“But what a sick party, pa-pa-pa.” ?By early summer, the chorus of “6 AM,” the sultry reggaeton hit by Colombian artist J Balvin, 29, featuring Puerto Rican pal Farruko, 23, had become a mantra for revelers worldwide. The story of carousers who wake up with no recollection of their wild night debuted at No. 43 on Latin Airplay in February and reached No. 1 in May.
Farruko: I ran into J Balvin while on a media tour in Colombia. He was finishing his album but wanted to do something together. So I went to his studio and started to work on the track. I wanted something people could party — and relate — to.
J Balvin: Farruko came up with the chorus, and then we started writing the verses together. It had to be a Latin version of The Hangover, and we visualized the video as we wrote — like, “Let’s put a car in the bedroom.”
Luis Estrada, managing ?director, Universal Music Latino/Machete: DJs and clubs started requesting “6 AM” when Balvin’s first single was still on the air. We started working it in January, and by April, we knew we had a hit.
Balvin: That it took off in New York helped spread the word. One day I was walking and four cars drove by blaring the song.
Farruko: I’m a social media freak. When I saw people making their own videos I said, “Yeah, it’s huge.”
2014’s No. 1’s: J Balvin & Farruko | Idina Menzel & the ‘Frozen’ Soundtrack | Tove Lo, Kiesza, & Nick Jonas | Taylor Swift | Barbra Streisand | Weird Al Yankovic | Ed Sheeran & Charli XCX | Nicki Minaj | ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Soundtrack | Enrique Iglesias | Kacey Musgraves | Santana | Sam Smith | Iggy Azalea | Jason Derulo | Meghan Trainor, Nico & Vinz
This article first appeared in the Dec. 20 issue of Billboard.