Steve Aoki has been flirting with Latin music for a quite a while. “I’ve always gravitated to Latin artists — whether Yankee or Balvin or Bad Bunny, I look up to what they’re doing,” says Aoki, who remixed J Balvin’s “Mi Gente” and performed with him at the Latin Grammys.
It would make sense that a bona fide Latin track would eventually appear from the star DJ/producer, and now we have it. “Azukita,” co-produced by hip hop/electronic duo Play-N-Skillz and featuring Daddy Yankee and Elvis Crespo, is Aoki’s first ever Spanish track and hits today (Feb. 2).
The track came to be completely by circumstance. “We had been in communication with Steve Aoki about at some point doing a Latin inspired record,” Play-N-Skillz tells Billboard. “We were in studio with Daddy Yankee working on his project when our publicist tells us Elvis Crespo wanted to come by. We mentioned it to Yankee and I suggested doing a mega collab, with all of us. I face-timed Steve with Daddy Yankee in the room with us and we told him the idea for the song. He loved it and we went after it. Elvis came to the studio that night and we all started vibing to the track right away. The lyrics and melody just flowed, and within a few hours we had the song.”
When Play-N-Skillz faced-timed Aoki with Yankee, the EDM star says he “was blown away, because I love Yankee and we’d been talking here and there… They gave me a hook. I just need a catchy line, and from that catchy line, we started building the song.
“It was the part where he starts singing ‘Azuca,’” he continues. “It was a very basic structure just with that vocal, and [what came in my head] was these theatrical drums that would come in and accentuate Yankee.” With Elvis Crespo doing the intro and Yankee doing the hook, Aoki says he “started working on the drop and adding that EDM flavor to it.”
Aoki also hinted that this won’t be the last Latin track for him: “There are other original songs that are in the works but this is the first that has come out. And to open the door with Yankee, that’s a big welcome to the community.”
Watch the video below: