It’s highly likely you’ve heard of J Balvin. Whether he’s making contributions solo or as part of a collab, the Colombian reggaeton singer is constantly dominating the charts. He’s been hailed as one of the biggest Latin acts of the 21st century; achieving multiple accolades and paving the way for Latin music to crossover into the mainstream of the West. Basically, he knows how to make a good tune. And he knows how to team up with the right hitmakers to make those tunes.
Here are 10 of our favourite J Balvin collabs.
1. ‘Haute’ – Tyga ft. Chris Brown
The club hit appeared as a single from Tyga’s seventh studio album Legendary in 2019 and topped the weekly Billboard chart in the US (as well as hitting top 20 in the NZ charts). Joining Chris Brown as a feature, J Balvin adds his reggaeton flair to the braggadocio rap and helps make a party starter.
2. ‘Familiar’ – Liam Payne
Quite a jump from 1D, Liam Payne teamed up with J Balvin to create a 2018 Latin pop and R&B hit that echoed Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’ in mainstream likeability. Praised for the way Payne’s vocals mixed effortlessly with Balvin’s Spanish, the tune instantly became one of Payne’s best and climbed up the charts. Over a reggaeton beat, the two go about trying to impress a new flame at a nightclub and ooze swagger.
3. ‘Mi Gente’ – Willy William ft. Beyoncé (remix)
One of Balvin’s biggest hits only got bigger once Beyoncé jumped on the remix in 2017. Performing the entire song in Spanish, Beyoncé gave both Western and Latin fans a glimpse at what she’d sound like on a Latin pop track. Already a huge track, Beyoncé only helped bump the song up to the top of the charts and circle the catchy beat around more.
4. ‘I Like It’ – Cardi B, Bad Bunny
One of the biggest songs to come out of 2018, the Cardi B hit saw two of Latin music’s biggest stars team up to create a Latin trap summer jam. Praising Latin heritage and music, the track incorporates salsa music with hip-hop to create a blend of different genres. ‘I Like It’ earned both Bad Bunny and Balvin their first number one hit, earned a Grammy nomination, surpassed a billion streams on Spotify and was hailed as the “best summer song of all time” by Rolling Stone.
5. ‘I Can’t Get Enough’ – Selena Gomez, Benny Blanco, Tainy
Teaming up with Selena Gomez and two producers Benny Blanco and Tainy, Balvin helped create the 2019 tune. Using Tainy’s Puerto Rican descent and his own reggaeton production and Spanish, the track is a fantastic hybrid of Latin and American pop. The music video, which features all 4 stars jumping around on a massive bed (with Blanco in a teddy bear suit), gained 5 million views within the first 24 hours of its release and earned an MTV VMA nomination.
6. ‘Unforgettable’ – French Montana ft. Swae Lee (Remix)
The iconic track made huge waves when it dropped in 2017, earning both Montana and Swae Lee their first top 10 in over 15 countries. So, when J Balvin jumped onto the remix for a Spanish version, it only amplified the track’s legacy. A perfect crossover of reggaeton and hip-hop, and a great example of how Balvin could effortlessly jump on a beloved hit and make it sound even better, the remix is a huge tune.
7. ‘You Stay’ – DJ Khaled ft. Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Jeremih
The glue that holds most bangers together, producer DJ Khaled enlisted the help of rappers Meek Mill, Lil Baby and Jeremih along with Balvin to create the soft Latin trap hit. On a beat that sounds like it was made for Balvin, each artist ponders over why their love interest chooses to stay with someone that doesn’t treat her right. The track appeared on DJ Khaled’s 2019 album Father of Asahd.
8. ‘Sorry’ – Justin Bieber (Remix)
We all know Bieber loves a good Latin hit (à la ‘Despacito’), so when Balvin jumped on the remix for one of his biggest songs in 2015, it was a delightful surprise. Adding in his own Latin flair, Balvin brings a Spanish verse to the popular tune and, as usual, snuggles right into the beat as if it was made for him. To date, the YouTube audio has amassed over 100 million views.
9. ‘RITMO’ – Black Eyed Peas
The first single off the soundtrack for the 2020 film Bad Boys for Life saw the Black Eyed Peas and Balvin make a banger from a sample of Corona’s 1993 ‘The Rhythm of the Night.’ Weaving in and out of Spanish and English and referencing Latin themes, the track is a fiery hit that wraps up all the best parts of reggaeton and Western music. Jaden Smith also jumps on the remixed version and brings some Spanish heat.
10. ‘Un Día (One Day)’ – Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy
Teaming up with three of the biggest names in reggaeton, Dua Lipa jumped on the brand-new J Balvin track to create a storm in not only the Latin pop world but the music world as a whole. A swanky salsa beat that’s sure to fill the dancefloor, Dua Lipa assures an ex-lover that one day they’ll love her again. It’s one hell of a fresh tune and while we may be a little biased, we think it’s going to be one of the biggest songs of 2020.
Listen to ‘Un Día (One Day) ft. Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny & Tainy’ out now!