Despacito means ‘Slowly’ in Spanish, it’s about having a sexual relationship in a smooth and romantic way. This worldwide hit achieved more success than Fonsi imagined, when asked by Billboard Magazine about this success he replied: “When I first did the demo of this song, I put it to the side and continued working the other songs for the album. But, for some reason, this song always excelled before the others. When I met with my producers, they listened to it and that day we decided to leave the others aside and work on ‘Despacito’ And when we heard the final song, both Daddy Yankee and I were surprised that it sounded powerful, fresh and different. But at the end of the day no one knows, it’s simply the fans who decide whether a song is successful or not, and that’s what makes this career special.”
This song was originally intended to be a fun single for people to dance to. Luis Fonsi wrote it with co-writer Erika Ender, he told the story of song to Billboard Magazine: “The song grew in a very natural way, it really snowballed into this final version. ‘Despacito’ started with a melody hook that I had with my guitar only. The beat for this track came after I wrote the lyrics, which I wrote as if I was writing a ballad. I sat with my guitar and started this cumbia pattern with my guitar. When I had a writing session with my friend Erika Ender I told her, ‘Look, I have this idea and I pretty much have a chorus written but let’s write a song around that and make it a sensual, fun, uplifting, dance kind of song and let’s not over think it.’ Because a lot of times when you’re going into these writing sessions you’re trying to come up with the most beautiful ballads with metaphors but for this one we just went with our gut. After we wrote it, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave it as a cumbia/pop song or to give it this urban injection. I also don’t consider it a reggaetón song but it does have that reggaetón energy and to me that’s the new pop. A mix between a pop melody and a subtle urban beat to create the best of both worlds.”
This was the first collaboration with Justin Bieber, and it is Bieber’s first time to sing in English & Spanish. In an interview with Genius website, Fonsi told how the collaboration with Bieber came about, he said: “I was out in Italy doing promo and it was 3 o’clock in the morning, trying to get some sleep. I get a call from somebody on my label like, ‘Hey, we need to talk to you. We just got a call from Bieber’s camp, and he heard the song while he was on tour in Colombia. He saw how people reacted, he loved the song, he wants to do the remix.’ I was like, ‘What? It’s 3 o’clock in the morning, man. I’m trying to get some sleep. Stop messing around.'” Fonsi sent Bieber the session and he got a first cut of the remix the following day, he added: “I was like, ‘This is crazy,’ the fact that he took the time to do this hook in Spanish,” he recalled. “First of all, it’s tough for me to sing, and I’m Puerto Rican. I’m fluent. It’s so fast and it’s kind of tongue-twisty, the lyrics of the chorus. He nailed it.”
Release Date: January 13, 2017 – Remix released April 17, 2017
Songwriter/s: Luis Rodriguez – Erika Ender – Ramon Ayala – Justin Bieber – Jason Boyd – Marty James
Label: Universal Latin – Republic – Def Jam
Chart Rankings: In the UK, the song became the first foreign language single to reach number one in the charts since “Gangnam Style”. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certified it Platinum for sales over 600,000 copies. In the US, it topped the Billboard hot 100 and the US Hot Latin Songs. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it 34 Platinum for sales over 2 million copies. ‘Despacito’ topped the charts in countries all around the world including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. it was certified Diamond and Triple Platinum in Mexico, 7 times Platinum in Spain Diamond in France, 6 times Platinum in Italy and Double Platinum in Argentina. In Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland it was certified Platinum.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Luis Alfonso Rodriguez Lopez-Cepero aka Luis Fonsi was 39 years old, Ramon Luis Ayala Rodriguez aka Daddy Yankee was 40 years old and Justin Drew Bieber was 23 years old when this song was released.
Cover Versions: Victor Manuelle – Madilyn Bailey – JFla – Angelic – ‘Conor Maynard – Carolina Garcia – boyceavenue – Sam Tsui – Melissa Y Eureka – Alaya – Santos & Ledes – SARA’H (french version) – Jason Chen and Emma Heesters – Zhamira Zambrano – Twin Melody – Johnny Jimenez – other amateur artists covered this song on Youtube.