Vamos a Bailar: The 10 Best Collaborations Between Dance & Latin Pop Artists

Joe Larkin
Major Lazer, J Balvin and El Alfa

On Sunday (Feb. 2), Shakira and Jennifer Lopez made history by performing the first-ever all Latin Super Bowl halftime show. Tucked into the extravaganza of sequins and fireworks were Major Lazer's "Que Calor" and J Balvin and Willy William's "Mi Gente" -- two collaborations between popular dance and Latin music artists, and two worldwide hits. 

It was a crowning achievement for Latin pop that underscored the popularity of these types of collaborations, which in the past few years has been a trend embraced by some of the biggest artists of both music communities. Together, these songs have demonstrated that the definition of dance music is constantly evolving as genre subsects collide. 

The popularity of these crossovers is also illustrated by  "Ritmo," a collaboration between The Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin that topped both Billboard's Hot Latin Songs and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs charts. In addition, Swedish DJ Alesso recently recorded English-language tracks with Argentine pop princess TINI and Brazilian superstar Anitta, while French DJ Gesaffelstein put a new spin on Spanish singer Rosalía's "A Palé." 

Here are 10 of the best collaborations between dance and Latin pop artists. 

10. Mingbwoi, "C'est La Vie"

The newest artist on this list is Colombian rapper Mingbwoi. Born Michael Asuad, the 20-year-old grew up in Brooklyn, and now he's blending both worlds with the help of Cheat Codes' Trevor Dahl. The DJ produced Mingbwoi's latest single "C'est La Vie." Even though the title is French, Mingbwoi spits in Spanglish about living the high life, with hip-hop, reggaeton and tropical house music hitting a most unique way on this one.

 9. David Guetta, "Say My Name"

French DJ David Guetta teamed up with J Balvin twice on his 2018 album, 7. There's the Spanish-language "Para Que Te Quedes" and the superior "Say My Name" with pop singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha. A creeping moombahton beat backs Rexha as she puts her lover to the test, while Balvin rises to the occasion and heeds her call in a perfectly playful verse, with Guetta yet again is at the helm of a major bop.

8. Dave Nada & Tittsworth, "Te Encontré"

Speaking of moombahton, the founder of the genre, Ecuadorian-American DJ Dave Nada, released a compilation album last year in honor of the genre's 10th anniversary. Returning moombahton to its Latin roots, he teams up with his collaborator Tittsworth and Dominican group MULA on "Te Encontré." It's a dreamy twist on a genre that's undergone many evolutions. 

7. Juan Magan, "Déjate Llevar"

One often overlooked artist in EDM is Spanish DJ Juan Magan, who has worked with many popular Latin acts over the years. He co-produced his most global hit "Déjate Llevar" with Germany's B-Case, with the song featuring Mexican pop princess Belinda, Colombian pop prince Manuel Turizo and Dominican rapper Snova. Reggaeton and tropical pop collide on this sexy, singable collaboration. 

6. Gianluca Vacchi, "Sigamos Bailando"

Italian social media star Gianluca Vacchi became a DJ after appearing in J Balvin's music video for "Mi Gente." (Balvin DM'ed Vacchi after seeing him dancing, and the rest is history.) Vacchi loves Latin music, having teamed up with "Despacito" hit-maker Luis Fonsi and Puerto Rican reggaeton legend Yandel on "Sigamos Bailando." The title translates to "We Keep Dancing," and the song lives up to that name.

5. Steve Aoki, "Maldad"

Over the years, Steve Aoki has collaborated with most of the greats in Latin music -- Puerto Rican icons Daddy Yankee, Elvis Crespo and Nicky Jamamong them. For his new single "Maldad," or "Evil," he teams up with one of the latest stars making waves, Colombian heartbreaker Maluma. Reggaeton music armed with a hypnotic flute drop and Maluma's flirty charm makes their collaboration devilishly irresistible.   

4. Clean Bandit, "Baby"

U.K. trio Clean Bandit first took a stab at a Latin flavor with a Spanglish remix of "Solo" featuring pop star Demi Lovato in 2018. When their What is Love? album dropped later that year, they went all in with "Baby" featuring Luis Fonsi and Welsh singer Marina (formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds). Clean Bandit married their symphonic EDM with a flamenco edge, making "Baby" an absolute stunner.

3. DJ Snake, "Taki Taki"

French superstar DJ Snake is currently making waves with "Loco Contigo" with J Balvin, but he first took the world by storm with his seismic 2019 collaboration "Taki Taki," featuring Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Ozuna, pop star Selena Gomez, and Dominican-American rapper Cardi B. The song may have had nothing to do with the Takis tortilla chips, but pop, hip-hop, Latin music, and EDM fans alike ate up this fireball.   

2. J Balvin & Willy William, "Mi Gente"

Latin pop in the U.S. appeared to have its most massive moment last decade with "Despacito," but fortunately a second tidal wave hit with J Balvin and French DJ Willy William's "Mi Gente." William remixed his track "Voodoo Song" with a reggaeton kick courtesy of Balvin, and together they moved and mobilized the masses with their Afrobeat banger. Even pop queen Beyoncé was courted for a remix that would take it over the top.

1. Major Lazer, "Que Calor"

Major Lazer has produced a litany of hot Latin pop tracks, including "Sua Cara" with Anitta and Brazilian drag superstar Pabllo Vittar. By far the hottest is "Que Calor" -- which translates to "It's so hot" -- with J Balvin and Dominican rapper El Alfa. The dance trio led by Diplo understands the next wave of Latin music is dembow, a genre being spearheaded by El Alfa. They blend that with reggaeton and a sample of the cumbia classic "Curura," blazing a bright future for multi-format club scorchers.


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