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

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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.

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About this author

Grace Bastidas, Deputy Editor

Born and raised in Queens, New York, where more languages are spoken than anywhere in the world, Grace Bastidas is Latina’s Deputy Editor. She oversees lifestyle content, including topics as diverse as career, health and relationships, and occasionally writes about her own experiences in The Good Life section. As a writer, Grace’s work has appeared in The New York TimesNew York magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure. She is fluent in Spanish.

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