In 2009, he nabbed an ASCAP award for his songwriting contribution in “Perdóname,” performed by Panamanian acts La Factoria and Eddy Lover. The heartbreak bop peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in 2007 and also entered the Latin Pop Airplay and Latin Tropical Airplay charts in 2008.
His Talented Family
Ranks comes from a musical family, including his artist brothers Jr. Ranks and Rudy Ranks. Following in their steps is Claire Marie, Aldo Ranks daughter, who in 2021 launched her music career with debut single “Déjate Llevar.” With deep, sensual vocals, the Panamanian newcomer is dropping infectious Afrobeat and urban-pop fusions such as her latest single “Papi Azúcar”:
His New Music
Aldo Ranks is more active than ever. He’s performing concerts across Central and South America, connecting with fans on social media and making the rounds with his latest single “Qué Problema,” produced by LH DA PRODUZZA. Both the track and music video maintain Ranks’ feel-good and witty essence. The video also stars his wife.