Reik Frontman Jesus Navarro Talks New Album & Nicky Jam Collaboration

Jesus Alberto Navarro
GV Cruz/WireImage

Jesus Alberto Navarro, lead vocal of Reik, performs at Coliseo Jose M. Agrelot on Aug. 15, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

Known for their love songs and romantic ballads, Reik is ready to shake things up a bit with their upcoming album Des/Amor, which includes a collaboration with urban superstar Nicky Jam.

The Mexican trio composed of Julio Ramírez, Bibi Marín and frontman Jesús Navarro, knew from the get-go that this new album would be about risk-taking, getting out of their comfort zone and catching up with an ever-changing music industry. Their previous albums Reik, Secuencia, Un Día Más and Peligro helped establish them in the pop genre, but this time around they're experimenting with reggae, folk and reggaeton rhythms.

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Navarro talked to Billboard about the collaboration with Jam, his hopes to connect with a different audience and his upcoming tour that will accompany the release of Des/Amor

How did you and the rest of the band know that it was time to experiment and include different sounds and rhythms in your music?

In the last album we tried to do something different also in terms of production so we went into the electronic field but it didn't feel quite as organic and it didn't make much sense, like it does in this album. In Des/Amor we found what we were looking for and the album is very different than from anything else we've done. Obviously we still have our ballad songs but we have tracks that have a reggae feeling to it, there's a reggaeton version of "Ya Me Enteré" with Nicky Jam, which came out awesome. 

How did the collaboration with Nicky come about?

He started working with my managers and Mexico and when I met him, he told me that most of his songs start out as ballads and that made me very curious. We started talking about writing something together and while we were writing, I showed him "Ya Me Enteré" and he thought it was amazing. So we went to Medellín, Colombia to record the new version and it was a great experience. 

Do you think this new album will kind of help you reach a new audience?

Ten years ago there was a market for every genre, but now we're competing with so many other artists. We felt that we needed to make things a bit more fun, different and interesting. We've been working for 12 years now since our first album and we're not in a fragile stage as artists anymore. We have more confidence in what we type of music we want to put out there. We'll see how the audience takes this change, you never know. And I hope it will connect with people. 

You definitely dedicated a lot of time to this album, your last one, Peligro, came out in 2011. 

It took us forever to make it, but we wanted to be very critical about this album. We were also touring non-stop and sometimes you need to take a little breather and appreciate everything that has happened. We wanted to come genuinely excited to be back like we are right now.  

Can we expect a tour soon after the release of the album?

Absolutely. That's the whole point! To be able to go out there and sing our songs with the fans.

Des/Amor is set to release June 17. 

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