Carlos Vives and Ricky Martin’s first-ever collab is aptly titled “Canción Bonita,” aka “Pretty Song.”
A lilting, danceable track that celebrates Vives’ Colombian and Martin’s Puerto Rican roots, it’s an invitation to celebrate, and it’s a celebration of Puerto Rico, down to the video shot in Old San Juan.
“If anything, we’re more childlike than the new generation,” laughs Martin when asked what he brought to the table. “We’ll never change. We’re relaxed. We’ve achieved pretty things in life. We don’t have to prove anything to anyone.”
“We don’t want to change. We want to be the same people. And this song is a declaration of love to a city I love,” adds Vives, who lived in Puerto Rico in the beginnings of his career. “And it’s one of Ricky’s cities. For me to have a piece of Ricky in this song … it’s total happiness.”
Ironically, the fact that “Canción Bonita” is a “happy” song meant it got placed on indefinite hold for months after its inception. Written by Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres (the production duo behind “Despacito”), along with Rafa Arcaute (who aside from being a renowned composer is also the VP of A&R at Sony), Vives and Martin, the song went back and forth between the two artists and was nearly finished when the pandemic hit.
“It was a party song. We couldn’t release it at that point,” says Martin, who was in “total lockdown” until Vives came back to him with “Canción Bonita” at the beginning of this year.
“Carlos Vives took me out of quarantine to film a video,” he laughs.
The video, directed by Carlos Pérez, was shot in Old San Juan, in the middle of streets still empty of tourists. Still, it was enough to remind Vives why he was now paying homage to the city.
“I came to live in Puerto Rico when Ricky’s career was taking off,” he recalls. “I was an actor with a hit series and I understood that special essence that the city has. This is my way of giving back.”
Watch the video to “Canción Bonita” below.