J Balvin: The Prince of Reggaetón Continues to Flourish Internationally

Photo Credit: Alfredo Estrella

With many albums, mixtapes, and hot collaborations under his belt, J Balvin is taking the music industry by storm. The hit-making musician has sold over 40 million single sales worldwide. When he entered the music scene, the artist was searching for a fan base, but after several years of work, J Balvin isn’t stopping anytime soon. José Álvaro Osorio Balvín was born on May 7, 1985 in Medellin, Colombia. Growing up he fell in love with bachata, dancehall, and hip-hop throughout the city. When he was 17-years-old, Jose moved to America to learn English and learn more about music.

J Balvin released his first musical project in 2007 with Real. This included songs like “Como un Animal” and “En Lo Oscuro.” In 2008 he dropped the mixtape El negocio. Listeners later heard the J Balvin Mix Tape in February 2012. His first international hit with these mixtapes was “Yo Te Lo Dije.” The track helped J Balvin to get a lot of attention from DJs in the US. His debut album La Familia was released in October 2013 through Universal Music Group. The 15-track album became J Balvin’s first project to make it to US Billboard Latin Albums chart. Four singles from the album generated huge crowd following for the artist. “Tranquila” is one of the four singles from the album with over 400 million views on YouTube alone.

On June 24, 2016, J Balvin released his second studio album, Energia. When it aired, the album debuted on Billboard 200 chart and made it to number one on the US Billboard Latin Albums chart. Lead single “Ginza” helped J Balvin solidify his name in reggaetón due to the popularity of the song. Energia brought the artist closer to his hip-hop style and aesthetic using rhythms and dancehall-like vibes. In March 2017, J Balvin collaborated with popular artist Bad Bunny to release the single, “Si Tu Novio Te Deja Sola.”

J Balvin released Vibras in May 2018. This album included the international sensation “Mi Gente.” The track reached great heights in dozens of countries across the world. Vibras was widely acknowledged by the commercial success of the track. J Balvin branded himself to connect with different aspects of music that make up reggaetón as a genre. It features artists like Rosalia, Zion & Lennox, and Willy William through 15-tracks. This album was also amplified with the release of another single between J Balvin and Bad Bunny on Cardi B’s, “I Like It.” J Balvin also collaborated with Rosalia and El Guincho on her single, “Con Altura.” In 2019 J Balvin produced with Bad Bunny for the project Oasis. Whether talking about drinking, having fun with women, or dancing the stress away, Oasis acts as a feel good reggaetón album. Including the several popular tracks J Balvin and Bad Bunny connected on, the duo has created a worldwide group of fans dedicated to dancing to their music.

On March 19, 2020, J Balvin released his fourth album Colores. The project acts as a 10-track conceptual album. Each track is based on a color and has a video accommodating them. The tracks aren’t super heavy or thought provoking, like much of J Balvin’s music, but they promote a sense of connection and good times, even if the listener doesn’t know what is being said. “Verde” featured artist Sky Rompiendo and “Arcoiris” featured Mr Eazi on the album. With easy flows and catchy beats, which is easily becoming a part of J Balvin’s signature style, Colores is a dynamic push from a dynamic artist.

J Balvin kept his creative juices flowing in 2020 where he dropped another single with musical friend Bad Bunny on the track, “Un Dia” featuring Dua Lipa. The end of the summer saw the release of three separate EPs: Summer Love EP was released in July with six tracks, Summer Vacation was released a week later with another six tracks and the week afterward, Summer Fiesta was released. Over the last couple of years, J Balvin has grown the popularity of reggaetón internationally. Combining his chill but wacky style, with dynamic Afro-Latin rhythms has resulted in a goldmine for the artist. J Balvin has acquired an insurmountable amount of connections to further his music endeavors. Listeners should be waiting to hear the next reggaetón banger to be released from J Balvin.

Written by: Carlton Rolle

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