How Feid turned Medellín’s reggaeton ‘ambassador’ : NPR

Feid’s music is steeped in his Colombian id, however on considered one of reggaeton’s most essential phases, he gained Puerto Rico over.


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Feid’s music is steeped in his Colombian id, however on considered one of reggaeton’s most essential phases, he gained Puerto Rico over.


This summer time, the Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot (aka El Choliseo) in San Juan turned saturated with neon inexperienced outfits, posters and lights. The intense hue signaled two headlining reveals by Colombian artist Feid, who turned the primary artist in historical past to promote out the venue in an hour or much less.

On an island that is birthed artists like Daddy Yankee and Unhealthy Bunny — the place reggaeton is a complete tradition, not only a style of music — Feid does not take that accomplishment frivolously.

“For them, reggaeton just isn’t pop music. It is music from the streets, music from individuals who run the streets for actual,” he says of the Puerto Rican followers. “Como que no puedes inventar allá nada. You can’t be a poser there; you need to be so actual with folks, and [either] they join with you or not.”

Feid’s music is steeped in his id, typically referencing his hometown of Medellín, its colloquialisms and the vivid inexperienced colour of town’s mountains and soccer jerseys in his imagery. And on one of many style’s most important phases, he gained the Puerto Rican crowd over.

“There’s an entire lot of controversy about how some artists who aren’t from Puerto Rico are appropriating our slang,” says native music journalist Juan R. Arroyo, who reviewed Feid’s Choliseo efficiency for Rolling Stone. “He is somebody who stays true to his vocabulary from the place he is from, however on the identical time, when and if he namedrops something from [Puerto Rico] or makes use of a phrase from [Puerto Rico], you recognize it is coming from a spot of respect the place he did the homework and did the due diligence.”

Arroyo partially credit that cultural understanding for Feid’s quick rising recognition. In two years, he notes, the reggaetonero went from opening for Karol G on the Choliseo to breaking a brand new report within the venue’s historical past. However this pop breakthrough — which incorporates nominations in 5 Latin Grammy classes this 12 months, a brand new album and a collaboration with Unhealthy Bunny — did not come out of the blue; it has been practically a decade within the making.

Feid began off writing and producing for different artists, working with stars like J Balvin, Nicky Jam and, most just lately, Christina Aguilera behind the scenes. “Lots of people know me as a songwriter, but it surely wasn’t my motivation,” he says. “It isn’t like I used to be a songwriter and now I am an artist. I used to be an artist that needed to be a songwriter.”

He started releasing his personal music in 2014, but it surely took a number of years and albums to essentially discover his footing as a solo artist. He hunkered down on making sentimental songs for the membership, typically that includes a slicker pop polish than the lure pushed perreo emanating from the Caribbean. He additionally developed a signature look along with his alter ego, El Ferxxo: a bleached mullet, wraparound Oakley sun shades and outsized suits with a pop of that ever current Medallo greenery.

“Once I was making an attempt to be extra myself, it was when folks related with me extra,” he says.


Final 12 months, he rushed to formally launch his album Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo:Te Pirateamos el Álbum forward of schedule after it was leaked unexpectedly, which he alluded to within the title and on the duvet. Regardless of the less-than-ideal timing, the report earned Feid his first High 10 on the Latin Albums Billboard chart, peaking at No. 6, and led to an immediately sold-out tour throughout the U.S.

This time on his personal phrases, Feid dropped his sixth studio album on Sept. 29. MOR, No Le Temas a La Oscuridad, which interprets to Love, Do not Be Afraid of the Darkish, has been his greatest report up to now, reaching No. 4 on Billboard’s High Latin Albums chart. He says the title is an ode to the perseverance that led to his success.

“Most individuals simply began listening to about me two years again, one 12 months again, possibly this 12 months,” he says. “So for me, I used to be all the time shining in all that darkness.”

Sonically, the album is his most expansive but. It traces reggaeton’s historical past again to dancehall, that includes the legendary Sean Paul waxing poetic in Spanish on “Niña Bonita,” then traverses into tropical Afrobeats with an help from Nigerian singer Rema on “Bubalu.”

“He is singing in Spanish como si fuera una persona de Medallo, singing with slang, with acento, with every thing,” Feid says, beaming with delight.

“Luces de Tecno” brings renewed EDM vitality to the second half of the album, whereas the rock-infused “Privilegios,” alongside the band Cupido, lets Feid’s vocals carry the album to an in depth. Although his roots lay in reggaeton, Feid says he is excited to push the boundaries and geography of the style. He is additionally the one non-Puerto Rican artist with a characteristic on Unhealthy Bunny’s record-breaking new album, Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va A Pasar Mañana, on a music that pays homage to considered one of Medellín’s hottest golf equipment, Perro Negro.

“I all the time felt like, como que el embajador de Medallo in a sure method as a result of I wasn’t afraid to say I am from Colombia, I eat arepa con chorizo, I eat chicharron con frijoles,” says Feid.

Though he is a part of an even bigger legacy of artists from the Colombian metropolis, together with collaborators Maluma, Karol G, J Balvin and Sebastian Yatra, Feid leans into the paisa swagger to anchor his sound and persona in an authentically singular method.


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