Smooth reggaeton specialist Jhay Cortez has built on years of background work to become one of the most commercially successful artists on the Universal Music Latino roster. Shortly after he debuted as a headlining artist, the singer, rapper, and songwriter scored a Top Ten hit on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart with a remix of "No Me Conoce" (2019), the same year he released his long-lasting debut album Famouz.
Based in New Jersey and originally from Puerto Rico — his roots are in Rio Piedras and Carolina — Jesús Manuel Nieves Cortes started to write and record at the age of 11. He was still a teenager when he worked on his first major releases, namely Zion & Lennox's Los Verdaderos and Tito El Bambino's El Patrón: Invencible. The latter won the 2011 Latin Grammy for Best Contemporary Tropical Album. Cortez co-wrote dozens of songs for other artists across the ensuing years, and in 2018 reached a new level as a contributor to Cardi B's "I Like It," Anuel AA's "Amanece," and Bad Bunny's "RLNDT." Cortez signed a deal with Universal Music Latino during this hot streak and made his solo debut with the Eyez on Me EP. Early in 2019, he appeared on Sky's "Bajo Cero," which raised his profile ahead of the full-length Famouz. The album was highlighted by a remix of "No Me Conoce" featuring J Balvin and Bad Bunny. The track quickly pierced Hot Latin Songs and eventually broke into the chart's Top Ten.
In 2020, Cortez followed Famouz with Famouz Reloaded, a digital-only series of album remixes including a host of collaborations with artists Cortez admired. They included "Somos Iguales" (ft. Zion & Lennox), "Deséame Suert" (ft. Karol G y Haze), "Imaginaste Remix" (ft. Wisin & Yandel), and "Easy Remix" (ft. Ozuna). The remix collection propelled Famouz to a Top Five peak and a 52-week run on the Latin Rhythm Albums charts. ~ Andy Kellman & Thom Jurek