When Pedro Tovar — Eslabon Armado‘s frontman — first came up with the melody to a new track back in January, he didn’t think much of it. He boxed the tune for a few days not knowing whether he’d come back to it or not. He did.
A few weeks later, Tovar and Peso Pluma started exchanging direct messages on social media and discussed a potential collaboration. “I told him that I really liked his music and he said he’d be down to do a song together,” recalls Tovar. So, he went back to that melody and began writing the lyrics to what is now known as the global hit song “Ella Baila Sola.”
Currently, the romantic sierreño track — not to be confused with a corrido, Tovar categorically explains — sits at No. 1 on the Billboard Global 200. It’s the first leader on the list for each act, as well as the first for the regional Mexican genre. Additionally, “Ella Baila Sola” has, so far, spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. On the Billboard Hot 100, the banger is No. 5 on the tally dated April 29 — the first Mexican music song to enter the top 10 on the chart.
Below, a breakdown of “Ella Baila Sola”:
Eslabon Armado, signed to indie label DEL Records, is no stranger to making history on the charts. After scoring four consecutive No. 1 albums on the Regional Mexican Albums chart between 2020-2021, the California-based, Mexican-American teenage group — known for their sad sierreño anthems “Jugaste Y Sufri” and “Con Tus Besos” — made history last year with Nostalgia, which became the first top 10-charting regional Mexican album ever on the Billboard 200.
While considered a new act, Peso Pluma has rapidly climbed to the top of the charts. In the past year alone, Billboard‘s Latin Artist on the Rise in March signed with indie label Prajin Records, his first record deal, and has so far placed 14 songs on the Hot Latin Songs chart. The corridos juggernaut joined Becky G at Coachella during her weekend one set and announced his first U.S. tour this year, which will kick off July 20 at L.A.’s YouTube Theater. Peso, who was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico is set to make his late-night TV debut on April 28 when he performs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
The song’s backstory
After talking to Peso on social media, Tovar wrote the lyrics to “Ella” in a matter of “two or three” days, he tells Billboard. He wrote the first half in one day, and two days later he wrote the second part. “Peso asked me to send him songs, so I wrote ‘Ella Baila Sola’ after we had messaged each other. I called him right after I finished writing it. I remember he was at an airport and I was like, ‘Hey bro, I have the song.’ He asked me to send it to him but I decided to sing it to him instead. ‘So I can see your reaction,’ I explained to him. He immediately fell in love with it. He was hella hyped.”
Peso adds, “It’s a song that many people can relate to, besides having the elements of the instruments that really make it stand out, people received it so well and are enjoying it as much as we enjoy it.”
The lyrics and the sound
The song tells the story of two compas (guy friends), who are at a gathering and spot a beautiful girl who is the belle of the ball. But don’t ask Tovar where he drew inspiration for that specific track — because, as he puts it, “I always say the same thing when they ask what inspired my lyrics: ‘I really don’t know,” he says. “For sure I knew that I wanted to tell a story and wanted it to have the point of view of two guys talking about a girl at a party.”
The sound strikes the perfect balance between Eslabon and Peso Pluma’s musical styles. “Each one of us did our own thing and it became its own style. No one forced anything, which in return made the song turn out so well,” Peso Pluma says. The core sound is sierreño, with the requinto as its leading guitar. For a tumbado effect, they added chachetas, trombone and the tololoche. “We used very specific instruments to get the sound we wanted and for it to sound like what is popular today,” adds Tovar, who also produced the song.