“I wanted to show myself as a human being,” J Balvin tells Apple Music about his new album. “I wanted to show the things that Jose has gone through to be where I’m at right now.” After breaking past both musical and language barriers with 2018’s Vibras and subsequently sharing his artistic brilliance with the follow-up Colores, global superstar J Balvin returns with the decidedly more personal JOSE. A revelatory blend of personal reflections and peak nightclub vibes, his namesake project shares more of himself and his expansive pop music vision than ever before through forthright and even confessional cuts like “7 De Mayo” and the deeply moving “La Familia.”
From the seductive sounds of “Una Nota” to the entrancingly tropical “Que Locura,” he’s pushing forward without abandoning his reggaetón roots. This becomes most evident on the album’s dance-floor-centric moments, such as the irresistibly salacious “Perra” with Dominican rising star Tokischa and the house music throwback “In Da Getto” with Skrillex. “That was really important because that’s what I love to hear,” Balvin says about this vital and gratifying aspect of the project.
“JOSE is like my own playlist,” he adds. And, as such, he’s brought on an impressively curated selection of guests, with Latin titans Ozuna and Zion & Lennox joining his fellow pop adventurers Dua Lipa and Khalid on this sonic journey into his ever-expanding musical universe. Below, read some of J Balvin’s thoughts on a few of JOSE’s noteworthy collaborative tracks.
“Una Nota” (feat. Sech) “Sech sent me an idea, like a year ago. I was looking for a vibe that I’d been missing from the album. That is the one I found and was like, ‘Yes! This is the one.’”
“Te Acuerdas De Mí” (feat. Yandel) “It’s me giving respect to one of the pioneers of the genre, giving him just one track by himself.”
“Billetes De 100” (feat. Myke Towers) “Myke Towers is one of my favorite MCs, and it’s really cool to be with him on a rap song in his style. I love the way we sound together.”
“La Venganza” (feat. Jhay Cortez) “Jhay Cortez is like my little brother. We have each other’s backs and we elevate each other. So it’s really cool every time we work together.”
“Qué Más Pues?” (feat. Maria Becerra) “I’m a big fan of looking for new artists. I heard all the buzz about Maria Becerra in Argentina. I checked and found out she was so talented that I wanted to have her on my album. I did this song especially for her.”