If you like Despacito, you’ll love these Spanish language tracks. Who would have thought that a song would come along in 2017 to finally steal ‘Macarena’’s crown of the UK’s favourite Spanish language song? Certainly not me.
‘Despacito’, a song by Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, hit the top spot in Spain and Latin America at the start of 2017. A remix version featuring Justin Bieber only helped to keep its popularity alive, hitting our shores and becoming a viral sensation. In turn, the reggaeton tune is now officially the longest-reigning foreign language number one in UK chart history. With British music fans enjoying a burst of reggaeton sound, here are some other songs popular in the Hispanic world that may tickle your fancy:
Suerte – Shakira (Luck)
I’ll ease you in slowly with this first one. ‘Whenever, Wherever’ was everyone’s favourite Columbian pop star Shakira’s first English-language hit, but it also has a Spanish original which is every bit as catchy in her mother tongue. While translated versions of songs tend to contain quite different lyrics, the Spanish version includes the famous ‘lucky that my breasts are small and humble/ so you don’t confuse them with mountains’ line. Shakira at her bilingual best.
DUELE EL CORAZON – Enrique Iglesias, Wisin (The Heart Hurts)
In the last few years, Enrique Iglesias has been releasing more and more songs in his native language, and ‘Duele el Corazón’ released in April last year proved to be yet another hit. Enrique sings to a love interest to convince her to choose him over someone else as he will only break her heart, with the chorus claiming that ‘with him, your heart hurts/ with me, your feet hurt’ – the Spanish love a good boogie.
Vente Pa’ Ca – Ricky Martin feat. Maluma (Come Here)
I know that for some this may be hard to believe but it’s official: Ricky Martin is actually cool again. Over the past couple of years, the Puerto Rican popstar most famous for his track ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ has been churning out some bangers, with his collaboration with Columbian singer-songwriter Maluma going 4x platinum. It’s a typical reggaeton track, focused on love and sex, with them singing to their lover and beckoning them to ‘come to me’… not much substance but a banger none the less.
Reggaetón Lento (Remix) – CNCO (Slow Reggaeton)
It seems we are not the only country to manufacture boy bands on reality TV shows. CNCO are a product of Simon Cowell and Ricky Martin’s show La Banda, and it seems they were on to a winner as CNCO’s tracks have constantly appeared in the charts since winning the inaugural season of the show in 2015. ‘Reggaetón Lento’ is simply about seeing a girl you like and asking her to dance to slow reggaeton. Unlike some other of the songs on this list, the Miami-based group include some English lyrics on this particular track.
El Taxi – Pitbull, Sensato, Osmani Garcia
You’d be silly to think you could avoid Mr. Worldwide – the clue is in the name after all, and it would be hard to make this list without some Pitbull featuring. This particular track may sound familiar to some of you, mainly as it features an interpolation of the famous Chaka Demus and Pliers dancehall track ‘Murder She Wrote’. ‘El Taxi’ was only released as a promo track for Pitbull’s 2015 album Dale but has become a very popular song in nightclubs across Spain.
Hasta Que Se Sequé el Malecón (Remix) – Jacob Forever and Farruko (Until the Malecón Dries Out)
Speaking of popular Spanish club hits, you’ll struggle to go on a night out in the country without hearing this track. The title refers to Malecón, a beach in Cuba, basically acting as a metaphor – they’re never going to stop doing what they’re doing.
Felices Los 4 – Maluma (Happy the Four of Us)
Now to slow things down a little with another track from Maluma. The Columbian pop star released this track as the lead single from his third album, which is expected to be a bilingual record. The title roughly translates to ‘happy the four of us’, and as far as my translation skills go, it seems to be a song about a couple who both still have feelings for their exes. It’s a tad weird a concept, but one of the catchiest Spanish tracks released so far in 2017. If nothing else, the steamy music video is definitely worth a watch…
Safari – J Balvin (feat. Pharrell Williams, BIA and Sky)
Who would have expected someone like Pharrell Williams would feature on a Columbian R&B star’s single? This track comes from J Balvin’s third album Energía and is about a girl at a party who everyone is watching dancing as if admiring an animal on safari. It’s quite a repetitive track so is probably a good one to try and learn if you want to practice your Spanish skills.
Gasolina – Daddy Yankee (Gasoline)
Most people will probably recognise this track when they hear it – it reached #5 in the UK charts back in 2004. ‘Gasolina’ is credited as being the song that opened the door for the reggaeton genre and has since been credited as one of the greatest Latin songs of all time. While the song’s topic may be quite a sexual one, with the line ‘dame más gasolina’ (give me more gasoline) being read as a double entendre, it’s perfect for a night out when you want some Latin flavour.
Picky – Joey Montana
I’ll end on some dance-pop reggaeton from Panama, with a track from Joey Montana. He sings about a girl he likes and thinks likes him back, but in actual fact doesn’t want to dance with him at all – what is it with these songs and dancing, eh? The girl in question is obviously just too picky to choose him. The video for the track has been viewed over one billion times, making it one of the top 60 most viewed on YouTube. It seems not everyone is so picky.
[Originally written for The National Student]
Image credit: Guinness World Records