Daddy Yankee On His New Album 'Prestige' & What Reggaeton Really Means to Him

Marion Haines/Starpix

Get ready: Daddy Yankee's new album, Prestige, drops September 11. We caught up with the reggaeton artist (at the Zumba convention!) to get the scoop on how he keeps his sound fresh, his dream collaborations and what reggaeton really means to him. Read all about it below!

Where did the name Prestige come from?

"The career that I have in the urban Latin movement, it has been great. I've risen to the top. That's what the name means."

What do you think of the Latin music scene now?

"There's a a lot of new artists, a lot of great artists. But when it comes to the urban Latin movement, our performing and our sound has moved more to the internet and other platforms, so right now the movement is right there where it counts."

How does Zumba play into that?

"In terms of my career, Zumba is a great platform because my music is a lot of rhythm and in order to do Zumba you need a lot of rhythm (laughs). So it’s a great partnership right there, Daddy Yankee and Zumba."

You will be performing for the winner of My Fabulous Quince -- a contest hosted by Verizon. Are you excited for them to pick a winner?

"For Latinas, you know the quinceañera means a lot, so I’m just glad and happy to be a part (of it). I know that night will be history for that girl, and something she remembers for her entire life."

Who would you consider a dream music collaboration?

"All my dream collaborations are in my new album. I wanted to do a collaboration with Natalia Jimenez, and one of the biggest songs on the album I do with her. She’s got mad energy and she’s really talented and she’s got an incredible voice, and we came out with a huge song."

This is your ninth album. How do you keep your sound fresh and changing?

"For me, as an urban Latino artist, it’s more challenging. Why? Because the people that love this genre, they love the same pattern of rhythm. So you’ve got to incorporate new sounds and new melodies into the same pattern, which is reggaeton. If you change the pattern or the format, people don’t follow. So it’s kind of challenging, but at the same time in this album I kept (the format) but with new elements, and the preview reaction has been great."

What does reggaeton really mean to you?

"Oh man, my life. Reggaeton beyond the genre, it’s a lifestyle. I think that a lot of people don’t understand that, you know basically it’s like hip-hop. Just like hip-hop is a lifestyle (so is reggaeton). In Central America, South America, Mexico and the Carribean, people breathe this 24/7, it’s not like the U.S., over there it’s different. And that’s what I’m saying (in regards to music), you've got to keep evolving without losing the essence."

Will you be buying the new album Sept 11? 

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Samantha Leal, Deputy Editor

Sam edits and oversees all site content with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. When she's not working, you can find her watching way too many YouTube videos and reading (YA novels, mostly). Follow her on Twitter @samanthajoleal.

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