Neoperreo is a Reggaetón subgenre that was established in the mid-to-late 2010s. The term ‘neoperreo’ was first coined by Chilean musician Tomasa del Real, who named her reggaeton collective after the term. Her parties, also branded 'neoperreo' events, were originally organized in Chile, but quickly spread all throughout South America, making them integral to the quick rise of the genre. Central within neoperreo is a focus on aesthetic and the idea of features that are emblematic for the genre, like (high) fashion, tattoos, and celebrating femininity. In order to realize this, neoperreo identifies as an apolitical, decentralized, inclusive movement, which aims to both empower women and make clubbing safer and less misogynistic.
Since its early days, reggaeton has been closely associated with 'perreo', a dance style that focused on grinding. In the early 2010s, however, the classic reggaeton sound and song structure was almost completely replaced by a warmer, hazier kind of reggaeton, which was partly realized by making the dembow less prominent and more subdued. Neoperreo, initially, laid its primary focus on emphasizing the dembow as the main element of the composition, in order to make perreo a more important aspect of reggaeton culture again. Over the next few years, neoperreo was more generally used to describe a new era of perreo music. Neoperreo actively distinguishes itself from contemporary reggaeton by aiming for more futuristic, forward-thinking sound design and song structure. Neoperreo vocalists often find inspiration in Trap, Alternative R&B and the vocal delivery of early reggaeton. Neoperreo producers, on the other hand, are influenced by (global) contemporary club movements, including, but not limited to Grime, UK Bass, Kuduro, Digital Cumbia and Deconstructed Club. These influences are most frequently seen on instrumental neoperreo tapes, but shine through occasionally on releases with vocalists.
Latin club labels NAAFI and Extasis Records both have played an important role in maintaining, curating and distinguishing the neoperreo sound from reggaeton - producers from both labels often produce for neoperreo artists. The new focus on darker, futuristic beats resulted in a small cultural shift, where producers suddenly were just as important as the singers. This ultimately resulted in a steep increase in (largely) instrumental perreo releases, and a lot of experimental Latin club producers dubbing their own music neoperreo.
A key difference between contemporary reggaeton and neoperreo is the importance of DJ culture in neoperreo. Clara! and Lizz were among the pioneers of translating neoperreo and its club influences to a DJ format. Both contemporary reggaeton DJ sets and neoperreo DJ sets have a rhythm-focused approach, but neoperreo DJ sets differentiate themselves by their eclectic, inclusive approach to mixing, often mixing in contemporary club genres from all over the world. While vocals are an essential aspect of contemporary reggaeton sets, they are in no way a prerequisite for neoperreo mixes, since a lot of neoperreo material doesn’t include vocals.
Near the end of the 2010s, neoperreo rose to worldwide popularity. Whereas contemporary reggaeton was always inherently local to Latin America, Spain slowly manifested itself as one of the main neoperreo hubs, emphasizing the decentralized nature of neoperreo. Spanish-based neoperreo singers Bad Gyal, La Zowi and Ms Nina all gained worldwide fanbases, while Yung Beef’s Barcelona-based label La Vendición Records started signing South American artists, like Chilean Paul Marmota. .