For Blessd (real name: Stiven Mesa Londoño), a music career seemed unreachable.
A day in his life usually started at 2 a.m. where he would sell fruit at a market in his hometown Antioquia, Medellín in Colombia, and then attend school from 7 to 1 p.m. From there, he would hit a recording studio, where he would create his songs.
“I would make eight dollars to ten dollars per day at the market,” he tells Billboard. “With that money, I would record parts of a song. One day, I had enough money to record an intro, the other day, I would record a chorus, and so on.”
He recalls September 6, 2019, as the day “he will never forget” because one of his songs called “Una” had finally gone viral in the country.
“I stopped going to school to focus on the release of this song,” he says. “In one year, I performed at 500 schools and lots of local concerts. That’s when I met my manager Dr. Velasquez and he signed me to JM World Music.”
Ever since, it’s been non-stop for Blessd and his team, who expresses that they never stopped working during the pandemic outbreak in 2020. Part of Colombia’s new wave of hip-hop and reggaetón artists, Blessd is a talented artist and composer who can gracefully go from freestyle to a chanteo to singing. He credits reggaetón veteran Arcangel and Venezuelan rapper Akapellah as his biggest source of inspiration.
“I want to bring a refreshing sound to everything that’s happening in music right now,” he says. “I want the world to see that just like in Puerto Rico, there’s a lot of great emerging talent in Colombia.”
One of the first renowned artists to believe in him? Maluma.
The two artists collaborated for the first time on Blessd’s “Imposible” remix, a song that originally became a viral hit on social media and in local radio stations and clubs. The juicy reggaetón remix, which has 7.5 million on-demand song streams in the U.S., according to MRC Data, ignited a friendship between the two — resulting in an upcoming collab with Blessd, Philip Ariaz, and duo Kapla & Miky called “La Nueva en el Mapa.”
“He wants to raise the flag,” Blessd says of Maluma. “There is no other artist like him helping those of us who are emerging so much. He’s doing a job that no one else has done. I respect him as an artist and triple as a person because of that.”
With a lot of effort, work, and conviction, Blessd has also landed collaborations with artists such as Black Eyed Peas, Piso 21, Yomo, and his go-to producer Ovy on the Drums. “It’s a beautiful story,” he assures. “Because I come from having nothing and not knowing what to do, to working with big artists. Music saved me.”
Below, learn more about this month’s Latin Artist on the Rise.
Name: Stiven Mesa Londoño a.k.a. Blessed. Of his artistic name, he says: “I’m Catholic and I believe in God a lot. Ever since I was little, I would leave everything in his hands. I feel that my faith is what has led my career.”
Recommended Song: “Hace Tiempo”
Major Accomplishment: “To be able to help and support my family with my work.” In addition, Blessd was recently named part of YouTube Music’s Foundry Class of 2021.
What’s Next: “I was surprised to see in an interview that Myke Towers said he wanted to collaborate with me. That would be a dream come true! But for now, more music. My debut EP is dropping in September. It will have only one collaboration with Lyanno because it’s one of my favorite tracks. I’ll be doing concerts around many countries, including at the Ozuna Fest in the Bahamas. Basically, ‘Blessd International’ is coming. A new stage of my career.”