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How Rosalía and J Balvin Made ‘Con Altura’ a Global Reggaeton Hit | Diary of a Song


“Vamo’ a arrancarlo
con altura.” “Hola.” “Hello.” “Hey.” “Hola que tal?” “I smell hits, man. I do.” “Is there any way that you can
call me back in two minutes?” “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You brushing your teeth?” “Yeah, I’m brushing my teeth.” “We’re going to start this,
but in a, like, on the level,
you know?” [singing’] “Spanish music is just having this beautiful moment
that artists like me — I’m from Barcelona. It’s a blessing that I
can share my music with so many people around the world.” [singing] “What do you remember about
the sessions for ‘Con Altura’ and how that started?” “Yeah, I remember
that I said I wanted to do a song that has
this classic reggaeton vibe, like Daddy Yankee. It feels like they
are rapping. But it’s not rapping because
it has melody, you know? And I love that.” “When you’re making
a sound for her, she knows exactly
what sound she wants. That to me, is like,
I don’t know, that’s Rick Rubin [expletive],
you know what I mean?” “So I was thinking,
O.K., I would like to do a session with
Pablo and with Frank Dukes.” “You know, her kind of having
this really, like, unique approach to pop music was,
like, super exciting for me.” “Frank pulled, like,
little different, like, samples, loops. The ear he has
for sound design, like, his stuff always
sounds special.” “My friend Teo had made
the little voice loop, and it was way slower.” [music] “And I’d sped it up.” [music] “I just had this
vision for Rose to do something like
super hypnotic.” [singing] “This melody was sick. I was just like, O.K., O.K.,
let’s do something with this. And I proposed Pablo
to create percussion.” “It was just like that
boom, tap-boom, tap-boom. Tap-boom, tap.” [music] “Just like a reggaeton beat,
like, everywhere in the world kind of like understand that is a reggaeton beat.” “Whenever I was making
the drums, Rosalía was looking
for samples.” “I was just digging
on the internet. I was just digging, digging,
digging, digging, digging.” “We love to look on
YouTube for stuff and just, like, have fun and laugh.” “And I found it, and
I was like, O.K., this is something amazing —” “… arrancarlo con altura —” “I remember her
playing something, and then Pablo being like,
‘Oh that.’” “Vamo’ a arrancarlo
con altura.” “Con altura, like that.” “So Pablo just started
[expletive] — [expletive] with it,
do you say that, you know?” “Con altura. Con altura. Con altura.” “Hello.” “Yeah, what’s up?” “Fresh teeth.” “Yeah.” “Tell me a little bit about
the phrase ‘con altura.’ Where did it come from? What does it mean?” “Con altura is with style,
with, you know — with elegance.” “I was, O.K., this is like —” “We all just started to
kind of, like, freestyling, writing melodies
and rhythms to it. But me, just using
my ears phonetically to be like, ‘Oh, that sounds
good’ — because obviously I don’t know. I don’t speak Spanish.” [singing] “Some people, I think
they hear camaron, and they think it’s
shrimp or something. But that’s also — that’s a
flamenco musician, right?” “Yes. When I was 13-years-old,
I discovered Camarón de la Isla.” “He just changed, completely,
my perspective of expression, art. It just changed
my life, you know?” “She contacted me and invited me
to one of her shows. It was like a
little, little show. But the way she pulled it off,
I thought, she’s a star. She may not know it,
but she’s a star.” “When I just finished
the show, I just met him, and then he told me,
‘You’re a gangster.’ He told me that. I think we are an amazing team,
producing together, composing together, and making
music in general together, you know?” [singing] “And is it your
voice on the hook?” “Yeah, yeah, it’s my
voice on the hook.” “So you originally
recorded it, thinking somebody else would come
in and fill in those parts?” “Yep.” “We wanted to
have Tego Calderón.” “For whatever reason,
it didn’t work out. But, like, regardless of what
happened, it’s just like — it just sounded really
[expletive] good with Pablo on it.” “I was excited about the song. And I was proud of it. I just started thinking
about who I would like to have in this song.” “Hola, José.” “Hey, como estas?” “The hair’s fire right now.” “Thank you, my G, you know.” “Balvin is a good
friend of mine. So I just sent the song
by WhatsApp, and he just replied
to me like, ‘What — que es esto?’” “I loved it. I wasn’t expecting
that when she — when she sent me
the song, you know? It’s not that I wasn’t
expecting something good from her. But I wasn’t expecting it
was like a straight-up, pure reggaeton. I was like, ‘Wow, this is fire. Let’s do it.’” “He was, like, very
excited with the song, too. So in less than
24 hours, he just sent me his bars.” [singing] “Right away, next day,
she sent me that. I did it right away.” “You know, he just did it. And it was amazing — I loved it.” [singing] “Was any part of you nervous
about making a reggaeton song? You’re from Spain. It’s not necessarily
what people would imagine you would do next.” “I mean, I guess that
I always do something that nobody expects, honestly,
because for me, that’s what makes sense and
that’s the point of being a musician.” [singing] Were you guys really on
a plane, or was it a set?” “It’s a set. It’s a set. Yeah. No, I don’t know
how fly a plane.” “Just making sure.” [singing]

Yvette Parker

100 Comments

  1. Incrível ver de onde vem as referências desse hino. La Rosalía!

  2. I'm sorry but it all sounds like the same song and that music is legitly terrible makes me feel stupid just hearing it

  3. In the music vid they made her sound like a child and wear her hair like a child, as in appealing to paedophiles and I'm not the only one who noticed that

  4. i LOOOOVE Rosalía & her music so much 😭💗! i wish i understood/spoke spanish 🤦🏽‍♂️

  5. The only way they could have made this song any better was to somehow work Bad Bunny into it. But then, maybe it would have been sensory overload?!

  6. Girl fix your lipstick it’s all over the place hahaha awesome song tho

  7. 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽I saw ROSALÍA at Glastonbury and it was one of my favourite moments ever!!!!!! 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽

  8. Nice song and the story behind! I like the LAGANT remix in a disco funky style https://m.soundcloud.com/lagantmusic/con-altura-lagant-remix

  9. She added the flamenco flavor that was missing in reggaeton and put flamenco back on the map. Thanks, Rosalia!

  10. Me mata que solo porque el periodista sea gringo tooodos ellos tengan que hablar en inglés cuando es el NYT quienes están interesados zzz. Pero algo positivo!: qué buena que es Rosalía, un nuevo hito cultural

  11. I wish my Spanish classes taught me to sing along with Rosalía's music, maybe I would've taken it more seriously then

  12. She's TOO CUTE!!!!! LA #ROSALIA 💖💖🎹🎸CON ALTURA🛫🎵💖🛫🎶💞

  13. Hola, hice una versión solo de "Con Altura"! Escuchenla: https://youtu.be/gNWK7yTrMBM

  14. Boycott this fur wearer!!! She is obviously a psychopath that only cares about her own vanity!!! Do not wear fur!!! It's is cruel!!!

    No soporten a esta mujer vanidosa y cruel que se pone piel de animales!!! Es una psicópata!!! No compren piel de animales es cruel!!!

  15. Con la contribución de Pablo encuentro la canción super satisfactoria debido a su acento.

  16. Todo muy padre y me gusta la canción pero qué triste que la conozcan por esta canción y que sea su canción más famosa cuando es la peorsita e ignoren las goyas que ella tiene en sus dos álbumes

  17. The way she moves and grooves and enters into a pose… She is a dream!!! I want to know who is her choreographer.

  18. Rosalía siempre agradecida con Balvin, el artista que la sacó a la fama.

  19. reggaeton has a lot of similar elements to rap and to say that rap music does not have melody couldn't be further from the truth…

  20. Donald Trump calls the NYT "failing" and "fake". Hah! This is fire and realer than his self-image!

  21. I loved to know the references in the song, specially about Camaron de la isla, el espírito gitano never dies rsrs

  22. Loving this idea for a series. Also love Rosalía so it great seeing how this was made. All around awesome video

  23. Ya Regeaton es del mundo. Nacido en mi bello Puerto Rico pero ya es del mundo.

  24. Pablo's voice is so good that I thought he was a reggaeton artist. haha!

  25. No Tego!!!! Lo sacaron de oye mi canto. Y ahora esta canción mundial también 🤦🏽‍♂️

  26. ugh, Rosalía and Pablo are so talented and brilliant♥️ rosalía is pure art, LA ROSALÍA 💃🏻

  27. For all those who are wondering, Pablo Diaz is not only the producer of this song, but also her whole second album.

  28. LA ROSALIAAA! “Con altura” that was in a Dominican show!!! Niiiiice! This video was so good I love this song!

  29. Omg if Tego would of been on this it would of been LEGENDARY!!! Ugh now every time I hear it I’ll think of him lol but J Balvin is a legend so the song itself is fire no matter what! Pure talent I love it 🔥⚡️🧡

  30. She has gotten a lot of heat in Spain bc she's catalana cantando Flamenco a la catalana. You know how europeans are about their regional differences, they tend to stick to their traditions. Some say that she is watering down or butchering classic flamenco music. Now, you add to the mix a Venezuelan, a Canario and who knows who else and it turns out to be something more International, cross cultural that people love.

    Now, Flamenco is looked down in Spain. Usually young people don't listen to it. But, outside of Spain when we think of Spaniards we think of Flamenco music and dancers because historically they have had to make a living abroad bc they couldn't make ends meet in Spain. It's a long story, but it has been more or less that way for a long time for the gitanos and flamencos.

  31. This editing was so good. I like felt them all just piggybacking off each other 👌🏼

  32. LA ROSALÍA 💃💃💎💎🌹🌹🌹🌹🌺🌺💃💃💃

  33. Such a great song all around. I think Pablo's voice was perfect for it since it was unique too. Glad it stayed in.

  34. i love rosalia's music, but this is the first interview i've seen. she's so sweet and has such a positive energy. this makes me happy.

  35. Tego would've been perfect, balvin didn't do it justice, wasn't a bad verse but just wasn't on par

  36. I knew Dominican culture was influencing some of her music I mean "esto ta encendido" very dominican phrase lol. Shout out to us "con altura." Del caribe pa'l mundo.

  37. Hi my son like your melemante song and love Rosalia…want to talk with you all

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