'Short, Precise and Catchy': Farruko Breaks Down His Recipe For a Successful Single

Farruko
Esdras T. Thelusma

Farruko

Previewing his forthcoming album, Farruko has released his new single "La Tóxica" -- a core reggaetón track that takes the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter back to his roots -- today (July 24).

"It's the kind of reggaetón that made me," Farruko tells Billboard. "I always experiment with different rhythms but I wanted to go back to my roots with this one."

Penned by Farru, Sharo Towers, Ghetto and K4G, "La Tóxica" starts off with a simple piano tune. Then, nearly one minute in, an explosive reggaetón beat carries the rest of the song. And, as a true testament to Farruko's slick writing skills, it includes a catchy chorus line.

"I always make sure that my songs have good content, but I also make sure I include a good hook. To me, it's crucial to have something that is short, precise and catchy. It's what sticks," he says.

The track was written back in February but the video, directed by Fernando Lugo, was shot last month in Miami. "It was challenging because of COVID-19 and the lockdown but we took all the precautionary measures to stay safe," Farruko says.

In an interview with Billboard, Farruko -- who is currently working on collaborations with Luis Fonsi and Enrique Iglesias, and the newly-signed artists to his Carbon Music Fiber label -- breaks down his new single "La Tóxica."
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The Name: "It's called 'La Tóxica' because it can be a toxic person or a situation that is toxic. I think a lot of couples go through this phase where either the relationship turns sour or one of them becomes toxic. And I like that the word is gender neutral, so anyone can relate to the lyrics. I also noticed that the word toxic was being used a lot on social media, so I had been monitoring the word for a while and thought, 'I'll have to turn it into a song.'"

The Sound: "I go back to my roots with this song. It's the kind of reggaetón that made me. I always experiment with different rhythms but I wanted to go back to my roots, but obviously with a modern concept and fusing it with other sounds. The song is like a roller coaster of rhythms and emotions -- it has unexpected changes. When you first listen to the sing, you'll think it'll stay like that [a slow ballad] but then it just picks up. That was my mission, for it to showcase different emotions in one song."

The Team: "For this song, I worked with Sharo Towers, Ghetto, K4G, they're my go-to team. We wrote the song in February during a writing camp in an island in Honduras where we rented an Airbnb and took our studio there. When it comes to the lyrics, I'm always the one who is coming up with the rhymes and lyrics, but then they [the team] come in and bring the melodies and suggest beats for the chorus. It's a team effort. But I'm the one that comes up with the punch lines. Think of me as the sculptor who gives the song shape in the process."

The Video: "I was super involved in the concept of the video. I was the one who presented the idea to Fernando Lugo and he's always given me the liberty to sit with him and come up with the concept. I come up with an idea and then he gives it shape and makes it into reality. We have that chemistry and that's why I like working with him."

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