J Balvin’s most recent Instagram post is from September, when he’s all smiles at home with his baby boy Río, whom he had with his longtime partner, Argentine model Valentina Ferrer. The last single he released was the Ryan Castro-assisted “Nivel de Perreo” in June.
Though he’s been spotted at events such as Paris Fashion Week and the Super Bowl, there’s a reason why the Colombian artist has decided to take a break from social media and from making music.
“Really right now, I’ve been focused on my family,” he tells Billboard. “I left social media to be connected to my reality and to my family. That has taught me a lot. To live more in the present. Obviously, I miss my fans, but when the time is right, I’ll be back.”
In spring 2022, Balvin postponed his 25-date José U.S. tour, which was scheduled to kick off April 19 in San Antonio, Texas, citing “unforeseen production challenges” due to COVID-19. That summer, he unveiled a seven-day “Niño Soñador” stint across South America, which made stops in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru and Paraguay. In August, he performed the reggaeton-heavy “Noche de Perreo” at the MTV Video Music Awards, and in September, he dropped his latest sneakers, the Air Balvin Jordan 2. Not that long ago, he reclaimed his crown as the artist with the most videos in YouTube’s Billion Views Club (he now ties with Ozuna with 12 entries each).
The year prior, the artist born José Álvaro Osorio Balvín captured his fourth No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart with his ultra-personal set José (Sueños Globales/Universal Music Latino/UMLE). But despite his recent achievements, Balvin is not quite ready for a comeback.
“I have made music to have a good time as always, but I don’t have a concept or an album to make yet,” he says. “But it’s because I want to have a clear, different and fresh concept. Possibly these days, the muse arrives and the concept comes to me, and from there, an album is born. It may be this year, it may be the next.”
For the time being, Balvin, who helped propel the careers of artists such as Bad Bunny, Karol G, Rosalía and Feid, is excited about the new generation of Latin urban artists — most notably La Gabi, a young Dominican rapper he signed.
“I am totally in love with what she does,” he says. “In the future, I would like to work with her, but I want her to work hard to earn her space [in the industry]. I really love what Blessd and Ryan Castro are doing with Colombian reggaeton too, but at this moment, La Gabi interests me a lot. I will continue to see what other new artists come out, because I love collaborating and elevating that.”