Latin Artist on the Rise: How Understanding His Sound Earned Lasso His First Billboard Hit

Lasso (real name: Andres Vicente Lazo Uslar) was 11 years old when he discovered his passion for music. One December his father, who was also a music aficionado, brought an electric guitar home. “My friends and I began learning how to play the guitar,” he tells Billboard. “We had no clue about music, but we somehow convinced our school to do a talent show so that we could perform.” 

And that’s exactly when a then fifth-grader Lasso told his mother he wanted to pursue music for the rest of his life. 

In 2012, the Venezuelan singer-songwriter unleashed his debut album Sin Otro Sentido, which also marked the first time he realized that he had garnered a following. “They had placed all my CDs at the front of the store, and that same day, they were all sold out,” he recalls. “The music store also had a ranking of the best-performing albums of the week, and mine was at the top. I was impressed.” 

Since then, Lasso has been a Latin Grammy best new artist nominee and released a number of key collaborations, including “Un Millon Como Tu” with Chilean artist Cami, “Subtitulos” with Mexican pop star Danna Paola, and “Ni Vivo, Ni Muerto” with fellow Venezuelan act Micro TDH. But this year, he opted to stay away from features, and instead, give fans a more intimate look into his upcoming project. 

Amongst the singles released in advance of that planned set — which he currently hopes to release in early 2023 — are “DIOS,” “Algodon,” “Yo-Yo,” and the track that earned him his first Billboard hit, “Ojos Marrones.” 

“I remember that it began blowing up on June 17, and I didn’t understand why,” he notes of the song’s virality on TikTok. “It’s weird, because I invented a trend for the song and nobody paid attention to it. Suddenly, someone used the sound to compare Justin Bieber’s relationship with Selena Gomez with his relationship with his wife Hailey Bieber, and I thought it was such a bad idea to be comparing relationships. But then I saw that everyone began doing the trend.” 

Fueled by its success on social media, Lasso entered the Billboard charts for the first time when “Ojos Marrones” peaked at No. 66 on the Billboard Global 200 chart and at No. 39 on the Billboard Global Excl. US chart, both dated Sept. 17. The song also earned him his first and only entry on the Billboard Argentina Hot 100 chart (dated Sept. 10). A remix with Sebastian Yatra also exists, which came together organically.

“The fact that you’re trying to forget an ex-partner by dating someone new, but there are times that you can’t forget them — I feel that there’s something very human about the lyrics,” he explains. 

Currently, Lasso is on his Algodon World Tour, which will make its way to the U.S. in November, and plans to release his new single “Corriendo con Tijeras” part of his upcoming studio album, which he says will have no collaborations, and only songs “for the fans who follow him since day one.” 

Below, learn more about this month’s Latin Artist on the Rise, in his own words:

Name: Andres Vicente Lazo Uslar

Age: 34

Recommended Song: “Ojos Marrones”

Biggest Achievement: The fact of knowing that great things can be achieved only with work and discipline. I was looking for a hit, a big collaboration for a long time but it was impossible. So I focused on the people who listen to me and who value me. I was trying to achieve something that didn’t exist. So, I calmed down and started seeing music completely differently. My biggest achievement is understanding my music and transforming my goal into simply the things that I enjoy.

What’s Next: My new single ‘Corriendo con Tijeras’ drops October 27. God willing, the album comes out in March of next year. But my plans, for now, are to continue touring and releasing new music. Fortunately, all the tracks are already recorded, and I don’t need to stress out while on the road.

Jessica Roiz