J Balvin isn’t a magician. He’s just a regular guy, and an enormously popular artist. But when he zoomed into Trevor Noah’s Daily Show on Comedy Central, he made certain to dispel two long-held beliefs: that Pablo Escobar should be idolized, and that mental health should be swept away.
The Colombian star is promoting The Boy from Medellín, a candid new documentary on Amazon Prime that shines a optimistic light on his homeland.
For many folks of a certain age, Noah included, Medellín is synonymous with the late cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. Balvin is desperate to move the needle.
“We have to show the positive side,” he explains. “We’re not into this world anymore.”
Balvin also reveals he hangs with Escobar’s son. “He’s like, ‘my dad taught the world how to not do things right,’” Balvin recounts. “He just messed up a whole generation. I want to show the world the new generation.”
That generation is striding ahead, he continues, and people from Colombia right now are “making the dream come true.”
The “Mi Gente” singer also opened up about the “lottery” that is anxiety, which has struck him before showtime. “Depression is not being sad. Depression is a chemical disbalance in the brain,” he explains. “It’s way more powerful than you.”
He speaks with experience on the subject. Balvin has taken medication for his condition for 10 years. “I used to be like, going to the psychiatrist was only for crazy people. Hell no.”
At the top of the interview, Balvin was asked to put a finger on how he’s able to so effortlessly connect with his millions of fans. “I’m a dreamer,” he reckons. “I’m a read dude, I’ve got the good and the bad. I have great days, I have bad days.”
Check out the interview below.