Stacey Avédikian Arabian – World Stars Mag
When Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Erika Ender wrote “Despacito,” they knew it’d be special but they had no idea how they’d make history.
On January 12, 2017, Universal Music Latin released the song along with a music video that was filmed in La Perla, which is a neighborhood in Puerto Rico.
Before we can talk about its success and all of the records it broke, we need to remember how it all happened.
The song’s lyrics were actually born in 2015 in Fonsi’s home in Miami.
I woke up one morning with this despacito in my head, and it was pretty much that chorus melody and obviously just the word despacito … that’s all I had. So then I recorded it on my phone. Then we were at the studio in my house with Erika Ender, she’s a great songwriter from Panama, and that’s where I said maybe we can pick up from this idea that I had, Fonsi said.
I block out a good amount of time, could be six or eight months, and I just write. I do a lot of traveling, and I do a lot of co-writing with different writers just to start getting ideas out and kind of get a little bit of direction as far as where I’m going to go with the album. Despacito’ came about halfway through that writing process, the musician said.
Fonsi explains he has a process of several months at a time where he solely focuses on songwriting.
After composing the song with Ender, Fonsi called on his producers Andrés Torres and Mauricio Rengifo to put together his vision for the track. In a matter of three hours, even less, they had 80% of the production that we hear now. They put the cuatro, which is the Spanish guitar that we hear in the beginning. That’s a very typical instrument from Puerto Rico and normally huge for very traditional music.
Even then, Fonsi felt that something was missing. That’s when the thought of having someone featured on the track was born. And who did they call? Daddy Yankee, of course.
As Fonsi said: Yankee was more than just a feature, and he brought a lot to the table and he added his magic to it.
After Yankee added his expertise and vocals, the song was complete. Fonsi admits that they knew they had something special, but they never imagined it to reach the level of success that it’s currently reaching.
The original song immediately made it’s way to the Billboard charts and was a massive hit around the world, but unprecedented success was on its way. Just three months after its debut, “Despacito” the remix, came to claim its throne.
On April 17, 2017, Justin Bieber joined the track and Fonsi, and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito now featured the 23-year-old star. The original song was already No. 44 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. The track featured Bieber singing in Spanish and English while Fonsi added a few new lyrics in English, but the essence of the song and it’s actual entity stayed intact.
Week after week, “Despacito” broke more and more records. Finding its way to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and breaking all the record for the most seen video on YouTube in the platform’s history. It’s also worth noting that the video that has broken all of these YouTube records and made history is the original video, for the original song with Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, which doesn’t include Bieber. Right now, the video is at 4.7 billion streams.
Fast forward to November 2017 and “Despacito” won four Latin Grammys but the writers also found out. Later that month, it was announced that “Despacito” (Remix) received nominations for three Grammy awards including; Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Pop/Duo Group Performance.
For Ender, the nominations mean that they’ll have more opportunities to create history and to inspire other Latinos because the last time a non-English-language composition won the Grammy for song of the year was in 1959 for “Volare,” an Italian song.
Fonsi never imagined receiving three Grammy nominations, the moment feels like a dream.