As Latin music’s popularity extends across the globe, Martina Stoessel is putting her country of Argentina on the map. The actress and singer, who goes professionally by her nickname TINI, is reaching wider audiences thanks to high-profile collaborations with Colombian acts like Karol G, Greeicy, and her boyfriend Sebastián Yatra. Coming in hot for 2020, TINI teams up with Venezuelan-born duo Mau y Ricky in her new music video for “Recuerdo.”

The Buenos Aires native started out as a child actress on the local telenovela Patito Feo in 2007. After landing a starring role in the Disney series Violetta in 2012, she received more exposure across Latin America and Europe. Like most of Disney stars, the role also helped TINI hone her chops as a singer. In 2015, she signed a record deal with Disney’s Hollywood Records and her self-titled debut album followed a year later.

A deluxe edition of the TINI album featured a remix of her song “Ya No Hay Nadie Que Nos Pare” with her future beau Yatra. In 2017, she blended her Latin pop sound with Venezuelan singer Nacho’s reggaeton music on “Te Quiero Más.” That laid the foundation for 2018’s Quiero Volver album, where TINI experimented with more música urbana collaborations like with Karol G on “Princesa” and Yatra on the title track. As her collaborators received more international success, so did TINI with Quiero Volver.

Last year TINI teased new music with Greeicy on “22,” Colombian rapper Lalo Ebratt on “Fresa,” and Yatra on “Oye.” Those music videos have amassed millions of views and she’s not slowing down as evidenced by the sexy crime spree in “Recuerdo” with Mau y Ricky. TINI talked exclusively with about her new single, working with her boyfriend, and her plans for 2020.

Q: How do you feel to represent Argentina in Latin music?

It’s important for me to represent my country, my flag, in music. I’ve been an artist for 13 years, but I haven’t been in music that long, so it’s been an incredible surprise. This has been something that has happened over time, but I believe I have a long road ahead of me. I’ve still learned a lot over the years. It’s been crazy with everything that’s happened with my music this past year, things like breaking a record for a female artist at [Argentina’s] Luna Park [stadium]. That’s something I never imagined.  

Q: How do you feel  to be making music with your boyfriend, Sebastián Yatra?

Sebastián is an incredible person. It’s everything that I’ve imagined to share music with someone I love. Talent is one thing, but it’s also important to be a team in what we do. Sharing this with him makes me well and happy. Imagine sharing music with someone who loves music like you do. To write together and record together and to have the people receive our music well is beautiful and even more special. The truth is that we love to work together. 

Q: You and Sebastián have collaborated a lot together. When did you know that you liked him?

In “Quiero Volver,” we were just friends. After some time had passed with [Yatra’s] “Cristina” , I was breaking up with my ex-boyfriend. Sebastián was as well. I believe when we looked each other in the eyes in that video, that’s when it started. While promoting “Cristina” one day we realized that we liked each more than I had ever imagined. We were having a great time together and that’s what was important. That’s how it happened. We made the decision to be a couple to see if our relationship would work out.

Q: You’ve also collaborated with Karol G and Greeicy. Would you say there’s a theme of girl power in your music?

For me that’s something very important to represent. More so with “Princesa” when a collaboration between two women in reggaeton, or really in Latin music, wasn’t seen before. That was two years ago. Now more Latin music is being made with two female artists, but in general, it’s still more men collaborating with each other or a female artist collaborating with a male artist. To have done something like that was beautiful. Karol is a very talented person. I’ve been fortunate to explore more opportunities of making music with other women. One of my most important songs is “22” with Greeicy. She’s also an incredible artist from Colombia. It was good to show there’s no competition among female artists. We love and support each other. 

Q: How was the experience of work with Mau y Ricky on “Recuerdo”?

With every song I try to put out something distinct. I don’t only do that with the music but with the visuals and music videos as well. I want to be distinct with the choreography, my outfits, and with what I’m trying to show. I believe it explores a lot of a woman’s sensuality. To feel secure. To me it’s important that every woman enjoys how they want to express themselves. For my next collaboration, I had Mau y Ricky in mind. I sent them the song and they loved it. We came together and it was perfect.

Q: Are you going to release a new album with these songs?

Yes, of course. It will contain the songs we have out and some surprise songs as well. This year we will keep releasing more new music.  

Q: Who else do you want to collaborate with?

There’s a lot of artists I admire. One female artist I really admire is Rosalía. She seems like a really interesting artist. The way she writes music, what she puts out visually, and the way she looks at the industry is fascinating. There’s a lot of male artists I admire as well. Ozuna has something really special. I’ve been listening to Rihanna, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, and other artists like them who inspire me. I don’t know if there will ever a possibility to work with them, but I take things step by step.

Q: What are you plans for this year?

I’ll be returning to acting. I’ll keep making music. There will be a new tour. The full album will be out. 

Q: Are we going to see you in the U.S. anytime soon?

I would love that. It would be a dream for me to visit with my music. Hopefully it will happen.

Q: I’m gay and I discovered your music through my gay friends in Argentina. I was wondering if you had a message for your gay fans?

I have a lot of gay friends. It’s crazy when they tell me that my music is playing in the gay clubs and that everyone is dancing. For me, it’s a very big dream that people feel and identify with my music, that they’re enjoying it.  I believe music brings the world together in light of that. I hope people feel happy hearing my music. 

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