When talking about contemporary Latin music, J Balvin and Bad Bunny’s name are often uttered in the same breath and though they’ve worked together in the past, the release of the joint album, Oasis, marks their first full album together.
Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin, 34, and Latin trap pop star Bad Bunny, 25, from Puerto Rico, surprised fans with the 8-track collaborative album released at midnight.
There only two guest artists: Argentinian musician Marciano Cantero, lead singer of Los Enanitos Verdes, and the Nigerian singer Mr Eazi.
“I’ve been traveling all over the world the last few months, and anytime it started to feel overwhelming, I’ve been able to listen to the tracks we created, and instantly return ‘home’ to our own musical paradise,” Balvin said in a press release. Bad Bunny added, “an oasis helps you to supply yourself with what you’re missing and to find what you lack spiritually; this is what this album represents.”
The duo have been working on the album since May 2018 but they’ve collaborated on several successful tracks in the past including “Sensualidad,” Cardi B’s “I Like It” and, more recently, the remix of Jhay Cortez’s “No Me Conoce.”
Both artists are firing up the charts right now and while Balvin is focusing on English-language collaborations with artists such as David Guetta, DJ Khaled, and Tyga, this album reconnects him with his core Latinx fan base.
“It’s just the beginning of a new global Spanish wave. I think we’re really making a beautiful statement,” Balvin told the New York Times.
The album plays around with rhythms and styles from the lead single, “Qué Pretendes” rhythmically reminiscent of the successful “Te Bote” remix to the reggaeton track “Cuidado Por Ahi” to the pop- R&B sounding “Odio.”
In “Un Peso” with Cantero it’s a fusion that’s a little alt-rock and a little reggaeton while on “Como un Bebé” featuring Mr Eazi, a pioneer of Banku music, there’s an uptempo Afro-beat sound.
Balvin’s last studio album was 2018’s Vibras and Bad Bunny dropped his debut X 100PRE later that year. They also both performed at Coachella 2019, and shared the stage during each other’s sets.
The eclectic pair first met at one of Balvin’s concerts in Puerto Rico when Bad Bunny was just rising to popularity on SoundCloud. Their first collaboration was on the 2017 track, “Si Tu Novia Te Deja Sola,” which now has more than 800 million views on Youtube and was the first Latin trap song to win a Latin Grammy.
“It was too much emotion for me, and I was very sentimental,” he recalled in an interview with the New York Times. “I couldn’t believe it, and I was really grateful. I think that song changed my career.” Balvin added that he was just happy to have found “another weirdo, another crazy guy like me.”