Manuel Medrano is an award-winning pop singer and songwriter from Colombia. Born in Cartagena de Indias in 1987, his musical career appears to have been destined rather than deliberately pursued -- at least initially. After missing a year of high school due to youthful mishaps, he was "punished" with the gift of a guitar. He taught himself to play and began writing songs at 16, observing the folk and pop styles of his country. He learned his craft by playing Bogota's bars for several years while continuing to compose. Some of the songs written during this period became hits later.
Medrano also took to making videos on YouTube, showcasing his vocal and guitar-playing skills with acoustic covers of hits by other artists. The view totals continued to rise and word of mouth spread. The songwriter issued "Afuera del Planeta," his first independently released single in 2015. The track circulated across the internet's social networks quickly, attracting the attention of Warner Bros; they signed him immediately.
His first single for the label, "Bajo el Agua," gained massive radio airplay, and its accompanying video reached 100 million views. Warner issued his self-titled debut full-length in 2015, containing both singles as well as a third, "Una y Otra Vez." All did well enough on the digital charts to garner Medrano not only two Latin Grammy nominations, but wins in the Mejor Nuevo Artista (Best New Artist) and Mejor Álbum Cantautor (Best Songwriting Album) categories. His first non-album single, "Complicidad," was issued in 2016 and charted not only in Colombia, but in Spain as well. ~ Thom Jurek
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