Exclusive interview with Luis Fonsi: The singer talks of Despacito and Justin Bieber
Canadian pop star Justin Bieber has been criticised for not being able to sing the Spanish portions of Puerto Rican artist Luis Fonsi’s chart-topping number Despacito. Fonsi defends Bieber in a chat with us.music Updated: Jun 19, 2017 13:27 IST
Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Luis Fonsi, who has hit the number one spot across different countries with his track Despacito, featuring Daddy Yankee — and Canadian singer Justin Bieber in the English version — doesn’t mind that Bieber fails to perform the Spanish version of the song at live concerts. Fonsi and Bieber have sung the song together in Puerto Rico at a live show.
In a recent video that went viral on social media, Bieber has been trashed for not being able to sing the Spanish parts of Despacito, while singing the English portions with ease. Bieber has performed the number at clubs and a few other venues, when he got a request to sing Despacito. Since he stumbled over the Spanish words, members of the Latin American community felt this was a sign of disrespect.
However, Fonsi, the original creator of Despacito, is understanding about the fact that Bieber doesn’t know Spanish, and therefore is unable to sing in that language.
“I personally don’t see a problem with this,” Fonsi told us, speaking on the phone from Los Angeles. “He doesn’t know the language. You can’t expect someone to sing in a language that they don’t know. When [Justin Bieber] recorded that song, he recorded it phonetically (going by the sound of the words). I mean, if you ask me to record a song in any language, I can do that phonetically, in a studio. But if you then ask me to sing it live, I won’t be able to sing it again, because I don’t know the language!” says Fonsi.
The song, which was originally written and recorded in Spanish and has a remix version featuring Bieber, is ruling the charts right now virtually everywhere. That’s something Fonsi never expected in his career. He will remain grateful to Bieber for that.
“You know, if [Bieber] wanted, he could have kept the chorus in English. But he didn’t do that, and kept it as it is in Spanish. I really appreciate him for that,” says Fonsi. “He sang its Spanish parts as well in the studio and he did a brilliant job with that. The song has become such a big hit and I never expected that. I’ve been a singer-songwriter for over 20 years now, and songs like these happen once, or maybe twice in your career.”
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