This week, Karol G’s “Tusa” with Nicki Minaj debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, marking the first song by a female act to debut at No. 1 since 2016 (Shakira’s “Chantaje” featuring Maluma opened at No. 1 on the chart dated Nov. 19, 2016).
In an exclusive interview for Billboard’s El Factor Latino (The Latin Factor) podcast, Karol G opens up about how the collab came to be, Minaj’s Spanish lines, social media bullies and how to deal with them, female empowerment and, of course, love.
Karol G also says she’s working on a new album, and will kick off her 2020 tour in February. Check out the highlights from our conversation:
1. “In her [Minaj’s] verse she says, ‘It’s me and Karol G and we let the rats talk.’ I died, I came back to life, I died, I came back to life, I died, I came back to life like 18 times before I understood Nicki Minaj had said my name in her verse.”
2. “’Tusa’ is when no matter what you know, what they do to you, how much they step on you, how much it hurts, you’re entusado [disheartened], because you can’t get over it…oh, it’s happened so many times to me!”
3. The best technique for getting over a tusa? “Work out.”
4. “Empowerment is a word that comes with liberty. It’s something I understood this year — which has been a year full of criticism, and where I’ve been involved in controversy…my messages are about empowerment, because they come from a woman who’s lived all kinds of experiences, who makes all kinds of mistakes. My empowerment comes from that place; from accepting ourselves as we are.”
5. It surprises me that criticism on social media is worst than ever…more and more people tend to seek perfection in others. I’ve encountered more criticism than ever before. But at the end of the day, that’s part of the package, and you have to accept the entire package.”
6. “I’m in love. Every day, more. All my songs could speak about the same person in different situations.”
Listen to the full episode below: