“Despacito” — the most downloaded song ever — was written by six songwriters, and only one of them is a woman. Her name is Erika Ender, and for whatever reason, we never hear about her the way we do about Justin Bieber, who was featured on the remix version. But Ender — a longtime songwriter and singer — deserves as much credit for making this song a hit.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Ender talks about the first time singer Luis Fonsi told her about the song. “We go to his studio and he tells me, ‘I have this idea of a song called ‘Despacito‘ and he sings to me the first part of the song: ‘Despacito, vamos a hacerlo en una playa en Puerto Rico, hasta que las olas griten ‘Ay Bendito!'” Ender said that last part made her start laughing.
The 42-year-old Panamanian-born artist said that the song developed from there. Ender is quick to add that as the only female songwriter on this song, she had make sure the song was sensitive to a woman’s needs.
“I told him, ‘This has to be sensual but let’s do it in a classy way — very smart and clever, so that women have their spot as the human art that we are,'” Ender told the Huffington Post. “It’s not about the gender, it’s about the message. We have a responsibility as artists and as composers because we are impacting the new generation. Whatever we write and whatever we sing is building up a new generation, it’s making the soundtrack of everyone else’s life.”
About the lyrics itself, Ender said broke down what the song is about: “[“Despacito” is] about taking it slow, at first. We live in this rush all the time with technology and everything, sex goes really fast too. You have to treat women the way they want to be treated and I would like to be loved ‘despacito’ as a woman.”