Katia Temkin

Lauren Jauregui Embraces Her Cuban Roots With Sultry 'Lento' Video

'Bitch, I was raised by Caribbean waters,' she sings on the bilingual bop

Lauren Jauregui is reintroducing herself. After kickstarting her solo career with soulful, contemplative cuts like "Expectations" and "More Than That," the 23-year-old has returned with what's being billed as her first official single. And it was well worth the wait.

"Lento" (which means "Slow" in Spanish) is a sensual, bilingual bop that's all about getting lost in an entrancing rhythm and wanting to "go slow, a little slower." She opens the song in Spanish, but shifts to English for a second verse in which she brushes off bad energy: "I keep to myself, I don't need to be bothered / By your negativity, don't even bother / Level that tone, I ain't your daughter / Bitch, I was raised by Caribbean waters." That leads into a euphoric, aspirational bridge in which she pleads for someone to, "In-exhale one time / Align you breath with mine / Under an open sky, we fly."

The accompanying video, directed by Dawit N.M., is a suitably sultry affair that centers around a nighttime bonfire at the beach. As Jauregui's voice glides over Tainy's production, we see her feelin' the music in a shimmering gown as bodies dance around her. It also makes excellent use of slow-motion effects to up the glam factor — because going "slow" is what it's all about.

Ahead of her new single's release, Jauregui reflected on the tough times many are facing in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She told fans, "I had planned to give you this first taste of what's coming for some time. There was truly no way any of us could have prepared for what is happening right now, so I hope you receive 'Lento' with as much grace and love as is intended. I hope dancing to it helps your spirit feel joy, as you spend time with your loved ones and continue to cultivate love in the face of fear and uncertainty."

Though "Lento" marks Jauregui's first official solo single of 2020, she hasn't exactly been quiet. In February, she contributed the smoky "Invisible Chains" to the Birds Of Prey soundtrack, then lent her powerful pipes to Tainy and C. Tangana's "Nada." And it sounds like that creative streak is just getting started — "Lento" marks a new chapter for Jauregui, who has more new music on the horizon and a long-awaited debut album in the works.