J Balvin Makes History With First Bilingual Cover Story for Fader Magazine
Colombian reggaeton sensation J Balvin is on the cover of The Fader magazine's February/March Global issue, and, while that is newsworthy enough, the star made history by having the publication's first cover story to be published in English and Spanish.
In the new issue of The Fader, Balvin, one of 2015's biggest stars, discusses his career, upbringing, inspirations and where he hopes his growing career will take him in the future.
Check out what the "Ginza" singer had to say, along with images from the photoshoot below.
On His Middle Class Upbringing
Unlike most reggaeton stars, Balvin revealed that he was brought up in a upper middle class household and not in a barrio.
However, the star explained his family did face some financial struggles when his father lost his business. His upbringing makes the artist feel like a chameleon, equally comfortable around wealthy and working-class people.
“When I would go to the barrio, people saw me as a rich person, but when I’m around rich people they see me as someone from the ghetto. It’s all perceptions. I like moving between worlds," he said.
On Staying Humble
With all the fame, Balvin explained that he hopes to stay grounded, even though the industry "rids superstars of their humanity." He said he will use that humility to stay connected with his fans.
"I prefer to show the world I’m a human being,” he said. “When you maintain a closeness with your fans, they are more forgiving when you make mistakes."
On Why He's Not Looking to Crossover
The "Ay Vamos" singer doesn't plan to leave behind his Latin music career for mainstream American music. Instead, Balvin wants the same recognition that American artists get.
“I want to keep making history in Spanish. I want to invite the mainstream into my world, and to my sound, and to what I’m doing," the star said. "And I want mainstream artists to respect me, and accept Latino artists as equals, without us having to sing in English. I want them to know that I can compete globally with whomever, in Spanish.”
A prime example of this would be Balvin's most recent collaboration with Justin Bieber on a remix of the Canadian star's song "Sorry." For the song, Balvin stuck to Spanish lyrics while Bieber sang in English.
The star also proved he could create international hits in Spanish when "Ginza" became the No. 1 song in Europe.
On Donald Trump
The 30-year-old famously dropped out of a performance on the Miss USA 2015 pageant, which would have been his first major performance on American television, after pageant owner Donald Trump made racist comments about Mexicans.
At the time Balvin told Billboard the comments didn't just affect Mexicans but all Latinos. He reiterated that thought in a more personal way to The Fader.
“I was personally offended because I also worked illegally in the U.S., painting houses and fixing roofs,” he explained. “I wasn’t a narco or a rapist. And I thought about the people I worked with, and they were good people just trying to get ahead. That’s why I didn’t even have to think about [canceling]. Dignity isn’t negotiable.”
Check out the full story in English or Spanish on The Fader's website or when the issue hits newsstands on March 8.