The Panamanian producer reeled in la vieja y nueva escuela for his first studio album.
By Jessica Roiz
For Dímelo Flow, there are producers who want to sing, and those who don’t—like himself. “I never wanted to be a singer,” he tells Billboard. “I’ve always wanted to be the executive producer, the lead of the album who has all the ideas, and who produces the music.”
Now, after being the mastermind behind hits such as Sech’s “Otro Trago,” Dalex’s “Pa’ Mi,” and Anitta and J Balvin’s “Downtown,” to name a few, Dímelo Flow (real name: Jorge Valdes Vasquez) presents his debut studio album Always Dream (RichMusic) as artist-producer.
Home to 28 tracks, previously-released singles “Se Le Ve,” “Hickey,” “Crazy,” “Winnie Pooh” and “Suelta,” the album notably unites a wave of collaborators from la vieja and nueva escuela, inspired by the compilation albums of the early 2000s.
“It’s what I lived with albums such as ‘Mas Flow,’ ‘Flow la Discoteca,’ ‘MVP,’ ‘Los Benjamins.’ All of those albums were legendary in the genre, and I always dreamt of doing something like that,” he explains. “Everyone in life has a dream, and for me, it became a reality to make an album like this.”
Over the years, the Panamanian artist has built strong relationships with emerging and renowned artists, who he says confide in his work and did not hesitate to form part of the album.
The first ones to jump on board were his longtime collaborators Sech, Lenny Tavárez, and Justin Quiles, while J Balvin was the last one to join, about two weeks ago. Together, they form part of the album’s focus track “Qué Me Contás.”
Other features on the set include Ozuna, Farruko, Zion & Lenox, Wisin, Nicky Jam, Jowell & Randy, Arcangel, Reik, and newcomers Mariah Angeliq, Beéle, paopao, Thyago, among many more.
“All of the songs are produced by me and a team of people I work with,” he elaborates, adding that the album took from six months to a year to create. “I always get involved from the beginning of the song to the last detail. Whether the song is mine or not, it has to be a hit regardless. In this case, it was difficult for me because I had to recruit more artists but it was a beautiful process that I’m always going to remember for the rest of my life.”
Paying homage to his Panamanian roots, Flow also recruited artists El Roockie, Kafu Banton, and Boza, in addition to Sech.
“We’re all representing our flag and our country. It was time for Panama to show the talent we have,” he proudly shares. “Not only in Panama, but there’s also Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, there are artists from all over the world coming out, and that helps us to expand the genre.”
As for his top tracks in Always Dream? Flow recommends the focus single featuring Balvin, “Partela” because Eladio Carrion is singing reggaeton, and “FKU” because it sample’s Divino’s timeless hit “Pobre Corazón.”