Maluma on Building His Porsche Collection, Buying Rolexes and Sage Advice from J.Lo

The Medellín native has sold 18 million albums, just launched a Mezcal brand—and shows no signs of slowing down.

The 28-year-old Colombian musician Maluma—born Juan Luis Londoño Arias—has been in the studio since he turned 16, when he decided that the famously tough world of pop music would be a more rewarding pursuit than his first ambition, professional soccer. It’s worked out: around 18 million album sales later, he has collaborated with Shakira, Ricky Martin and Jason Derulo. But his major crossover moment came back in 2019, when Madonna asked him to appear on her song “Medellín,” an ode to his hometown. A more recent accomplishment: appearing in the Jennifer Lopez rom-com Marry Me earlier this year. With 63 million Instagram followers, he is one of the most influential voices in music today. He also found time to launch a mezcal brand, Contraluz. As the kids might say, he’s booked and busy. 

What music makes you happy? 

My favorite genre ever is salsa. I have these memories of going to my grandparents’ house and listening to Héctor Lavoe, Celia Cruz, Willie Colón—all these legends. I do reggaeton, I do urban music, hip-hop, R&B, you know, pop. But I learned how to listen to music through salsa. 

What have you done recently for the first time? 

I came to Baja de Guadalupe to go to a winery. It was my first time walking around and seeing the grapes. For me, it was a beautiful experience. 

What apps do you use the most? 

Instagram is No. 1. Of course, I have to go on TikTok to see the movements with my music and see all the charts. And I have a bunch of camera apps to edit pictures and put on filters and things, because I’m a huge fan of photography. 

Do you do anything that’s analog? 

I have an amazing Canon camera. It’s not digital because it’s from, I don’t know, like, 1980. I’ve been taking advantage of it and taking regular pictures the way that we used to back in the day. 

First thing you do in the morning? 

Every time I wake up, I would say I am very grateful. For me, that’s the most important thing: I take a cup of coffee, try to meditate and pray and just be grateful with life. 

What in your wardrobe do you wear most often? 

I love vintage T-shirts. Every time I go to New York, I have this favorite spot, Metropolis Vintage. I go there and get all of these Metallica T-shirts, or Rolling Stones, Madonna, Michael Jackson. 

What do you crave most at the end of the day? 

I love being in bed. Just relaxing and taking an hour to evaluate the day. I love doing that when I’m about to go to bed. For me, that’s a priority every day. 

Who is your guru? 

My aunt [Yudy], she’s a yoga instructor. She introduced me to meditation when I was 13 years old. Then I met this amazing human being called Sadhguru. He came backstage and we did this crazy meditation that lasted 45 minutes, and I felt like for the first time I was in paradise. 

Who is your dealer, and what do they source for you? 

My jewelry dealer in New York—his name is Sal, but he’s more known as El Russo. He’s my friend, and he’s the one who’s been with me since I started, man. I met him nine years ago. He’s the one who sold me the first watch. 

What is your exercise routine, and how often do you do it? 

I wake up and have my cup of coffee. I don’t like having breakfast and then going to the gym. I do my cardio. I love lifting weights, too—for me, that’s the best way to get ripped. And with just one hour of exercise, I’m done. I feel you don’t have to go too far, you know, to achieve the body that you want. 

What do you collect? 

I’m creating my own Porsche collection. The first Porsche that I ever got was a Boxster, when I was 19 years old. And then I got a Ferrari, and I love Ferrari, and I got another vintage Ferrari—a Mondial from the ’80s. But to be honest, I wouldn’t change Porsche, because it’s a brand that I feel very connected to. Right now we have, like, nine Porsches. 

If you could learn a new skill, what would it be? 

Flying, like a superhero! That would be amazing. I could go everywhere faster. 

Drive or be driven? 

I love driving. Every time I go to Medellín, even if we have drivers or whatever, I always prefer driving my own car. For me, it’s like kind of a therapy. 

Are you wearing a watch? 

This was one of the latest watches that I got when I was in Geneva this summer on tour. It’s a white-gold Rolex Day-Date from 2019. It’s very rare, because it has diamonds on the bezel, dial and bracelet, and the hour markers are different-colored sapphires. I love watches, man. Buying watches is great if you’re in love with it. But don’t do it because of the social pressure, you know, because at the end of the day, you’re gonna lose your money. But if you do it for passion, you know, I agree with it.

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