J Balvin’s rising star

Reggaetron star J Balvin is headed to Israel next week for the second time to headline the annual Coca-Cola WOW Festival at Rishon Lezion Live Park on Tuesday, July 30.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
July 24, 2019 19:40
4 minute read.
J Balvin’s rising star

J BALVIN: I got the request to work with those two guys from Israel with such a great sense of humor.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Reggaetron star J Balvin is headed to Israel next week for the second time to headline the annual Coca-Cola WOW Festival at Rishon Lezion Live Park on Tuesday, July 30.

The Colombian singer is responsible for a series of smash dance hits, and has released five Spanish-language albums. His biggest hit, “Mi Gente,” has been viewed more than 2.3 billion times on YouTube. His other popular songs include “Ay Vamos,” “6 a.m.” and “Safari.” Last year, Balvin collaborated on the song “I Like It’ with Cardi B, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 list. He has also worked with Pharrell, Sean Paul, Pitbull, David Guetta, One Direction’s Liam Payne and many others.
Balvin, whose full name is Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin, made his debut in Israel at the Ra’anana Amphitheater in 2017. Earlier this year he collaborated with Israeli pop duo Static and Ben-El on an English version of their hit song “Tudo Bom.” In addition to Static and Ben-El, Bavlin will be joined by a lineup of Israeli artists and DJs.
Ahead of next week’s show, Balvin answered some questions  about his career and Israel.

This is the second time you’re appearing in Israel. What did you take away from your last show here and how will this show be different?
I’ve got really great memories from our first visit to Israel. I performed in Ra’anana and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. But the audience was fantastic – really receptive to my music – and many Spanish speakers who already knew many of the lyrics. Then I also got to visit Jerusalem afterward, and I remember it was during a local holiday, so there were celebrations in the street that we got caught up in the middle of.
Between the powerful history of the places I saw, and the energy of the people in the streets, it’s a trip I will always remember. As far as what will be different this time, the list of songs I can present has obviously expanded from the release of Vibras and other collaborations. And I feel my connection with audiences as an entertainer, and our overall production has grown enormously. With this show also being in Tel Aviv, I think it will be a party people will remember for a long time.

In the past few years you collaborated with artists like Beyoncé, Cardi B, Justin Bieber and David Guetta. What do you get out of collaborations and who will you team up with next?
I’m grateful for all the collaborators that have felt a vibe with my music and wanted to work together, and I’m lucky that many have now become close friends like Pharrell, Nicky Jam, Anitta, Diplo, Bad Bunny and more that I keep working with. Recently, I’ve been blessed to join Tainy, Benny and Selena Gomez on ‘I Can’t Get Enough,’ collaborated with Sean Paul on ‘Contra La Pared,’ worked with DJ Khaled for a track on his new album (Which we performed on Saturday Night Live) and recorded ‘Con Altura’ with Rosalia – which is currently the number-two YouTube music video in the world. As far as what is coming next, I still have a few more surprises on the way.

You did a song with [Israeli favorites) Static and Bel El Tavori. How was it to work with them? 
I always like working with artists from different countries to bring Reggaeton to a bigger global audience. I’ve worked with DJs or artists from Aruba, Sweden, France, Brazil and many more, so I loved it when I got the request to work with those two guys from Israel with such a great sense of humor. Just look at the video.

How do you explain your enormous success over the last two years? Your songs have become huge hits all over the world, and Latin music has grown massively and become mainstream globally. How do you think it happened?
The success everyone has seen in the last two years is actually the result of 10 years of really hard work, creative focus, patience, learning and the blessing of God that it all came together. On the growth of Latin music, I know we always had a really big audience for our music among our own countries, but it wasn’t always easy for the rest of the world to clearly see and understand those numbers we were reaching until streaming measurements leveled the playing field. That not only showed the large number of fans we already had, but opened the door for so much more of the world to connect with the vibe of our music and culture, regardless of differing languages.

 Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest last year and this year’s event was held in Israel. Do you understand all the hysteria around it?
Growing up between Colombia, and later in the United States, I honestly was not very aware of Eurovision until my own music became successful enough that I started to tour in Europe. But once you travel in Europe while the contest is happening it’s hard not to quickly see how engaged so many people become.


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