Put your phone down for one minute because J Alvarez has a powerful and urgent message. Each year in the U.S., more than one million people die from accidents involving texting and driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This rampant use of mobile devices behind the wheel has inspired the Latin urban sensation to frame the video for his sultry new reggaeton single “Quiero Olvidar” around the perils of texting and driving.
Shot in Colombia, the video shows Alvarez pleading with his ex-girlfriend to get back together, first with a phone call and later, via WhatsApp, while she’s driving. The song itself — currently at No. 11 on Latin Rhythm Airplay (for the week ending Nov. 14) — is about loss and the inability to forget someone, which inspired audiovisual company 36 Grados to propose a storyline in which Alvarez’s love interest dies in a car accident.
The timing couldn’t have been better, as Alvarez had been obsessing over the topic for weeks. “I’m on my phone and my WhatsApp all day long,” he tells Billboard. “And my kids keep telling me to watch it. And I wanted to talk about that in a song, but it hadn’t worked out. When I heard the video was about an accident, I asked, ‘What caused the accident? It should be the texting.’”
Fortunately, Alvarez says he hasn’t been involved in any texting and driving incidents, but he confesses he’s been close.
Enjoy this exclusive Billboard premiere of Alvarez’s video.