Billboard Latin Music Week 2020 kicked off today (Oct. 20), and Nicky Jam was at the center of it all. With 14 No. 1s on Billboard’s Top Latin Airplay chart and 17 top 10 hits on Hot Latin Songs, including five No. 1s, Nicky Jams was the star of the 2020 Iconic Songwriter Q&A, presented by Sony ATV.
For the past five years, the top publisher on Billboard’s charts has presented this Q&A session to highlight the work, motivation and stories from top composers. Nicky Jam had plenty to talk about, including his soon-to-launch new podcast and new bakery.
As for Latin music’s growing popularity, he says that he “absolutely saw it coming. Yes. I feel like one of the architects that made that happen.”
Here are the five most interesting topics he discusses in the full interview, which you can watch below. (Comments are presented in Nicky’s own words.)
1. The new album. It will be called Infinity [in part because it’s his eighth album]. My last album was Intimo (Intimate), and I was not in a good spot. I was divorcing, my entire public life was out there, and I’m not used to that. This album has a whole different vibe. Definitely [I’m a person who needs to be happy to do his best music]. This album is Nicky Jam: “El perdon,” “El amante,” but new.
2. Collaborations. I’m not a fan of collaborations. I’m more about feelings. I know artists who will bring me more money in a collab, but the vibe is so heavy…I would rather do music with someone new who has a good vibe. You could do a big song with the best video, and it will look like an expensive production. But is that a hit? There’s a bunch of songs out there — they’re even charting — but it doesn’t mean they’re a hit.
3. The writing process. I do melody first. I’m [originally] a freestyler. And if you freestyle, it’s not going to be a hit. One day, I was in Colombia. I was staying in a hotel, and I was watching HTV, and I saw Juan Luis Guerra talking about the way he writes music. Obviously, I’m a big fan of Juan Luis Guerra and I think he’s a genius. And he said, “What I do is I lay down then melody and I put down the lyrics.” And I said, “What?” I went to the studio and my life changed.
4. Upcoming film projects. I’m doing the new sneaker movie [American Sole], with Kevin Hart as the executive producer. And after [Bad Boys For Life], people like seeing me as a bad boy. So I’m the black cat, the mean cat in Tom & Jerry. Which is fun. I never did the voice for a cartoon before.
5. Writing while in love. She [model Cydney Moreau] makes me feel good. We met doing the “Atrevete” video with Sech; she was the model. She has her own thing going on. She has her own company, her clothing line, she’s so successful. It’s the first time I’ve been with a girl that’s been so successful, and it feels good. It feels good to be with a girl that doesn’t depend on me. She has what she has. It’s respectful. We play basketball with nine, ten guys every day and she’s one of the guys. They all say, Boy, that girl can play!
Watch the complete panel above.