Nobody expected to release an album in the midst of a pandemic, with the world stuck in stasis and listeners trapped in self-isolation. And few artists had albums in the chamber as vibrant and energetic as J Balvin. Colores, the Colombian reggaeton star's fifth album, was released on March 19, days after most of the world went into lockdown, and on first listen it seemed to be completely opposed to our new world of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. All but one of its tracks are named for colors in the rainbow, and the one remaining is just called "Arcoiris" — Spanish for rainbow. “¿Cómo te explico? No me complico / A mí me gusta pasarla rico,” he sings on the album's opener, setting up having a good time as his mission statement.
But in the latest episode of The FADER Interview, streaming at the top of the page, Balvin flips that idea on its head. "It's been a blessing," he tells Jennifer Mota over a video call from his home. "The concept of the album is more powerful now. I just want to spread love and spread happiness." With most people stuck indoors Colores, with its Takashi Murakami-designed artwork and polychromatic outlook, might be the splash of color that fans need.
Elsewhere in the interview, Balvin explains why he only brought in two collaborators for the record — Sky Rompiendo for "Verde" and Mr Eazi for "Arcoiris" — after bringing in so many guests for his last solo full-length, Vibras. He also discusses his performance at the Super Bowl, explaining why he chose to play despite many other artists turning down the NFL's platform in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
Watch the full FADER Interview at the top of the page.