Feid was getting ready to take a well-earned day off after his three consecutive sold-out shows at Medellín’s fabled Plaza de Toros La Macarena. It never happened. Instead, his day turned rather hectic when his new album — set to come out later this year — was leaked online.
“I called everyone — my producers, my manager — on our day off that Monday because I had to rush to the studio to finish the album quickly and not give the leaked version many hours out on the street,” the Colombian singer-songwriter tells Billboard during a Zoom interview. “I told them that we had to take advantage of what had happened. Whether that person who leaked it did it in good or bad faith, it didn’t matter. It was in God’s hands now.”
Feid spent the entire next day in the studio finishing the album. Two days after the leak, on Sept. 12, he officially released Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo: Te Pirateamos El Álbum (Happy Birthday Ferxxo: We Leaked Your Album), via Universal Music Latin. The 15-track set, released almost a month after his 30th birthday, thrives on Feid’s signature reggaeton flow and hard-hitting perreos. It earned him the No. 8 spot on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart, his first time entering the tally’s upper echelon. (Currently, it sits at No. 9 on the chart dated Oct. 15.)
After seeing how well the album was doing, Feid had a thought: scale up his tour. He called his manager, Luis Villamizar, to inform him of yet another change of plans. Rather than embark on the U.S. club tour they had been discussing, Feid suggested, “The album está rompiendo, I have a corazonada (hunch) that we can go out and do bigger venues [like theaters] and that people will respond well and buy tickets,” he recalls. Another twist? The trek would start in less than one month. “We never imagined what would happen next.”
Feid, a prolific songwriter for stars such as J Balvin, launched his own career as an artist in 2015 and became a hometown hero first in his native Medellín. In the U.S., he’s been a reggaeton singer-songwriter on the rise for many years. In 2021, he toured with Karol G as her opening act for her Bichota Tour. And now, the stars have seemingly aligned for Feid catching his first big breakthrough not only with a top 10 album, but selling out his first-ever U.S. tour in a span of 24 hours.
The Live Nation-produced trek, set to kick off Oct. 13, was assembled much like the album, says Hans Schafer, SVP of global touring at Live Nation. “Luis [Villamizar] called me and said, ‘This happened to us and we’re going to take this thing head on. We have this crazy idea and we want to go on tour in less than two weeks. Can you help us?’ It’s not very common. You need a few months out so you can route it and market it, get all logistics done on both ends but everyone worked really quickly to turn this around.”
Once the pre-sale tickets went on-sale last week, there was a “momentum growing” online, says Schafer. “We knew this thing was going to sell out as soon as we got to the public on-sale the next day.”
Feid, on the other hand, wasn’t too sure what would happen once tickets went on sale. His only exposure in the U.S. had been a few sporadic performances at local festivals and when he toured with Karol. “That’s probably been the most important step in my career so far,” he says of traveling with the fellow Colombian hitmaker. “I was coming from performing sold-out concerts in Latin America and the first dates with Karol felt like I was starting all over again. I remember that first night in Sacramento, my DJ said to the audience, ‘Make some noise for Ferxxo’ and literally like five people said, ‘Wooo.’ We knew it would be a challenge. So we made some corrections in rehearsals and invested more money for the next tour dates to be able to connect with people even if they didn’t know who I was.”
After quickly selling out all dates for his upcoming tour — a 14-date outing dubbed U.S. Trip — Schafer and his team are already planning what Feid’s next tour could look like, teasing an even bigger announcement in the coming months. “[Selling out] reaffirmed the testament of Feid’s growth as a songwriter to honing his craft as an artist and seeing that connection he’s having with his fans. When preparation meets opportunity, that’s what we’re seeing now.”
“We’ve given a lot of thought into the shows,” adds Feid, who is simultaneously at work on the album’s part two, due out December 1. “We want people to find a space where they can feel good, connect and live in the moment. I’m an example of how starting from scratch and putting in the work in a new country can lead to success. It’s all very nostalgic.”