The Puerto Rican singer-songwriter released his latest single “Kobe En LA,” an experimental uptempo reggaetón track, which he says showcases his two “big moods.” The song kicks off with a dramatic interlude the 27-year-old calls “el precio de la fama (the cost of fame),” featuring Buscabulla lead singer Raquel Berrios.
“The cool thing about this song is that I wasn’t planning on releasing it this way,” Cortez tells Billboard. “Initially, these were two completely separate songs, but then I thought, why not just join them? And I loved how it turned out.” Toward the end of the song, he returns to el precio de la fama, this time featuring emerging female artist Séssi.
In the song, Cortez sings about paying the price for being a famous person. “I have a price on my head … what do they want from me? They want to kill me, I want to die, when you’re not here with me.” He then transitions to the main song, “Kobe En LA,” a prideful track in which he sings about his rapid success and the love his fans have for him. “In P.R. they love me like they love Kobe in LA,” he confesses.
“This song represents my two big moods. I don’t always wake up happy or energetic. My mood changes constantly and sometimes one can get uncomfortable with what comes with fame,” Cortez says, adding, “Sometimes I just want to be normal. But then I feel like Kobe when I’m Jhay Cortez in action. They’ll get to know the real me with this song. Who I am as a creative, producer, songwriter and visionary.”
Cortez, who began writing his own music at age 11 and kicked off his career at age 16, began working on the track seven months ago and was involved from beginning to the very end, including creating the concept of the psychedelic music video, directed by Fernando Lugo, that accompanies the song. “I’m so involved in the creation of my music. I know what I want and I bring that to life. When you can have control over your art, it shows and it’s the purest form of expression.”
He and Bad Bunny share the same working aesthetic, he says. “That’s why I think we work so well together. I respect him a lot, he’s opened so many doors for us starting in this business. ‘Dákiti’ and our other two songs together were very organic collaborations because we’re people that love what we do and we only want people to enjoy what comes out of our hearts.”
Bad Bunny and Cortez’s “Dakiti” debuts at No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart (dated Nov. 17). Their new collaboration is just the third song to debut atop the chart in 2020 and the seventh No. 1 of 2020 in total.
But still Cortez isn’t ready to wrap up the year just yet. “It’s been a tough one for everyone but it was during this ‘down time’ that I was finally able to decide what I want for my career and the path I want to take visually and musically. What happened needed to happen and it inspired songs such as ‘Dákiti’ and ‘Kobe En LA.’ And, there will be more before the year ends.”