Before Feid was called Feid, he was known locally in Colombia as Rayo — his first artistic name.
Meaning thunderbolt, the artist born Salomón Villada Hoyos was eager to start his music career with this name when he was just a teenager; in fact, the first few singles he released independently were under Rayo. But it wasn’t until people began confusing him and his music for the already-established San Andres-based Colombian duo Rayo y Toby that he decided to look for a second option.
“All my school friends thought they heard my song on the radio and one day while listening to the radio I realized that it was [Rayo y Toby’s] song and not mine. That’s when I thought ‘music isn’t for me and this is going to be a problem,’” he told Billboard during the interview for his new cover story. “My parents were the ones to tell me that this wasn’t going to be the first obstacle I was going to face, and that’s when I changed my name to Feid.”
But even then, the Medellin-born artist changed it to “Faith” before ultimately landing on the play-on-word Feid (whose moniker sounds like “faith” when spoken in Spanish).
“It was because the first interview I ever had in my life the reporter who was interviewing me kept calling me ‘fa-heed’ and I didn’t want to keep having that problem because it was very uncomfortable to tell people how to pronounce my name,” he explains.
In 2010, he officially launched his career as Feid and it wasn’t until 2020 — around the time he finally found his artistic identity — that he introduced his new alter ego El Ferxxo (pronounced Fercho).
“I decided to take an arepa with cheese in my hand and say that I was paisa,” he proudly states, referring to the local word for someone from Medellín. “I began to be more faithful to who I am and my Colombian roots. At that moment, I opened the coolest door that I’ve ever opened, which was finding my identity and introducing El Ferxxo. It took me a long time to realize that this was what I had to do to really, really connect with people.”
Putting his new alter ego to the test, Ferxxo began incorporating local Medallo slang into his lyrics, like mor (love), que chimba (how cool) and parchar (hanging out) and replacing letters in his titles with X’s to pique curiosity. It worked. The Latin Grammys nominated 2020’s Ferxxo (Vol. 1: M.O.R.) and its Justin Quiles-featuring single “Porfa” for best urban music album and best reggaetón performance, respectively.
Below, the “Porfa” singer explains the meaning behind some of the slang words heard in his songs.
NEA: “It’s a word that can mean many things. It can be a friend, a person that dresses a certain way, a nea is someone from the barrio. Period.”
CHORRO: “It’s the drink. It can be whiskey, tequila or anything. Chorro is alcohol.”
CHIMBITA: “Is a beautiful woman.”
CHIMBIAR: “Is someone who’s annoying or can also mean to mess around with someone.”
CHIMBO: “Is the man’s private part.”
PARCHE: “It’s like an invitation. It can be a moment, a situation, or describe someone who’s a cool person.”
FARREAR: “Going out to party and giving it all at the club”
LA PINTA: “It’s the outfit. We don’t use the word outfit in Medellin.”