Billboard Year in Music 2014: J Balvin on His No. 1 Hit '6 AM' Being the 'Latin Version' of 'The Hangover'

Ramona Rosales
J. Balvin and Farruko photographed by Ramona Rosales on October 10th at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

The Party Starters
"6 AM"
1 Week on Latin Airplay;
2 Weeks on Tropical Airplay;
10 Weeks on Latin Rhythm Airplay

"But what a sick party, pa-pa-pa." 
By early summer, the chorus of "6 AM," the sultry reggaeton hit by Colombian artist J Balvin, 29, featuring Puerto Rican pal Farruko, 23, had become a mantra for revelers worldwide. The story of carousers who wake up with no recollection of their wild night debuted at No. 43 on Latin Airplay in February and reached No. 1 in May.

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Farruko: I ran into J Balvin while on a media tour in Colombia. He was finishing his album but wanted to do something together. So I went to his studio and started to work on the track. I wanted something people could party -- and relate -- to.

J Balvin: Farruko came up with the chorus, and then we started writing the verses together. It had to be a Latin version of The Hangover, and we visualized the video as we wrote -- like, "Let's put a car in the bedroom."

Luis Estrada, managing 
director, Universal Music Latino/Machete: DJs and clubs started requesting "6 AM" when Balvin’s first single was still on the air. We started working it in January, and by April, we knew we had a hit.

 

 


Balvin: That it took off in New York helped spread the word. One day I was walking and four cars drove by blaring the song.

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Farruko: I’m a social media freak. When I saw people making their own videos I said, "Yeah, it’s huge."

2014's No. 1's: J Balvin & Farruko  | Idina Menzel & the 'Frozen' SoundtrackTove Lo, Kiesza, & Nick Jonas | Taylor Swift | Barbra Streisand | Weird Al Yankovic | Ed Sheeran & Charli XCX | Nicki Minaj | 'Guardians of the Galaxy' SoundtrackEnrique Iglesias | Kacey Musgraves | Santana | Sam SmithIggy Azalea | Jason Derulo | Meghan Trainor, Nico & Vinz

This article first appeared in the Dec. 20 issue of Billboard.