Coronavirus

Nicky Jam Says He Knew 'Automatically' He Had to Jump on 'X' With J Balvin: Watch

Nicky Jam sat down with Billboard to share the story of how “X,” his collaborative track with J Balvin, came about as part of the “How It Went Down” video series.

The musician says that when J Balvin brought him the song, which had already been written by “his people,” he knew automatically that it was a hit upon hearing the beat -- and that it was something that he needed to be a part of.

“Normally I write my own songs, but I felt it was something I needed to do, to come with a fresh sound,” says Nicky Jam. “Sometimes it’s good for a writer to switch and get writings from somebody else’s pencil, so you can sound fresh and sound different -- cause I’ve been writing my songs for so many years that probably it was a good thing to sound a little bit different.”

He admits that there was a moment when he grew nervous about the collaboration because the beat that he initially fell in love with was being changed. “I told him, 'You gave me a recipe and then I’m liking it, and then when I approve it, you’re gonna take it away from me,'” Nicky Jam relates. “And he was like, ‘Yeah, I totally agree with you.’ We left the beat exactly how it was, and I was so happy that it stayed the way we worked it.”

Speaking of the song’s lyrics, Nicky Jam explains that the song is about being who he is, despite what people may say. “They say I’m a player, they say I’m not good for you, 'coz I like a lot of girls or whatever. But I’m just gonna tell you, 'I’m not gonna deny it, I’m just gonna say it,'” he tells Billboard. “That’s who I am, so that’s what you got, baby.”

You can hear the full story of how "X" went down in the video above, and listen to the full song below.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.