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Nicky Jam: El Ganador Review 2018 TV-Show Series Cast Crew Online
Stars: Nicky Jam, Darkiel, Avery Rodríguez
Review: Nicky Jam is one of the few artists who truly started from the bottom, overcame real adversity, fell back again and then bounced back bigger than ever. Born to a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father, the Reggaeton legend never had much as a kid and worked odd jobs to help feed himself and his family growing up in a poor neighborhood. It wasn’t until Nicky found his calling in music when he knew his voice would be his way out of poverty.
Though he released his first album, Distinto A Los Demás, in 1994 when he was just 13-years old, it took the singer/rapper another 7 years to really come through with consistent solo albums. Nevertheless, Jam’s ability to weave hardcore Spanish raps and melodic pop harmonies together made him a global superstar. Combined with his early work with another pioneer, Daddy Yankee, his status in Reggaeton rivals few other artists.
As the singer’s current smash single “X” with J. Balvin breaks streaming records and wins him over new fans — see Will Smith — Nicky has even more in store for 2018. With his new album Fénix racking up sales, the charismatic underdog is also ready to debut his Netflix/ Telemundo drama series El Ganador, a new remix with Jaden Smith and much more.
“El Ganador is the story of my life,” Nicky tells VIBE. “How I battled drug and alcohol addiction, my mom and dad had the same problems [and] how we all got out of it. We’re trying to tell the youth and the world what route to take. Right now, there are a lot of kids that need to get out of that street/thug mentality and make it right. I am living proof that if you do right, right will come to you.
New on Netflix today, at least in Latin America, Spain and here in England, is Nicky Jam: El Ganador, the biographical original series that chronicles the rise, fall and subsequent “rebirth” of mega-popular award-winning reggaeton singer-songwriter Nicky Jam, who plays himself in the series.
One version of himself, anyway. The 13-episode series (shot in México, Colombia, Puerto Rico and New York, and produced by Endemol Shine Boomdog for Netflix and Telemundo, which holds the release rights for the United States and Puerto Rico) bounces around through various time periods, tones, countries and cultures; Avery Rodríguez plays him as a child, while singer and rapper Darkiel plays a slightly older version.
Nicky Jam: El Ganador presumes a certain familiarity with the titular artist and an investment in his rise to fame, his struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, his fall, his relocation to Colombia and his resulting rejuvenation. Anyone checking out the documentary series will likely have that familiarity with the Latin Grammy winner already, but the universality of his from-the-ashes story will likely be enough to satisfy anyone who doesn’t.
Executive produced and directed by Jessy Terrero, best-known as a director of music videos, Nicky Jam: El Ganador taps into what’s compelling about redemption and against-all-odds success, but he has another agenda in how he filters those broadly relatable themes through the specificity of Latino culture. Due to his close connections to the reggaeton music scene, Terrero is a Latino filmmaker speaking directly to a Latino audience, repurposing a specific musical wave that has given Latino artists a visible pop-cultural platform to display their authentic stories on the world’s most popular streaming service.
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