Latin Awards

Erika Ender on Co-Writing 'Despacito': 'This Song Made a Special Connection'

The 2017 Billboard Latin Music Conference is getting closer, and this year, the event will present, on Wednesday, April 26, the pane. “I Write the Songs: The New Generation,” putting together different songwriters who have been successful during the past year.

Among the invited panelists will be Erika Ender, the co-writer of Luis Fonsi’s "Despacito." Currently, the song is in its ninth week at No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.

In a recent conversation with Billboard, Ender spoke about her experience co-writing the song and how she kept a good lyric for an urban/pop song.

How did the idea of ??co-writing “Despacito” with Fonsi arise?

It happened over a year and a half ago in Fonsi’s house. It's not the first time we wrote together; we have been friends for many years. Fonsi told me, “Let’s do something for my new album.” He already had a line of the chorus done, and it's the title of the song. When I arrived, he told me that he wanted a swinging song and I loved the idea.

The lyrics are not far from Fonsi’s style. How did you take care of his style?

As everyone is making this type of fusions, the idea was to take care of how to say things with a good taste. I said, “If we are going to do something that has a sensual cut, I think we need to be responsible with a good lyric.” Then the pop version was born.

So how do you like the version with Daddy Yankee?

I think it was a great idea to bring Daddy Yankee. I love his work, he’s a genius. What he contributed gave a special touch to the song. It was a nice collaboration. We enjoyed it a lot.

Finally, how do you feel about the song being No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs?

I'm very happy. I have had great moments throughout my career. But this song made a special connection. I'm very grateful. It is very nice to be part, with Fonsi and Yankee, of a special phenomenon called "Despacito."

Ender will join Manuel Medrano, Joss Favela, Servando Primera and Rude Boyz for the Songwriters, New Generation panel. The Billboard Latin Music Awards are the culmination of the Billboard Latin Music Conference, taking place April 24-27 at the Ritz Carlton Miami Beach. To register, visit

Billboard Latin Music Awards and Conference 2017