“The mission of ‘Safaera’ was to teach a new generation the reggaetón-perreo culture,” says Randy, a collaborator on the track.
“Safaera” is a bold return to the roots of reggaetón, stepping away from popified renditions of the marquesina-made genre, opting for a nine-section, sample-heavy perreo mix. Arriving weeks before the pandemic, “Safaera” became a little vacation, teleporting listeners in the midst of a worldwide lockdown. At the very end of the album's creation, Bad Bunny called upon his longtime friend and collaborator, DJ Orma, and OG producer Tainy to produce “Safaera,” with early reggaetón favorites Ñengo Flow and Jowell y Randy also appearing as featured artists on the five-minute musical experience.
“We found out [Bad Bunny is a fan of ours] when we went to his birthday,” says Jowell. For the last two years, he and Randy have surprised El Conejo Malo at his birthday parties, performing the young star’s favorite Jowell y Randy tracks. “He tells us we have to sing 'Guayeteo,' and 'Hola Bebe,' those are his favorite songs. From there I realized that he knows all of reggaetón and its history.”
During his and Randy's birthday party performance, Jowell says both Bad Bunny and Calle 13's Residente were front row dancing perreo with their girlfriends all night long. “To see them having a great time with our music fills us with pride,” he says.
After their initial in-person encounters, the trio began collaborating, leading up to “Safaera” and Jowell & Randy’s latest album, Viva El Perreo, executive produced (remotely) by Bad Bunny himself. The collaborative album was born out of a drunken conversation at Bad Bunny's birthday party, where the multi-hyphenate offered to work on the project himself, says Jowell. While neither Jowell nor Randy thought the album would materialize, a text arrived four days later from Bad Bunny, with three songs already prepared for the album: "Tóxicos," "Bien Arrebatao" and "Perriando."
Jowell admits to being “a little stubborn” when it came to another musician to be so involved in the shaping of the album.“But we have opened our minds a lot at this stage to take on lyrics from another producer, [direction] from composers and another type of rhythm,” he says. Among the songs that the pair felt most reluctant about were "Se Acabó La Cuarentena "and "Anaranjado" featuring J Balvin (and written by Bad Bunny, delivered via voice notes), due to their lean away from puro reggaetón.