SERIES- PART 3 of 3: Crossover Artists Changing The Game: J Balvin

J Balvin Festival de Vina Del Mar

Growing up, J Balvin or Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin grew up in Medellin, Colombia. Born into a middle-class family, Balvin lived comfortably for the first part of his life. His father was an economist and business owner and they lived in a large home in the hills. Unfortunately later, his father’s business went bankrupt and they lost their home and car, forcing them to move to a poorer neighborhood. The star describes this part of his life as moving in between two different worlds. When he would go to the barrio people saw him as rich but when he went around rich people they saw him as poor. He didn’t mind the difference though, he felt comfortable in both worlds.

J Balvin
Photo Credit Via Wikimedia Commons

When Balvin turned 17, he participated in an English-exchange program in Oklahoma. After the program he moved to New York to further his studies in English and to study music living with an aunt on Staten Island. While in New York, Balvin became intrigued by rappers like 50 Cent and P.Diddy. Music has always been an influence within Balvin’s life. Growing up he listened to mostly rock music groups like Metallica and Nirvana. He even has a Nirvana tattoo on his knee. Balvin developed an interest in Reggaeton the first time he listened to Daddy Yankee.

J Balvin
Photo Credit via Al Dia News photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for MTV

Balvin decided to move back to Colombia and pursue a music career. He began performing at urban clubs in Medellin and building his social media following. His first international hit was ‘Yo Te Lo Dije‘. Today as an artist J Balvin has worked with big name artists such as Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Prince Royce and Ariana Grande. Balvin is the first Colombian artist to work with the ‘Prince of Bachata’ Prince Royce establishing himself as an international artist. Balvin has also become the first artist to receive a diamond certification in the Latin field from the RIAA.

As a crossover artist, Balvin is a little different. He sticks to his Latin roots but collaborates with different artists within different genres. His recent song ‘RITMO’ with the Black Eyed Peas will be featured in Bad Boys 3: For Life. The video already has 320 million views on YouTube. Balvin sings almost exclusively in Spanish because he hopes to introduce Spanish-Language music to a global audience.

Video Credit via Black Eyed Peas Official YouTube

Other artists Balvin has worked with is Tyga and Chris Brown. He was featured in the song ‘Haute’. A pop song that Balvin also sings in Spanish.

Video Credit via Tyga Official YouTube

Another song Balvin was featured in was ‘Familiar’ with English singer Liam Payne. The video has 113 million views.

Video Credit vi Liam Payne Official YouTube

Balvin wishes to dominate the world with his music. In an interview with NPR, Balvin says, “The most important thing is the music. Without the music, there’s no world domination.” His vision goes along with Tory Lanez and Koffee to make a difference in the world with his music while staying true to himself. As a crossover and international artist, Balvin hopes to be a legend one day while infusing the music world and other artists with Reggaeton and Spanish vibes.

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