By now, you will likely have heard “Despacito” – the Spanish-language hit single by Puerto Rican pop artist Luis Fonsi and Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee.
It’s even more likely that you will have heard the remixed version with Canadian singer Justin Bieber to enchant the English-speaking world like Singapore.
Chart topping hit
A bilingual fusion of reggaeton and pop, “Despacito” is still making airwaves around the world after it was released in January this year.
The song has topped the charts in 45 countries across Europe, Latin America, Australia and India, making it both Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s most successful single to date.
The remix of the song, which features Bieber, has been on Billboard’s Hot 100 list for eight weeks straight to date.
It’s an achievement because it is the first Spanish-language song to do so since Los del Rio’s “Macarena” two decades ago.
“Macarena” was the longest-running Spanish language chart-topper in Billboard history at 14 weeks long.
The official video “Despacito” shows both artists performing the song in La Perla neighbourhood of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico and a local bar called La Factoria.
On Youtube, it received its one billionth view on 20 April, just after three months, becoming the second-fastest video on the site to reach the milestone behind Adele’s “Hello”.
On Spotify, it’s been streamed 551 million times, and counting.
Song is about sex
In an informal way, “Despacito” translates to slowly in English. “Despacio” is the formal expression.
Its implicit lyrics are about having a sexual relationship in a smooth and romantic way.
Here’s the chorus in Spanish:
Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito
Deja que te diga cosas al oído
Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo
Quiero desnudarte a besos despacito
Firmo en las paredes de tu laberinto
Y hacer de tu cuerpo todo un manuscrito (sube, sube, sube)
And, the English translation:
I want to breathe your neck slowly
Let me tell you things in your ears
So that you remember when you’re not with me
I want to strip you off with kisses slowly
Sign the walls of your labrynth
And make your whole body a manuscript
Turn it up turn it up….. turn it up, turn it up
“Despacito” song is special
In an interview with CNN, Fonsi said he wrote the song two years ago but it didn’t make the cut on his album. But he believed the song was special.
“It just felt special because it was so simple yet so catchy. Sometimes you kind of go overboard when you write a song and you try to get that perfect lyric and it’s — from, like, a songwriting point of view — it’s just magical. But it loses a little bit of that simplicity.
“This song, it had the correct ingredients — a very catchy melody, a very interesting lyric because it’s very sensual, but it’s sort of poetic at the same time,” he told CNN.
Well, going by the number of times the song was heard at the recent Geylang Serai bazaar (uncountable!) and assessing the chart success, “Despacito” would have won it.
Come on, the infectious beat and the catchy lyrics of the song sure makes you want to sway your hips and shake that booty.
Here’s the original version:
The remix featuring Justin Bieber:
Lastly, a saxophone cover for those who enjoy just the catchy tunes: