Meet La Dani, the Queer Artist Changing the Reggaeton Scene in Spain

La Dani was called Macareno at school. She discovered this when she was older: Someone had made up that she’d said if she were a woman, she would want to be called Macarena, like the protagonist of the famous song by Los del Río. “In fact, I would have chosen another name, like Beyoncé,” she jokes today. 

A certain resilience has characterized the life of this young nonbinary star (she prefers the pronouns she/her or he/him to they/them), who is redefining reggaeton almost incidentally. “I don’t set out to write the songs in a particular way; it’s simply my perspective. I like men, so it’s normal that I sing to them. My lyrics, moreover, are autobiographical, so I naturally relate my life experiences,” she states, a year after making Macareno the name of her performance at the Teatro Madrid.

The reference to Beyoncé isn’t random: La Dani’s first big song was called “Como Beyoncé,” and her official debut was on pallets outside a bar in Malaga, the Spanish city where she was born. “After that, we were called to sing another day and, because we were embarrassed to appear with only one song, we wrote the second one, ‘Fiesta felina.’” At the time, she was already working with her producer, Guille, known as Estereotipo. 

All this happened in 2017, when in the absence of future plans, La Dani had considered studying interior design; her father, a military man, suggested she join the Marines. She also spent a month in Antwerp, working for Ann Demeulemeester. “It was a basic job—my mission was to count buttons,” La Dani hastens to clarify.

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