Sound Check: Juan Luis Guerra Turns Japanese. Well, Sort Of.

Bachata king Juan Luis Guerra is back, and he’s speaking Japanese. The first single from his upcoming eleventh studio album (out June 8 on Capitol Latin) is called “Bachata En Fukuoka. It was inspired by the legendary singer’s trip to Japan last year, during which he visited the capital of Tokyo and Fukuoka, a city on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu that is considered to be the birthplace of Japanese civilization.

It was a dream come true for the 52-year-old, who enjoyed watching thousands of folks dance to his music. “From the moment I got back to Santo Domingo, I started composing “Bachata En Fukuoka,” a story that narrates my trip,” he says. “I also learned two or three words in Japanese, which I include in the song.”

Indeed, the track is sprinkled with a few foreign expressions: “Y llegó la hora de partir y decir sayonara (con pocas ganas)/ y una palomita se posó en mi ventana/ Kon’nichi wa, ohayo gozaimasu,” he sings. “It’s time to leave and say good-bye (with little desire)/ and a little dove landed on my window/ Hello, good morning.”

Still, the song is vintage Juan Luis Guerra with a sound that will have you swaying from side to side. “It’s a love story,” explains the artist. “And people like love stories.”

Here it is, in case you had doubts.