Interview: Luis Fonsi talks ‘Despacito’ with AXS at the 18th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards

Latin GRAMMY week is underway in Las Vegas and stars from all over the map are beginning to roll into town. Rehearsals for the Nov. 16 show began on Monday with artists Mon Laferte, Natalia Lafourcade, CNCO, Sofia Reyes, Mau y Ricky, Danay Suarez, Vicente Garcia and, of course, Luis Fonsi.

The “Despacito” singer is not only performing but is also nominated in four different categories this year: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Urban Fusion/Performance and Best Short Form Music Video. The Puerto Rican-born artist has created quite a stir with his steamy hit single; one which went beyond the Latin community and rippled out into the entire music world. During rehearsals, Fonsi shared with AXS that the success of the song still surprises him to this day. It’s a factor he says he never wants to lose sight of. “I don’t ever want to get used to this. I want to always go to sleep as excited as I was the first day,” he explained.

For most of us, it’s hard to imagine the reggaeton-influenced number not playing an essential part in any social event in 2017. It’s a tune that instantly resonates with any listener. Fonsi tells AXS they knew they had something special the day they wrote it. “It felt like it had so much potential to be a big song. It was the simplicity of the melody and the fact that the lyric was so thought out in the sense that it was very sensual but very respectful and very catchy.” It had all of the ingredients. A month after they released it, feedback was pouring in from places his music had never been played before. Places where Latin music rarely gets played.

As for what makes the historic No. 1 single such a successful crossover hit, Fonsi says the beautiful thing is that nobody really knows. “That’s the thing about music. You can sit here and overanalyze it, experts have tried to break it down as if it was a mathematical equation and it’s not. It’s music. I think it’s the sum of all things. It’s the sum of a great melody, great lyrics and two great artists coming together that are very different.”

On his collaboration with Daddy Yankee, Fonsi remarked just how incredible the urban artist’s energy is. “We both came together. We did our own thing and collided in an amazing and positive way. I just think it’s a little bit of a success story that doesn’t happen very often, where all the planets sort of align. But at the end of the day, it’s always about the song and it’s always about the music.”

Fonsi has spent two decades making his way onto music charts and “Despacito” is his first body of work since his last album three years ago. The irony that he has been “slowly” moving toward breaking down barriers in the music world is not lost on a song whose title translates to exactly that.

From Daddy Yankee to Justin Bieber and now with the recent news of his latest collaboration with Demi Lovato, it’s clear that the future is golden for Luis Fonsi. The 18th Annual Latin GRAMMYs will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 16, from 8 – 11 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. Central) on Univision.

There are guaranteed to be plenty of exciting surprises in store. Be sure to keep it on AXS for more on the Biggest Night in Latin Music.