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Boom! Colombian-born J. (José) Balvin is living his dream - and then some. After just four weeks, his single "Mi Gente," in collaboration with French artist Willy Williams, just became Spotify’s #1 hit worldwide. And unlike the huge summer hit "Despacito," the cool thing is that he didn’t need –or want –to put any English in it.
When Williams sent him the beat, J Balvin told NBC News, he had a feeling it would be successful, and said he wanted to do it in Spanish.
“I’m so happy and grateful,” said an amazed Balvin, “that people fell in love with it even without understanding the lyrics.”
Balvin has skyrocketed as one of the top Latin music superstars, with seven #1 singles including the smash hit "Ginza," that had the longest-ever stay, of 22 weeks, at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs.
He's had crossover collaborations with leading artists like Justin Beiber, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande and Major Lazer. His groundbreaking and Latin GRAMMY-winning album “Energía” was the most consumed Latin Album of 2016 alone.
Now comes "Mi Gente," or “my people,” a song that is transcending language barriers all around the planet, even going to #1 in Egypt. He attributes its success to the “good vibes” he created, saying, “it’s not just about the lyrics anymore. Of course, it has to be well written, but the beat and the melody are so catchy.”
His brand of music is heavily influenced by rock, hip-hop and what can be called a more unifying, or second generation of reggaeton.
Balvin strives to erase barriers between people through his music. Indeed, it, he is taking the world by storm; millions every week. At the time of this writing, "Mi Gente" has had 258,136,266 views and climbing on YouTube, far outpacing Despacito’s momentum of four months and its Spanglish version to become the sensation that it is.
For J Balvin and other Latino musicians, streaming has been a big factor in their songs' success.
“It’s amazing that everyone’s streaming it,” said Balvin. “When it comes to streaming, it what’s people really want and what they’re looking for. It’s great that we have this power now. It creates a newfound base [for musicians].”
All that indicates many good things to come for J Balvin as well as other Latino musicians and the incredible sounds they’re producing.
Be on the lookout for J. Balvin’s “Energia” tour throughout the US during Hispanic Heritage Month, starting in Washington, DC on September 14th.