Puerto Rican reggaeton star Ozuna told a captive audience at Billboard’s Latin Music Week that his fans deserved an apology after it was revealed that the musician paid someone off to keep an explicit video of himself from being released.
“People say you don’t have to apologize. Of course I have to apologize,” Ozuna told Billboard’s vp and Latin industry lead Leila Cobo in Las Vegas on Tuesday (April 23).
Fans “need an apology and an explanation for our errors,” Ozuna said of his duty to his fans who have helped him succeed and weathered through a torrent of ups and downs in recent months.
In January, Ozuna admitted that he had fallen victim to a blackmail scheme and paid Latin trap artist Kevin Fret $50,000 not to release an explicit video of a then 16-year-old Ozuna. Two weeks prior to Ozuna’s admission on March 23, Fret had been shot in San Juan. As of April 16, Fret’s murder case remains open and neither Ozuna nor his manager Vicente Saavedra are been named as suspects despite Fret’s mother claiming they ordered her son’s death.
Ozuna released an apology for his actions in January stating that he “made a mistake, fueled by ignorance” and asked for forgiveness from his family who he said were his “life’s priority.”
“My family, my wife and my kids, they know who I am. As long as we are with god we have nothing to fear,” Ozuna said at the conference when asked about the juggling the negative press stemming from the blackmail and the positive press for his growing list of achievement as an artist.
“Life is balance. It is positive and negative balance. I am not the only person who has been born with difficulties. There are errors that you make when you’re young,” Ozuna added. “I am still a human.”
When asked by Cobo what advice he would give 15-year-old Ozuna, the Puerto Rican artist said he wished he was more connected to his faith when he was younger.
“I would have liked somebody to have shown me god’s way before. If I had known that as a child, I wouldn’t have gone through some of things I went through,” Ozuna said. The video “is something that I did when I was young and I never knew I was going to be famous. This is something I would tell the youth, because you never know where your future is going to take you.”
Throughout the 45-minute Q&A session, Ozuna also touched on his upcoming album which was expected to be released in April, but has been pushed back to an unannounced date in May.
“I wasn’t totally pleased with the whole concept of the album or that the public would be pleased,” Ozuna said on Tuesday evening. “The public deserves the best from Ozuna and it wasn’t the best” the artist said of the soon-to-be-released 16-track album.
Following Ozuna’s first appearance at Coachella this year where he, Selena Gomez, and Cardi B crashed DJ Snake’s performance to sing hit “Taki Taki,” Cobo asked the reggaeton star what he thought of the song’s success.
“I never thought it was going to be a hit. Honestly. I never thought it was going to break down those barriers in music,” Ozuna said. “I did not like [the track]. I didn’t like the concept of the rhythm.”
Ozuna explained that he tried to put lyrics to the music and what he came up with was the clack clack of the drums so he sang a similar sound which became “Taki Taki.”
“I don’t know what Taki Taki means. I really don’t,” the 27-year-old star admitted. “We just record songs and we don’t know where they are going to go.”