Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias and Others Dish on Their 2014 Latin Chart Smashes

Marc Anthony, Prine Royce & Romeo Santos
Getty Images

Marc Anthony, Prine Royce & Romeo Santos talk the stories behind their hottest midyear hits.

The stories behind 10 of the hottest midyear hits from Prince Royce, Romeo Santos and Marc Anthony.

The sound of tropical-laced romance dominated radio airwaves for the first half of the year, according to Billboard's Hot Latin Songs recap of hits charting in the issues dated Dec. 7, 2013 through June 28, 2014. The style was a softening of sorts from the more uptempo urban fare that has ­permeated Latin music for the past couple of years. Save for two tracks -- the life-affirming "Vivir Mi Vida" and "Adrenalina" -- in these hits, it's all about the girl, as sung by the boys. Prince Royce's No. 1-ranking title, "Darte un Beso" (Give You a Kiss), says it all. Rhythmic and danceable, yes, but tinged with love.

1. "Darte un Beso"

Prince Royce
Sony Music Latin

"It's such a huge record," says Royce, 25, who co-wrote the hit with Andres Castro, Guianko "Yanko" Gomez and Juan Riveros. "I was so excited to see that the first single had so much [chart success]. [The track spent 14 weeks at No. 1 and a full year in the top 10.] It has a reggae vibe. When we did this song I was thinking beach, I was thinking happiness, I was thinking bright. And we were able to portray that vibe."

2. "Propuesta Indecente"

Romeo Santos
Sony Music Latin

"It's a mix of bachata with tango," says Santos, 33. "We filmed the video in Buenos Aires, at the Biblioteca Nacional and Palacio San Miguel. It's a very interesting situation because it's about this guy who sees this girl for the first time and makes her an 'indecent' proposal. Well, it could be considered indecent or adventurous. It's not something that happened to me, but it's one of those situations a lot of people can identify with."

3. "Odio"

Romeo Santos featuring Drake
Sony Music Latin

"Getting Drake was a long process," says Santos. "I said, 'This song is so incredible to me and so personal that I'll wait for you.' He's a really nice guy. I think Drake is a great rapper and he's not rapping about dumb typical shit, but he also has a good tone. And you know what's crazy? A lot of people were asking for that: 'If Drake and Romeo do a song together, I'd die.' He knew about Aventura. In fact, he says it in one of his songs: 'Latin girls love me like I'm Aventura.' "

4. "Vivir Mi Vida"

Marc Anthony
Sony Music Latin

"RedOne and his [songwriting/production] team were at my house, and one of his guys played Cheb Khaled's 'C'est la Vie' for my [then-10-year-old] son Ryan," recalls Anthony, 45. "And Ryan went nuts. He runs upstairs and gets [his brother] Cristian and goes, 'Cristian, you got to hear it!' When I saw their reaction, that's when the idea was born. I knew I wanted to write a song that in nutshell could explain my outlook on life. Life is going to happen. I'm surprised when it doesn't. I got together with Julio Reyes [to write the Spanish lyrics], and it wasn't that difficult. I wanted the message to be simple, but I didn't want to dictate to anyone. I didn't want to talk at people. I wanted them to scream it at a concert in first person."

5. "El Perdedor"

Enrique Iglesias featuring Marco Antonio Solis
Universal Music Latino/UMLE

"I wrote this song nine years ago and I put it away, because I always wanted to record it with Marco Antonio Solis, who's one of my favorite artists," says Iglesias, 39. "I was waiting for the perfect moment to do it. It's probably one of my three favorite songs of all time as a composer. I met Marco Antonio when I released my very first album. I had the pleasure of singing one of his songs, and from that moment I always dreamt of recording a song with him, but one that I had written. I've always considered his one of the most beautiful voices that exist. That's the first song I wrote with Descemer Buenoeight years ago. It spent eight years stored away."

6. "Hermosa Experiencia"

Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga
Discos Sabinas

"Most of my songs are romantic songs," says songwriter Horacio Palencia, 31. "This one was born on a cloudy day as I drove alongside the beach in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, in the early morning. It's a love song, but with a ranchero touch. I think songs that take too many days to write aren't the best, in my point of view. When you're inspired, the song just flows very quickly."

7. "Loco"

Enrique Iglesias featuring Romeo Santos
Universal Music Latino/UMLE

"Romeo and I are friends," says Iglesias. "We're always in touch, we talk a lot, and we had wanted to do something together for a long time. I wrote the song six years ago [with Descemer Bueno]. I had recorded a demo and put it away, but I wasn't really happy with it. But Romeo liked it and gave it that special touch. It's very sentimental but has a lot of movement."

8. "Adrenalina"

Wisin featuring Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin
Sony Music Latin

"Initially I didn't write 'Adrenalina' thinking it would become an anthem to the World Cup," says Wisin (real name Juan Luis Morera), 34, who co-wrote the song with Lopez, Martin, Carlos Ortiz and Jose J. "Gocho" Torres. "But I am so happy with the huge response to the song. I had worked with both Jennifer and Ricky before, and it took a lot of work to coordinate all of the schedules. So much time that it felt like it was not going to come together at all. After a long time, as if by magic, everything came together perfectly: The song, the video, the partnership with Univision for the World Cup -- just as if it was meant to be."

9. "Bailando"

Enrique Iglesias featuring Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona
Republic/Universal Music Latino/UMLE

"I wrote 'Bailando' a year ago with Descemer Bueno," says Iglesias. "We recorded a demo and Descemer goes back to Cuba, has the brilliant idea of recording it with Gente de Zona [whose members get co-writing credit] and they do a video. A friend of mine called me one day and says, 'I just went to Cuba and I turned on the radio and this song came up and I loved it.' So I went to YouTube to find this song, and I said, 'Holy shit, I wrote it!' I called Descemer, and we recorded it with Gente de Zona. The point is, you never know. That was a fluke."

10. "Mujer de Piedra"

Gerardo Ortiz
Bad Sin/DEL/Sony Music Latin

"This song describes the malice that a human being can express, when he finds himself buried by the evil that comes with treason and infidelity," says Ortiz, 24, the regional Mexican singer-songwriter known for his corridos, or ballads. "The song actually comes from two incomplete songs I'd begun to write. I married the verse of one song with the chorus of another. It was the first time as a composer that I did something like this. So I let it flow and decided to share my ambivalence with my fans. 'Mujer de Piedra' is a song born of the things I hear. I observe what happens around me, and I only add the most important ingredient: my feelings as a composer."


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