The Weeknd capped the year with the No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 song of the year with “Blinding Lights,” released in 2019. Spending four weeks at No. 1, the track broke records for the most weeks spent in the top five and the top 10 among all titles in the chart’s 62-year history.
To celebrate, the Canadian singer-songwriter dropped a bilingual remix featuring Spanish superstar Rosalia on Dec. 5. The unexpected collaboration came on the heels of The Weeknd’s first-ever Latin collab alongside Maluma for a remix of “Hawai.”
Below, we break down The Weeknd’s two Latin remixes, from the lyrics to the videos and beyond.
Maluma & The Weeknd, “Hawai (Remix)”
Producers: Kevin ADG & Chan El Genio “The Rude Boyz,” Jowan, Ily Wonder, Keityn
Sound & Lyrics: Musically, not many changes were made to the song, keeping its romantic reggaeton vibe on the remix. Lyrically, the song flaunted a side never-before-seen of The Weeknd. He kicks off the remix singing in English, explaining how he would rather have a baby than get married to prove his love. Maluma then joins him, singing “Hawai,” a song about a toxic relationship and the aftermath of a breakup in the Instagram era. Somewhere along the way, The Weeknd belts the infectious chorus in Spanish.
The Video: The original music video, filmed in Miami by Jessy Terrero of Cinema Giants, shows Maluma arguing with his girlfriend, breaking up, a confrontation at her wedding with another man, and a surprising plot twist. The remix video, also at the helm of Terrero, was filmed in Los Angeles and features both artists dancing in a set with blue neon lights, where The Weeknd does not shy away from showing off his footwork. The video has more than 75 million views at the time of publishing.
Chart Position: “Hawai” topped the Hot Latin Songs chart for nine consecutive weeks starting on the chart dated Sept.12. On the Hot 100, it peaked at No. 12 on the Nov. 21-dated list and earned Maluma his highest ranking there.
Label: Sony Music Latin
The Weeknd ft. Rosalia, “Blinding Lights (Remix)”
Producers: Max Martin, Oscar Holter
Sound & Lyrics: Still retro and still inspired by ’80s synth-pop, the remix kicks off with Rosalia’s sugary vocals singing in Spanish about being lonely and wanting company. The song then continues to The Weeknd singing the chorus and his verse. The real standout from the remix is their mesmerizing harmonies in the chorus before Rosalia drops an enchanting verse toward the end with hints of flamenco-pop melodies.
The Video: Simple yet interesting. The video was filmed with a “behind-the-scenes” vibe, showing both artists, dressed in formal red attire, as they take professional photos. Paying homage to the ’80s melody, the video was shot in a VHS format and includes the lyrics at the bottom. At the time of publishing, the video amassed more than 15 million views.
Chart Position: Rosalía hasn’t been credited on “Blinding Lights” on our charts just yet as the original version is way ahead in all metrics (airplay, streaming, and sales). The original song peaked at No. 1 on Hot 100 (chart dated April 4) and topped the list for four weeks – on its way to becoming the top song of all of 2020 on the year-end Hot 100. It (all versions combined) ranks at No. 7 on the current chart (dated Dec. 19).
Label: The Weeknd XO, Inc.