“Despacito” is really the gift that keeps on giving.
Billboard announced last week that Luis Fonsi’s Spanish language hit featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber is officially tied with Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s 1995 track “One Sweet Day” for longest No. 1 run in Billboard Hot 100 chart history (for 16 weeks it reigned atop the music industry’s most closely watched singles chart).
One person who is pretty darned stoked? Fonsi.
“It’s been an amazing, wonderful ride,” said the singer from Argentina, a stop on his Love + Dance World Tour that hits Hard Rock Live on Sept. 22. “Here we are talking about this so many months later, still celebrating its success all over the world.”
What does the native Puerto Rican think of his song tying with the ’90s track?
“I’m so proud,” said the 39 year old married father of two. “Let’s hear it for the Boyz!”
Fonsi actually reached out to the boy band via their manager to congratulate them.
“I happen to love Boyz II Men. I listened to them in high school,” said the Pinecrest resident. “I’m a huge fan, and they are artists who have been actually very influential to me.”
Could a collaboration with the R&B throwback stars be in the works?
“I mean, a lightbulb just went off. So why not? Nowadays my take is that there is no competition out there,” said Fonsi. “That would be a great way to properly celebrate our tie [with ‘One Sweet Day’]. So be on the lookout!”
And as for a possible duet with Carey?
“I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her,” he said of the pop star. “She is a diva. What she has done is amazing. I would love to speak to her and say hello and Who knows? Maybe we’ll record something. I love thinking outside the box. The more the merrier.”
One person Fonsi would love to work with again is Bieber. He loves how the two singers first came together so organically.
“The thing that’s so great about ‘Despacito’ is that it wasn’t thought up by some record-label genius, saying, ‘Oh, let’s bring in Justin Bieber for this,” says Fonsi. “It was Justin’s idea. He was touring South America, where it was already a huge hit and heard it in a club. He saw the people’s reaction, he saw it as a game changer and wanted to be a part of it.”
Bieber’s star power didn’t hurt.
“Having his vocals and just having his name on it really opened a lot of doors to general markets because is such a huge act,” admitted Fonsi. “What he added was so different and special. I think Justin added a layer, a special sauce, to get people to listen to the song who may not have if it was just me and Daddy Yankee. He gave it that little push to turn it from being a hit into a phenomenon.”
A phenomenon indeed. Just do a Google search and a bunch of homages and parodies pop up all over the place.
Fonsi loves all of it.
If he and Bieber team up again, can lightning really strike twice? Because there’s something about “Despacito” that sticks in your head like few other ditties.
“There is definitely a purity there. You can’t plan for that. It breaks the language barrier. It is just a bunch of words and syllables but put together it’s got the X factor. I didn’t plan for this; we all benefited from coming together.”
The “Baby” singer won’t be with Fonsi on his tour but the shows are big on entertainment.
“Just like its name describes, the show I’ve prepared for the “Love + Dance World Tour” its a mix between all of my romantic ballads like ‘No Me Doy Por Vencido,’ ‘Aquí Estoy Yo,’ ‘Abrazar La Vida,’ among others, with uptempo songs that feature my new sound, such as ‘Despacito,’ Fonsi explained. “I’ve also been performing new songs from my upcoming ninth studio album during the show, which has been very well received and that makes me happy.”
The tour is one of the most important tours as it comes in one of the most exciting times of Fonsi’s almost 20-year career.
“Not only have I been able to return to the countries that have been a big part of my success as an artist, but also I’ve been able to perform in several countries for the first time like Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden and Cyprus to name a few,” he said. “To see so many people dancing and singing along even though Spanish is not their native language is an incredible feeling. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to continue doing what I love and also keep growing as an artist.”