Who Is Iñigo Quintero & How Did He Reach No. 1 Globally on Spotify?

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On Tuesday (Oct. 24), Iñigo Quintero’s “Si No Estás” garnered more than 5.7 million plays in just one day, an impressive amount that pushed it to the top of Spotify’s global chart. It’s the first time a solo Spanish artist has achieved this milestone (previously Canary Islander Quevedo accomplished the feat alongside Argentina’s Bizarrap with “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 52”), and it’s all the more shocking because, at least outside of Spain, Quintero was until recently a complete unknown.

The song also reached the coveted top 10 on Billboard‘s global charts, peaking at No. 4 on Billboard Global Excl. U.S. and No. 10 on Billboard Global 200. And with daily plays surpassing such popular tracks as Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers,” Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” or Young Miko’s “Wiggy,” the meteoric rise is also enigmatic in that it has occurred without any traditional promotion, publicity, press releases or information about the artist behind the sensation. (Billboard Español requested an interview with Quintero’s representative and the response was that he is not currently talking to the press).

With verses like “Esto es una alucinación/ Quiero ver tu otra mitad/ Alejarme de esta ciudad/ Y contagiarme de tu forma de pensar” (“This is a delusion/ I want to see your other half/ Get away from this city/ And immerse in your way of thinking”), “Si No Estás” is a piano-pop ballad that alludes to an intense obsession and longing for someone who is far away, and the anguish and pain that result from that separation — a song of unusual depth for a 2023 pop hit.

“Clearly, Iñigo’s songs are connecting with the people,” says Esteve Lombarte, founder of the Acqustic label, who represents the artist. “I think for a long time we’ve had more superficial songs focused on lives of great luxury — of cars, wealth, and houses — and nowadays, there are a lot more connecting with day-to-day problems that talk about love, friendship and other issues related to people’s concerns.”

What is certain is the power of the song and its meaning, which has generated a great deal of debate on social networks. “Si No Estás” has been interpreted in different ways, from a song dedicated to God, to a reflection on a romantic breakup.

Lombarte explains that the song began to go viral organically through TikTok, and immediately connected with listeners. “From that initial boost we decided to amplify [the song],” he says. Quintero connected with the label through his other artist Besmaya, and in March 2023 they signed him.

“The truth is that the success of ‘Si No Estás’ is an unprecedented triumph in the industry, but we believe that what is behind this song is a very talented artist,” Lombarte points out. “And the rest of the songs are really doing very well too. The proof of that is that ‘Sobredosis’ is already in the top 100 in Spain, and there will be more and more songs, and we will get to know more of the artist little by little.”

He continues: “The clearest proof is that countries like France, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Switzerland — non-Spanish-speaking countries — have also connected with the artist beyond the lyrics. It is part of the magic of this art.”

Other projects that Aqcustic manages are Malmö 040, Besmaya, Ciao Marina, Maren, Yarea, Inazio and Hey Kid. “After this great success, what we will do is to continue working and preparing songs. The important thing is to sit down, compose and work to release music that connect as well as ‘Si No Estás’ has connected,” adds Lombarte.

Additional reporting by Franchesca Guim.

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