In 2011, Fuego (real name: Miguel Ángel Durán Jr.) recorded what would become one of the biggest bangers of his career in his mom’s apartment in New York. He was encouraged by his brother and cousin to finally drop “Vaina Loca,” which samples Gyptian’s 2010 reggae bop “Hold Yuh.” Now, 10 years later, he revisits the track with a new version in collaboration with Manuel Turizo and Duki.
“I was making a lot of remixes at the time, taking popular songs and making them into merengue,” he tells Billboard. “‘Vaina Loca’ took off organically because a lot of DJs started playing it, and when South America heard it, it just blew up.”
On the Billboard charts, the record peaked at No. 12 on the Latin Rhythm Airplay chart in February 2012. Fast-forward to 2021, and the song has now blown up on TikTok, where it has nearly 1 million creations.
“The TikTok wave was the main reason I wanted to do a remake, it was a calling for me. A lot of people who didn’t know about the song are discovering it now,” the Dominican artist says, explaining that he found out about the viral trend in the summer thanks to his team. “I decided to give fans a new version because they loved the original so much.”
In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Fuego reeled in Colombian artist Manuel Turizo and Argentine trap star Duko for an “unexpected collaboration.” “I wanted something different, global and international,” he elaborates. “I think it’s a combination people wouldn’t have expected.”
The new “Vaina Loca,” recorded at a studio in Miami, keeps its Caribbean mambo fusions intact but with a more downtempo Afrobeat, because Fuego wanted “something still tropical but sexier and modern.” Horacio Rodriguez and Oscar Guitian alongside Jason Garcia and Manuel Ruiz put together this remake of the classic hit that will be distributed by WK Records.
Ten years later, he describes the original song as “culture and nostalgic.”
“I think it was like that for everybody who got to party with the song,” he says. “I get all types of messages from my fans saying that they fell in love with this song, that they danced to it at their wedding, whatever it was, I still get those messages because it’s such a big party song. It’s a song that’s been around for such a long time, it never really went away, and now it just came back. It’s one of the biggest songs of my career, if not, the biggest song of my career. To me, it’s a great vibe.”
Below, watch the exclusive Billboard premiere of “Vaina Loca” 2021, featuring Manuel Turizo and Duki: