“Marry Me” and “Encanto” star Maluma on his favorite women

It’s five days after Maluma’s 28th birthday, which he celebrated in ultimate banger style at a $25 million Las Vegas mansion. And it’s nine days until “Marry Me,” his acclaimed big screen debut opposite Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, opens on Valentine’s Day weekend.

But for all the excitement, he’s the picture of the cold as he strolls into a midtown Manhattan studio for his Alexa photoshoot. Undoubtedly, it’s getting harder for the Colombian reggaeton sensation to walk down the street just minutes from Times Square without being besieged by swooning fans. After all, he is one of the most eligible bachelors in the world. And while his “Marry Me” character Bastian is married to fellow pop star Kat Velez (played by Lopez), happily single Maluma isn’t sure he’ll ever say that “yes, I do.”

“I’m not sure if I want to get married,” says the artist, born Juan Luis Londoño Arias. “Of course I want to have a family; I’ve always dreamed of having children. But I don’t know if I’m going to get married… I’m so young, you know, I don’t have to start thinking about it. But now I’m concentrating on my career.”

Maluma for Alexa Magazine
Royalties from Maluma shirt, $80 at Macy’s; pants, $1,250 at Dior men, 107 Greene St.; Dulcis earrings, $185 Swarovski; Daylight Necklace, $145 The M Jewelers New York; Petrv’s “Scarab” signet ring (on Maluma’s left index finger) in 18k yellow gold, $5,200, and Hex station band (right index finger) in 18k yellow gold with diamonds, $3,650, both at David Yurman; “Charlotte” 14k yellow gold ring (left ring finger), $595 at Meyuri
Kurt Iswarienko

And a muy caliente career it is. He’s currently touring the globe on his Papi Juancho world tour, which – named after his 2020 album and alter ego – took place at a sold-out Madison Square Garden last October. Winner of both a Latin Grammy and an MTV Video Music Award, Maluma has worked with everyone from Madonna and The Weeknd to Colombians Shakira and J Balvin. In addition to “Marry Me,” he voiced the character of Mariano in the Disney hit “Encanto.” And he will launch his Royalty by Maluma clothing line at Macy’s today after the brand’s perfume hit department stores earlier this month.

He’s certainly learned a lot watching his “Marry Me” co-star Lopez use her skills as a master multitasker and transition from music and movies to fashion and beauty.

“I was a huge fan of Jennifer’s, but I became even more of a fan when I met her in person,” says Maluma. “I love the way she works, how she handles every situation, how professional she is. I love that about her.”

Maluma for Alexa Magazine
Royalties from Maluma coat, $150 and shorts, $80, both at Macy’s; Tank, Maluma’s own; Socks, $10 each The Paint Shop; Nike x Sacai x CLOT Sneakers, $180 (similar styles) at Nike; Dulcis earrings, $185 Swarovski; Herringbone Necklace, $190 Meyuri; Medusa Necklace, starting at $850 Versace; 18k yellow gold signet ring with diamonds, $8,500 David Yurman
Kurt Iswarienko

He had tried working with Lopez through her ex-husband, Marc Anthony. (The boys had collaborated on a salsa version of Maluma’s 2017 hit “Felices los 4.”) “I’m very close to Marc and have always told him I wanted to work with Jennifer,” he says. “I was like, ‘Yo bro, I don’t know if you two talk or whatever, maybe because you have kids together. But I want to work with her.’”

Maluma got his wish when Lopez asked him to play the “douchebag” Bastian in “Marry Me.” The two bonded immediately, both as co-stars and musical collaborators, releasing the singles “Pa’ Ti” and “Lonely” in 2020. ‘ he recalls. “Maybe it’s because she still has Latin roots, you know? So she knows how I feel when I listen to music I love. We felt this immediate connection.”

Their bond extended to filming a big scene for the rom-com (in which they sing the theme tune) on Bronx native Lopez’s home lawn during Maluma’s sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden in October 2019. “It was beautiful…Jennifer to have in my garden,” he says. “She lived in New York for a long time. She was the local.”

Maluma for Alexa Magazine
Sweater vest, $975, pants, $1,295, “Biggie” leather mules, price call, Medusa necklace, $850, and La Greca chain bracelet, $595, all similar styles included Versace; Lucent stud earrings, $115 each, both at Swarovski; 18k yellow gold signet ring with diamonds, $8,500 David Yurman
Kurt Iswarienko

“I love her…I love what she’s made of her life.”

Maluma on his inspirational friendship with Madonna

Maluma has also turned to another superstar pop diva – Madonna – for advice. The two Ms met at the 2018 VMAs and quickly formed a friendship; He represented his Colombian hometown on their 2019 single “Medellín.”

“She works harder than me,” he says of the 35-year-old singer. “I remember we were recording in LA; We were in the studio two days in a row. I was going to f*ck go to the hotel, change and take a shower, and she said, ‘No, we’re staying right here.’ If she doesn’t complain, why am I complaining?

“I love her,” he continues. “I love what she has made of her life.”

Like Madonna and J.Lo before him, Maluma poses for Versace. He is the face of the house’s spring-summer 2022 men’s campaign. “It reminds me a lot of my grandparents – they loved Versace too,” he says. “And then I showed them the campaign and they’re super proud of it.”

Maluma for Alexa Magazine
Leather jacket, $7,350 and leather pants, $6,800, both at Louis Vuitton, 116 Greene St.; Faux Fur Cowboy Hat, $485 Kelsey Randall; Passionoir M Collection pearl earrings, $4,900 Mikimoto
Kurt Iswarienko

And now heartthrob Hawái has his own clothing line, Royalty by Maluma. How exactly did he go from pop singer to clothing maker? “I think that the mind is infinite. You can create anything you want. And I love fashion,” he says. “I would say the inspiration comes from my roots, my country, my city, my family… I love denim, I love different fabrics that remind me of the mountains of Medellín. Also, the clothes we designed for women reminded me a bit of my mother.”

Maluma made sure his line fits and flatters all body types. “I’ve designed things that anyone can wear – size doesn’t matter,” he says. “If you know how to rock it, you’ll be comfortable with it.”

His brand’s name, Royalty, was inspired by the love – and loyalty – shown to him by his fans in his hometown. One of his 30+ tattoos (he’s “lost count”) is a crown on the left side of his neck in her honor. “I got it because of my fans,” he says. “If the king has a crown, it’s because the townspeople gave it to him. I felt like the people in my hometown, they loved my music, they loved my movement.”

Maluma for Alexa Magazine
$1,040 turtleneck, $1,370 pants and $10,900 leather jacket, all included Louis Vuitton, 116 Greene St.; Discolouis sneakers, $3,395 Christian Louboutin, 965 Madison Ave.; Millenia stud earrings, $95 Swarovski; Sunglasses, $260 each Illesteva
Kurt Iswarienko

On April 30th, Maluma will perform at the Medellín for the World concert at Atanasio Girardot Stadium in front of 50,000 fans. It’s that kind of support that makes him want to keep his home base in Medellín (although he also has a spot in Miami). It also keeps him close to his family, which inspired his musical nickname — a combination of the first two letters of his mother’s name (Marlli), his father’s name (Luis), and his sister’s name (Manuela).

But the star represents his country wherever he goes, which is why it was so special for him to be a part of Encanto – an animated film about a Colombian family. (He addresses Isabela’s handsome fiancé, Mariano.)

“I wanted to be in the film so badly that I was trying to find a way to record the vocals in the middle of the ‘Papi Juancho’ tour,” he says. “I love being part of one of the films that are changing the face of my country. I feel connected to the film because that’s what I’m trying to do, you know? I don’t want people talking about Colombia and thinking about drugs, violence, Pablo Escobar. This is not Colombia anymore… we are proud to be part of the change.”

Maluma for Alexa Magazine
The singer’s new clothing line, Royalty by Maluma, launches at Macy’s tomorrow. “I’ve designed things that anyone can wear – size doesn’t matter,” he says.
Kurt Iswarienko

Although Maluma sings in English for the first time on “Marry Me,” don’t expect him to give up recording in Spanish. Just check out his sexy new single “Cositas de la USA”. “I’m a big fan of American hip-hop: 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Dr. dr I grew up listening to this music,” he says. “But my favorite is Spanish [language] Music… and I won’t change it. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ll never sing in English. But let’s wait and see.”

And while he’s also holding back on thoughts of marriage, Maluma says he’s had some “beautiful relationships.” He was dating model Natalia Barulich and then, after they broke up, was spotted getting cozy with another model, Vivien Rubin. Recently, the self-proclaimed romantic has been linked to Colombian architect Susana Gómez.

“I don’t want to say I’m in a relationship because I’m not,” he says. “I just let things flow. You know I only care about the people I love. I take care of my career. Everything is going in a good way. I am happy and at peace with myself. I’m just living a beautiful moment.”

Photos by Kurt Iswarienko; Fashion Editor: Serena French; Stylist: Anahita Moussavian; Image editing: Jessica Hober; fashion assistant: Sean Rodriguez; Maintainer: Cynthia Alvarez of The Wall Group

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