Peso Pluma Breaks Down ‘Éxodo’ Songs, and How Ric Flair Inspired ‘Ice’

In his new album “Éxodo,” Peso Pluma reflects on his life before and after skyrocketing to fame. The young Mexican-American Grammy winner is boastful about leading música Mexicana‘s inflated global reach, but he also grapples with that responsibility, unleashing darker subject material ( “I live a fast-paced lifestyle / The life of an artist / Drugs and women,” he sings in “Hollywood”) than in “Génesis,” his 2023 Billboard chart-topping debut.

“Its very different — ‘Éxodo’ from ‘Génesis’ — I think I reached some maturity in my vocals and from everyday and every artist that I collaborate with,” Peso told Variety in a video interview. “I learn something new from all of them and I try to grab those little things and bring them to my music.”

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Peso recruited a long list of collaborators for “Éxodo” from all parts of the genre landscape — he’s got Quavo rapping in Spanish on “Pa No Pensar,” and Cardi B spitting verses on a trumpet-led beat on “Put Em in the Fridge” and plenty of Mexican all-stars, including Kenia Os and Natanael Cano.

“‘Hollywood’ was written by [featured artist] Estevan Plazola, who I’ve known since we were 18 years old and he just signed to my label,” Peso said. “The lyrics talk about our reality. How our lives went through this process — getting famous, getting money, getting [what we’ve wanted] since we were kids and how we look at that now.”

To bring it all together, Peso worked with producer Ernesto Fernandez, a 2023 Variety Hitmaker honoree, who also produced much of the material on his debut LP. Experimentation between the pair on that LP helped to solidify the first half of “Éxodo,” which is entirely comprised of the Mexican corrido music that helped establish Peso’s career.

“If you are used to hearing Peso Pluma’s Mexican songs, [you would know] I always use tololoche,” Peso says. “In [‘Solicitado’] we replaced it with an actual electric bass and the ones who truly know about these kinds of instruments is going to like it a lot.”

These prickly bass notes are what Peso proudly proclaims as his “trademark sound.” He explains, “This sound came when we were just vibing in the studio, I remember I was with [Ernesto]… we were in the studio vibing and we were trying to master and mix ‘Rosa Pastel’ from ‘Genesis’ and we were trying to make it different. I was visualizing these kind of angels in the back with that song because its a real beautiful melody… we started playing with different effects, different things in the computer and we did that actual sound and from there everybody wanted to do it.”

On “Ice,” Peso pulls from the aesthetics of his youth, mainly his fondness for WWE, incorporating a sound bite of a flexing Ric Flair. Sweet guitar melodies introduce delicately layered vocals from Peso that build up to elongated high notes. It was one of the last songs to be added to the 24-song double LP.

“Ric Flair was a big inspiration for me growing up, watching WWE and watching the drip that he had and the luxury things that he showed us,” Peso says. “I put it in the song because that’s what the song talks about. Everybody’s trying to copy what the project is looking like but no matter what they copy, and how much they copy, they’re never going to be Peso Pluma.”

Watch the complete interview above.

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