Fonsi cred­its Bieber for Des­pac­ito’s suc­cess

His ‘spe­cial sauce’ helped make song a crossover hit

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Luis Fonsi has given Justin Bieber full credit for turn­ing his Des­pac­ito hit into last year’s big­gest crossover Latino megahit.

The Puerto Ri­can singer is con­vinced the track wouldn’t have been as big as it was had it not been for Bieber’s in­ter­est and his agree­ment to sing in Span­ish.

“When the song was re­leased, the in­stant feed­back from the world was in­cred­i­ble and, four months in, Justin Bieber calls and ex­presses his in­ter­est,” Fonsi tells Bill­board. “What he brought was just a dif­fer­ent layer, a dif­fer­ent an­gle, his smooth vo­cals.

“I sing it com­ing from my Latin back­ground and he sings it more com­ing from his Cana­dian-Amer­i­can style. It’s re­ally nice to have that dif­fer­ent point of view and it was great to have him and his spe­cial sauce.

“He added a new verse, but, at the end of the day, the song is pretty much the same. Hav­ing him sing half of the cho­rus in Span­ish re­ally opened up a lot of doors, be­cause here is this house­hold name singing in Span­ish for that (English­s­peak­ing) au­di­ence that nor­mally doesn’t re­ally speak the lan­guage. I think they re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated that. It was like telling them, ‘Hey, if he is singing in Span­ish, you can sing in Span­ish, as well, even though you don’t know the lan­guage.’

“It’s OK now to lis­ten to songs that are in a dif­fer­ent lan­guage, and that, to me, is a dif­fer­ent pic­ture. That, to me, is the big­gest thing that Justin Bieber brought to the ta­ble ... He is an in­cred­i­ble and ta­lented per­former and vo­cal­ist. Him be­ing there opened up a lot of doors for us and for Latin mu­sic.”

Fonsi says the song turned him­self and Bieber into friends who of­ten chat about the suc­cess of their song.

“We are still in con­tact,” he says. “Every time some­thing hap­pens with the song, we get in con­tact.

“This has been a huge song for his (Bieber’s) ca­reer, one of the big­gest, and it’s ironic that it’s in Span­ish. It is im­por­tant for him, for us, and there is def­i­nitely a friend­ship. I hope one day we can work to­gether again, maybe even per­form Des­pac­ito to­gether.”

CJ RIVERA/GETTY IM­AGES

Luis Fonsi has given Justin Bieber full credit for turn­ing his Des­pac­ito hit into last year’s big­gest crossover Latino megahit.

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