While I enjoyed the success of Despacito this summer, I couldn’t let myself believe that it would open doors for other Spanish-language crossover hits. After all, we’re still waiting for a K-pop group to follow PSY into the top 10, over five years later. However, it turned out that Latin pop would be the saviour of an otherwise unexciting year in music.
Every week when putting together my Future Hits playlist, I check the Spotify charts, and while it’s normal to see some Spanish songs in the global chart, I noticed that in the wake of Despacito, they were trending in the US, UK, and elsewhere too. Before I knew it, J. Balvin’s Mi Gente and Enrique’s Súbeme La Radio (with the help of Beyoncé and, bizarrely, Matt Terry) broke the UK top 10. I’d also noticed that boyband CNCO, the winners of Simon Cowell and Ricky Martin’s Latin TV talent show La Banda, had two songs on the charts: my initial favourite Hey DJ and their biggest hit, Reggaetón Lento. And then came the greatest news yet: CNCO had recorded an English version of Reggaetón Lento as a duet with the biggest pop band of the moment, Little Mix!
A week later the collaboration appeared on Spotify, and it did not disappoint. It was the girlband/boyband duet that every pop fan dreams of (yet weirdly never happens), and it combined the uplifting, sunny sassiness of Latin music with the songwriting finesse of British pop, thanks to a makeover from Little Mix’s regular co-writer Camille Purcell. Coincidentally, it was released on the same day as my second favourite song of the year, BloodPop® and Bieber’s Friends, and I listened to them both on repeat for the whole week. This was the one I never got bored of, and as it represents my favourite trend of the year, it was an easy choice for my no.1.
Released: 18th August
Writers: Camille Purcell, Richard Camacho, Jean Rodriguez, Jorge Class, Jadan Andino, Eric Perez, Luis Angel O’Neill
Best bits: 1. It started when I looked in her eyes, I got close and I’m like “Bailemos” – hey!
2. Muévete, muévete, báilalo, báilalo
3. So now we dancing un reggaetón lento, just get a little closer, baby, let’s go