In the summer, Ivan Cornejo released his debut album Alma Vacia, home to his viral hit “Esta Dañada” — an indie sierreño track that best represents his musical style. The lyrics, about a broken girl, have resonated well on social media, soundtracking over one million videos on TikTok. Now, Cornejo presents the official remix alongside chart-topping Puerto Rican artist Jhay Cortez, via Manzana Records.
“Working with Jhay is such a cool feeling, because I look up to him as a musician,” Cornejo exclusively tells Billboard. “Jhay’s style of reggaetón is more chill — it’s different, and that’s what I like about him.”
The collaboration between Cornejo and Cortez was helmed by Manzana Records, House of Haze (Jhay’s management), and The Orchard, who worked as a team to bring it to life. Rather to giving the song an urban twist, the remix to “Esta Dañada” stays intact with its melancholic requintos and sad vocals. The black and white music video, which Cortez describes to Billboard as a “movie and telenovela,” was filmed in one day in Miami, Fla.
“My goal in 2021 was to enable more collaborations that cross cultural borders,” Jason Pascal, svp, global artist & label partnerships, adds. “While reggaetón and regional collabs are not new, my hope is the ‘Esta Dañada’ remix will raise the artistic bar yet again, and that we see more unexpected partnerships that result in meaningful songs and recordings.”
Fueled by its success on TikTok, “Esta Dañada” peaked at No. 61 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it only the second regional Mexican song to enter the all-genre chart (Oct. 23).
Below, Cornejo, Cortez, and Pascal explain how the collaboration was born:
Jason Pascal: Ivan is a big fan of reggaetón, and Andy Garcia (owner of Manzana Records) and I discussed the various creative possibilities. I had recently met Jhay after a show in Washington Heights, NY, and I had a good feeling about his ability to bring something unique to this project. Jhay was immediately receptive, he and Ivan ended up clicking, and the power of Jhay’s contribution is apparent. Manzana Records, House of Haze (Jhay’s management), and The Orchard worked as a team to get this done, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have a role in the creation of such beautiful art with such beautiful people.
Ivan Cornejo: Talks about the remix began weeks after the song blew up. It was so crazy when my manager told me that it was going to be possible. It’s such a cool feeling having my idol hop on my song. Especially because I started only a year ago making music.
Jhay Cortez: I had heard the song already, a lot of people were talking to me about it. Mia [Khalifa, significant other] is also a big fan of it. When my manager told me about the possibility of doing the remix, I really liked the idea. I love the vibe of the song — it’s the type of music that I like, and being part of it was great. This is a really special song.
Jason Pascal: The lyric “su sonrisa, su carita, sus manitas” has become so meaningful to its success. That line comes across as real, something that many have felt and experienced — and because TikTok enabled so many people to express their connection to that lyric, the audience grew quickly. Ivan and Jhay singing it together is very special.
Ivan Cornejo: I feel that this remix is going to be so unexpected. I hope that it really shows everyone that I can do different genres. For example, Shakira has so many hits in different genres — and that’s so amazing. I want to do that, and I feel that this is only the beginning of showing that side of me.
Jhay Cortez: I don’t like to have expectations. I just like to give it my best in every song and let the fans decide where they want to take it. This is a special song and I just hope many people enjoy it as much as they did the original. The mission is never to “make better” the original. I’ve done tons of remixes, and my focus is to make another version of it and give it another color.
Jason Pascal: It’s the unlikely nature of the collaboration that’s so notable. “Está Dañada” is a sad corrido – the melody is sad, the lyrics are sad, and the tone of Ivan’s vocal is sad. It’s not about flow, and it isn’t trap as that term is currently understood in either tumbado or urbano; it’s just about sadness and loss, and thus not the type of song you’d typically expect a reggaetonero to “jump on.” Furthermore, it’s a dream come true for a young artist like Ivan to be in a position to work with a superstar like Jhay, and it was a privilege to watch them meet in person for the first time. That moment was everything for me.