Despacito

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"Despacito"
Despacito by Luis Fonsi.jpeg
Single by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee
Released January 13, 2017
Format
Recorded 2016
Genre
Length 3:47
Label Universal Latin
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Andrés Torres
  • Mauricio Rengifo
Luis Fonsi singles chronology
"Tentación"
(2015)
"Despacito"
(2017)
"Wave Your Flag"
(2017)
Daddy Yankee singles chronology
"Shaky Shaky"
(2016)
"Despacito"
(2017)
"Hula Hoop"
(2017)
Music video

"Despacito" on YouTube

Audio sample

"Despacito" (American Spanish: [despa'sito]; English: "Slowly") is a single by Puerto Rican pop artist Luis Fonsi featuring Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee from the former's upcoming studio album.[1] On January 13, 2017, Universal Music Latin released "Despacito" and its music video, which shows both artists performing the song in the La Perla neighborhood of Puerto Rico and the local bar La Factoría. The song was written by Luis Fonsi and Erika Ender, with additional writing by Daddy Yankee, and was produced by Andrés Torres and Mauricio Rengifo.[2]

It is a reggaeton-pop song composed in common time with lyrics about having a sexual relationship, performed in a smooth and romantic way. Commercially, the song topped the charts of 28 countries and reached the top 10 of 12 others, making it both Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's most successful single. It became the first song primarily in Spanish to top the Billboard Hot 100 since "Macarena" (Bayside Boys Mix) in 1996. The official video for "Despacito" on YouTube received its one billionth view on April 20, 2017 after 97 days, becoming the second-fastest video on the site to reach the milestone behind Adele's "Hello".[3]

Several remix versions were released following the single's success. On March 17, 2017, both a solo pop version and a salsa version featuring Puerto Rican musician Victor Manuelle were released. On April 17, 2017, a remix version featuring Canadian singer Justin Bieber was released; this version helped to improve the song's chart performance in numerous countries, particularly in the English-speaking world. On May 5, 2017, both an electronic version produced by American trio Major Lazer and Colombian DJ MOSKA and an urban version produced by Sky were released.

Background and composition[edit]

Panamanian singer and songwriter Erika Ender (pictured) co-wrote "Despacito" with Fonsi.

After two years without releasing new music,[4] Luis Fonsi (Luis Alfonso Rodríguez López-Cepero) wanted to create "a fun track that had that Latin feel with a melody that I feel very comfortable singing and that will make people just dance".[5] According to Erika Ender, the lyrics were born in late 2015 in Fonsi's house after he expressed his desire to record a "swinging song" for his new album.[6] Fonsi showed the chorus he had written to Ender, his friend and winner of a 2016 Latin Grammy Award as songwriter,[7] and they then co-wrote the rest of the song.[5] She thought that because of the sensual nature of the song, they "needed to be responsible with a good lyric" and said that her approach to writing for Fonsi was "to take care of how to say things with a good taste".[6] Fonsi originally composed "Despacito" as a cumbia and pop song with lyrics written as a ballad, but began to consider giving it an "urban injection" and contacted reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee (Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez), who agreed to collaborate on the song after Fonsi played him the demo.[5] Prior to collaborating on "Despacito", Fonsi and Daddy Yankee had worked together on "Una Oportunidad", released digitally in 2010.[8] According to Ender, Daddy Yankee wrote the post-chorus lines "Pasito a pasito, suave, suavecito / Nos vamos pegando poquito a poquito".[9] Fonsi and Daddy Yankee recorded the song in Miami in 2016.[10] The song was produced by Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres;[11] the latter had previously worked with David Bisbal and Ricky Martin.[12]

"Despacito" is a reggaeton-pop song[13] composed in common time (4
4
time) and written in the key of B minor with a tempo of 89 beats per minute and a chord progression of Bm—G—D—A.[14] Its implicit lyrics are about having a sexual relationship in a smooth and romantic way, making heavy use of allegories.[15] Some of the song's sexual allegories are "I want to see your hair dancing", "Let me surpass your danger zones / Until I provoke your screams" and "I want to undress you with kisses / Sign your labyrinth's walls".[16]

Fonsi stated that he made "Despacito" a danceable song because "Latinos are known for being happy people" and that he feels the need of happy music.[17] He added that the "urban feel" in the song's rhythm is the type that "[us Latinos] breath in and out" and that it is "a synonym of party".[17] According to him, "Despacito" is a very melodic song that can adapt well to many other music genres.[17]

In an interview with Billboard magazine in March 2017, Fonsi revealed that he originally focused on other songs of his album after making the demo of "Despacito".[18] After showing the track to his producers, they and Fonsi decided to focus on "Despacito" and leave the other works aside.[18] He stated that both Daddy Yankee and him were surprised after hearing the final song becaused it sounded "powerful, fresh and different".[18] Luis Fonsi said that he does not consider it a reggaeton song but feels that "it does have a reggaeton energy and an subtle urban beat".[5] He also affirmed that Daddy Yankee's work was a plus to the song because "it needed that explosion that only he can bring to the table."[5] In an interview with Billboard magazine in April 2017, Erika Ender stated that the track "made a special connection" and that the collaboration with Daddy Yankee was "a great idea".[6] During the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Conference, Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Nicky Jam revealed that the original version of "Despacito" featured him instead of Daddy Yankee.[19][20]

Release and reception[edit]

"Despacito" was made available for digital download on January 13, 2017 by Universal Music Latin.[21] It was released physically on April 31, 2017 in Europe as a 2-track single including the original and pop version.[22] Some music publications believed the single's success was influenced by a trend of combining Latin pop and urban music after the release of hit singles by Nicky Jam, Thalia, Enrique Iglesias, Carlos Vives, Ricky Martin and Shakira.[23] Fonsi considered the trend to be "the new pop",[4] and Ender said of it, "everyone is making this type of fusions".[6]

Doris Irizarry of AXS praised the fusion between "Latin sensual rhythms" and urban music, describing it as "masterful".[24] Sebastian Wernke-Schmiesing of Dance-Charts electronic journal stated that "a simple 4/4 time, Spanish guitar sounds, a crisp bass, and the excellent vocals by Luis Fonsi and Ramon Luis Ayala Rodriguez a.k.a. Daddy Yankee were enough to get a hit single from the start".[25] He added that "'Despacito' has the magic it takes to reach the world" and that "works both on the dancefloors and on the radio".[25] Buddy Iahn of The Music Universe described it as an "infectious tune" and that its music video became very popular because it is "great music performed by two of the biggest stars in the Latin music business".[26] Diana Marti of E! News said that "it is almost impossible not to dance to [it]".[27] Caroline Soriano of Enstars magazine described the song's beat as "quite sexy and catchy" and defined the lyrics as "captivating".[28] Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone magazine described it as alluring, sexy and catchy.[10]

Accolades[edit]

"Despacito" received two pending nominations for the 2017 Premios Juventud.[29]

Year Ceremony Category Result Ref.
2017 Premios Juventud Perfect Combination Pending [29]
Best Song for Singing Pending

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, the single debuted at No. 2 on the Hot Latin Songs chart, being Fonsi's highest-charting single since June 2009,[13] when "Aquí Estoy Yo" peaked at the top position.[30] "Despacito" became also Fonsi's first No. 1 hit single on the US Latin Digital Songs chart, with 11,000 downloads sold on the week ending on January 19, 2017.[13] As to Daddy Yankee, it was his highest debut ever on the Hot Latin Songs chart, in which he marked his 48th career hit.[13] It also debuted at No. 3 on the US Latin Streaming Songs chart, with 2.7 million streams between Spotify and YouTube, and its 7.4 million audio impressions let it reach No. 19 on the US Latin Airplay chart.[13] Subsequently, it debuted at No. 88 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Fonsi's third entry on that chart[31] and Yankee's seventh.[32] Several weeks after the release of its remix, it reached No. 1 on the Hot 100, becoming both Fonsi and Yankee's first number one on the chart, and Bieber's fifth.[33] It also became the first mostly-Spanish-language song to lead the all-genre US Digital Songs chart after selling 86,000 copies on the week ending May 13, 2017.[34]

It reached the top ten on various Latin American countries through Monitor Latino charts, peaking at No. 1 in Argentina, Austria, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, and reaching the top three in Dominican Republic. It also peaked at No. 1 in Australia and Canada. Across Europe, it topped the charts in Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and reached the top ten in Romania, among other countries. The song debuted at No. 1 on the Spanish music chart on the week ending January 19, 2017,[35] being Fonsi's highest career hit on that chart, and was certificated Gold a week later for surpassing 5 million streams in the country (or 20,000 digital-equivalent units).[36][37] Between February and April 2017, the single was also certified in Belgium, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland and the United States.

As No. 1, it spent sixteen consecutive weeks in Spain, ten in Latin America,[38] seven in Italy[39] and three in Switzerland.[40] It also spent three non-consecutive weeks in Bulgaria[41] and Portugal.[42] As No. 1 on US charts, it spent fifteen consecutive weeks on Hot Latin Songs.[43] "Despacito" was the song with most radio spins in Latin America in February 2017, with 59,359 spins between the ten countries Monitor Latino measure.[44] It broke the record for the most simultaneous number-ones on Monitor Latino's charts, with eleven on the issue dated April 2, 2017.[44][45]

Music video[edit]

The music video was released alongside the single on January 13, 2017, receiving 5.14 million views on its first 24 hours, breaking J Balvin's previous record with "Bobo" for a Spanish-language Vevo clip.[13] It was filmed in December 2016 in La Perla neighborhood and the popular bar La Factoría in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was directed by Carlos Perez.[2] The director had previously worked with Luis Fonsi on "Corazón en la Gaveta" (2014) and also with Daddy Yankee on "Gangsta Zone" (2006, performed with Snoop Dogg), "Descontrol" (2010), "Ven Conmigo" (2011, performed with Prince Royce) and "Moviendo Caderas" (2014, performed with Yandel).[46]

The clip shows both artists performing while participating on different parties on the island. It also features Miss Universe 2006 model Zuleyka Rivera.[47] According to Luis Fonsi, the music video celebrates Latin American culture, saying that movement, dancing and rhythm are "engraved into his bones". He also affirms that part of the song's success was the reception of the fans, capturing the best of Fonsi's romantic ballad and danceable facets.[17] It reached one billion YouTube views on April 20, 2017.[48] The clip is YouTube's 22nd most viewed video,[49] with more than 1.5 billion views.[50] It is also the second most viewed Spanish-language music video on YouTube, behind "Bailando" by Enrique Iglesias featuring Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona.[49]

Remixes and cover versions[edit]

Puerto Rican-American singer Víctor Manuelle (left) recorded a salsa version with Luis Fonsi, released on 17 March 2017. Canadian singer Justin Bieber (right) collaborated on a remix version released on 17 April 2017, which helped the song's chart performance in various countries.

The first two official remixes for "Despacito" were released on March 17, 2017: a solo pop version by Fonsi and a salsa version featuring vocals by Puerto Rican musician Victor Manuelle.[51] On April 17, 2017 a remix version featuring vocals by Canadian singer Justin Bieber was released, who sang in Spanish for the first time in his career.[52][53] It maintains the rhythms of the original version but contains a verse translated from the original to English by Fonsi, while Daddy Yankee's verses are retained.[52] The remix's official audio video garnered 18.8 million views on YouTube on its first 24 hours, making it the highest debut for a music-related video in 2017 as of April.[54] On May 5, 2017, two other remixes were released: an electronic version produced by American trio Major Lazer and Colombian DJ MOSKA and an urban version produced by Colombian producer Sky.[55]

In an interview with Billboard magazine in March 2017, Luis Fonsi stated that there are several remixes for "Despacito", including an urban and a club version, mentioning that "there are some great DJs who have shown interest".[17] He also expressed his desire to perform an acoustic version.[17]

The single's success led to various cover versions performed in different music genres by underground or independent artists. Some of them include a cumbia version by Mexican band Grupo Bomba with Spanish band Grupo Arena,[56] an instrumental piano version by Spanish musician Unai Karam,[57] an acoustic version by Peruvian singer Maricarmen with Spanish musician Germán Barrera,[58] a pop version by Mexican singers Winder and Valeria Garza,[59] a salsa version by Mexican singer Kosmic La Ciencia with American singer Montie,[60] and a reggaeton version by Argentine singer Lionel Ferro with Peruvian singer Johann Vera.[61]

Live performances[edit]

Daddy Yankee performed the single solo in Merida, Mexico on March 3, 2017, while Fonsi performed the pop version on the L Festival on March 18, 2017 at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena in Pico Rivera, California.[62] Justin Bieber performed the remix version in Puerto Rico on April 18, 2017 on his Purpose World Tour with Luis Fonsi as guest.[63] Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee performed "Despacito" live together for the first time at the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards on April 27, 2017.[64] They performed together again on The Voice Season 12 Finals featuring contestant Mark Isaiah on May 23, 2017.[65]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[71]

  • Luis Fonsi – songwriting, lead vocals, Puerto Rican cuatro[72]
  • Erika Ender – songwriting
  • Andrés Torres – producer
  • Mauricio Rengifo – producer
  • Daddy Yankee – lead vocals, additional songwriting[9]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Belgium (BEA)[130] Platinum 20,000^
France (SNEP)[131] Platinum 150,000*
Italy (FIMI)[132] 5× Platinum 250,000double-dagger
Mexico (AMPROFON)[133] Diamond+3× Platinum 480,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[36] 7× Platinum 280,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[134] Platinum 30,000^
United States (RIAA)[135] 11× Platinum (Latin) 660,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Justin Bieber remix version[edit]

"Despacito (Remix)"
Despacito Remix by Luis Fonsi.jpg
Single by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber
Released April 17, 2017
Format Digital download
Recorded Early 2017
Genre
Length 3:48
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Andrés Torres
  • Mauricio Rengifo
Justin Bieber singles chronology
"Deja Vu"
(2016)
"Despacito"
(2017)
"I'm the One"
(2017)

A remix version of "Despacito" featuring Canadian singer Justin Bieber was released digitally on April 17, 2017.[68] His Spanish performance of the chorus became the first time he sang in that language.[52] It is the first collaboration between Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee with Bieber. The song maintains the original rhythms and Luis Fonsi translated some lines to English, singing a verse in Spanglish, while Daddy Yankee's verses were kept from the original version.[52] American songwriter Jason Boyd co-wrote the version.[136] According to Fonsi, Justin Bieber wanted to record the remix version after seeing how people reacted to "Despacito" in a Colombian club.[137]

The remix's official audio became the highest debut for a music-related video in 2017 as of April[54] and also the fourth music-related video with most views in one day with 23.8 million views.[138] Bieber's collaboration helped the song to reach number one of the US Billboard Hot 100, the first for a primarily Spanish-language song since "Macarena" by Los del Río in 1996.[33][3] The remix alone topped the charts of Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, and reached the top ten of Mexico, New Zealand and Spain.

Reception[edit]

Avery Thompson of Hollywood Life praised Justin Bieber's performance, stating that "[he] continues to prove that he is one of the best artists out there" and called the song a "hot remix that is perfect for summer". The editor also added that "it is impossible not to swoon when listening to this song".[139] Hilton Dresden of Out magazine described it as "unexpected and delightful" and that "Justin Bieber singing in Spanish is a highly sexual experience", defining the results of the collaboration as "legend".[140] Caroline Soriano of Ernstars magazine stated that Bieber's voice "sounds appealing with the song", whose remix version make it sound "a little bit better".[28] Daniela Galvez of Latina magazine described Bieber singing in Spanish as "amazing".[141]

Charts[edit]

Separate charting of Justin Bieber remix only
Chart (2017) Peak
position
Brazil (Hot 100 Airplay)[142] 28
Brazil (Billboard Brasil Pop Airplay)[143] 2
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[144] 1
Mexico (AMPROFON)[145] 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[146] 3
Norway (VG-lista)[147] 1
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[148] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[149] 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[150] 14
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[151] 40
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[152] 14

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
United States January 13, 2017 Digital download Universal Latin [21]
Italy February 3, 2017 Contemporary hit radio [153]
United States March 17, 2017 Digital download (Pop version) [66]
Digital download (Salsa version) [67]
Europe March 31, 2017 CD single [22]
United States April 17, 2017 Digital download (Justin Bieber remix)
[68]
Italy April 21, 2017 Contemporary hit radio (Justin Bieber remix) [154]
United States May 5, 2017 Digital download (Major Lazer & MOSKA remix) Universal Latin [69]
Digital download (Urban version) [70]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Combined chart entries for the original version and the remix featuring Justin Bieber.

References[edit]

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  58. ^ "Despacito (Acústico) (feat. German Barrera) - Single by Maricarmen". itunes.com. January 18, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  59. ^ "Despacito (feat. Valeria Garza) - Single by Winder". itunes.com. February 9, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  60. ^ "Despacito (salsa version) - Single by Kosmic La Ciencia". itunes.com. February 18, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  61. ^ "Despacito (feat. Johann Vera) - Single by Lionel Ferro". itunes.com. February 24, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
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