Speaking with Billboard’s Chelsea Briggs on the red carpet at Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Gala on Saturday (Jan. 27), Luis Fonsi chatted about the success of “Despacito,” collaborating with Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato and his love of Cardi B.
Of his three nominations at the 2018 show, Fonsi says, “I’m so proud to be sort of representing Latin music and to be able to get the world to sing and dance a little bit, and to sing in Spanish.”
He also discusses the massive chart success of “Despacito,” which spent 16 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart; Fonsi says it opened up doors not just for him but for Latin music as well.
“It’s a song that was never meant to be a crossover record – it was just another Spanish song,” he shares. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve been writing songs for 20 years and this was just a song that was born in my guitar one morning and I got to collaborate with amazing people. Daddy Yankee, then four months after the song was released, and artist called Justin Bieber jumped on – he was the special sauce, and he opened up a lot of doors, and maybe some people who wouldn’t normally listen to Spanish music started to get turned on by the song because it’s such a recognizable voice, so I am very grateful that they were involved.”
On the subject of collaborating with English-speaking musicians, Fonsi also mentions his track featuring Demi Lovato, “Échame la Culpa,” which is currently No. 1 on the Latin Airplay chart.
“I’m happy to be able to keep it going to be able to work with different amazing artists, to hear people like Justin, like Demi sing in Spanish, for me to be able to sing in English, as well, because I’m from Puerto Rico, but I’ve been living in the United States for most of my life, so it’s all about coming together and mixing languages, and just making good music.”
Fonsi also talks about Cardi B. “I absolutely love Cardi B,” he says. “I love ‘Bodak Yellow.’ The records and the numbers and the weeks, that’s all fun, of course, but at the end of the day, this isn’t a sport, this isn’t a competition, it’s all about music and celebrating it so I’m happy for her and what she’s done this year. It’s been amazing, so I hope that she can break every record.”
You can watch the full interview with Luis Fonsi above.