EXCLUSIVE: J Balvin Talks New Album, Drake Comparisons, & Twitter

Reggaeton meet your new prince…thy name is J Balvin. The Colombian reggaetonero has updated his genre’s sound with dance-inspired beats and seductive, Drake-esque lyrics. But don’t take our word for it, let the handsome Balvin tell you himself. We caught up with him to talk about his new album, La Familia, his favorite rapper, Drake (no surprise there), and the responsibility of pushing reggaeton into the future.

Tell us about your new album, La Familia.

I’m super happy with the album. It’s an album that carries that name because I love my family and I love my fans, which I also consider family. I’m extremely grateful to my fans and want the youth to value their family as well.

We’ve been trolling your Twitter page (@JBalvin) for a while. Last year you had over 500,000 followers. Today you have over 2 million! How did you do that?

Everyone’s personality is different but I like to have interaction with my fans. We keep on growing because people like what I tweet. The inspiring quotes I post, I hope others connect with it keep on going. It’s a great way of connecting with my fans.

What’s the origin of your nickname, El Negocio?

My nickname comes from when I was starting out in my career I would sell CDs I would make. A friend of mine bought a CD from me and I convinced him to buy 10. He said, “Damn, you’re El Negocio.” And it stuck!

It’s like that Jay-Z lyric, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!”

Absolutely, bro!

How do you handle the responsibility of being reggaeton’s brightest new star?

The responsibility that I have is because I’m hungry and when you’re hungry you can conquer the world. I’m hungry to represent Colombia. We need to refresh the genre. Colombians come with a different perspective. We’re more open-minded with the lyrics. It’s sexy but not vulgar. We’re evolving the genre.