There are no dreams without sacrifice. "I sacrificed my family. I sacrificed my friends -- I don't see them. I have a dream house, and I'm never there. I wanted to have a family, younger," says reggaeton star J Balvin. "But I'm going to make it. That's my dream. I know where I'm going."
J Balvin photographed by Miller Mobley on September 30, 2014 in New York City.
While visiting the United States for ...
While visiting the United States for a school exchange program and living with his aunt in Staten Island when he was younger, Balvin would ride the ferry into Manhattan at 7 a.m. every day to walk dogs in SoHo. "Everything was hip-hop to me," he says of his daily walks. "Graffiti, freestyle battles on the streets, all those big billboards with Jay Z's face. I was like, 'Wow. This guy has his own clothing line. Hip-hop is an entire business.'"
"My friends, and the people from my c...
"My friends, and the people from my city, they thought I was living the superstar life," he says. He was anxious, taking sleeping pills, getting more and more lost. Finally, he had enough of pretending to be a star when he wasn't. "I don't like the movie shit," he says. "I just got to be real."
Meditation, therapy and a trip to Tha...
Meditation, therapy and a trip to Thailand helped put his head straight two years ago. And Balvin continued on his path to becoming the biggest breakout act Latin music has seen in many years. He's the go-to Spanish voice on remixes of hits from Ariana Grande and Robin Thicke that have helped spread his fame in Latin America and the United States.
Balvin knows he has to be careful and...
Balvin knows he has to be careful and not lose himself in all of this. "I forgot about my happiness," he says when he talks about his panic attacks. "I forgot about Jose.' Sometimes the panic attacks return, milder than they used to be, without the hammering heartbeat. "It's still a lot of stress," he says. "But I'm not as afraid as I used to be. Now when bad things happen, I'm just like, 'OK, I got over it once. I'm going to get over it, until it's done.'"