Before “Despacito” made him a household name globally, Luis Fonsi was already a star. For some two decades, the San Juan native was known as a master balladeer, opening up for Britney Spears and collaborating with generations of chart-dominating artists, including Demi Lovato, Juan Luis Guerra, and members of *NSYNC and Spice Girls. “It’s been a beautiful 20 years of pressing the restart button,” he tells Apple Music.
Fonsi’s 10th full-length, VIDA, is a celebration—not just of his extraordinary success, but of contemporary pop as something truly global, genre-defying, and unhindered by perceived language gaps. “Each album has a different taste,” he says. “In this case it’s a little more urban.” From the alluring electronic come-ons of “Apaga la Luz” to the glorious emotionality of “Tanto para Nada,” he delivers via slick songwriting and finesse.
Aside from reggaetón flexes like “Imposible” with Ozuna, Fonsi reasserts himself as a master of heartfelt balladry, as evidenced by the bombastic peaks of “Más Fuerte Que Yo” and the assured R&B intimacy of “Sola,” which appears in both English and Spanish versions. “Some songs don’t translate well, and sound forced,” he says. “This one sounds so international.” No matter which direction Fonsi takes, the results benefit from all the years spent refining his craft. “At the end of the day, the bare bones of it is just having a great song.”