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Luis Fonsi: The Global Man

Words by Dascha Polanco
Photography by Jan Friere
Fashion by Darius Baptist
Grooming by Judith Prince
Hair By Sheldon Barker

Big Song, big artist, big heart: Luis Fonsi gives a candid interview on music and life before he became a household name. 

Despacito had already hit the top of the Billboard US Latin charts, and then Justin Bieber’s remix to Luis Fonsi’s hit catapulted the song to the top of the Billboard US Hot 100 chart for an astonishing 16 weeks (1.3 Billion streams), it became the most viewed video in history, further making it The Song of 2017. Many listeners hadn’t heard of the Puerto Rican singer prior to this hit, but Luis Fonsi has been creating Spanish love songs for over two decades, and has released nine albums. Actress and Humanitarian Dascha Polanco recently caught up with the legendary performer to discuss his newfound success, his take on being considered a new artist, and her bid to get into one of his music videos.

Dascha: First off, I must let you know I’m honored to interview you. I’ve been a fan since the beginning. Your music has touched and inspired me in so many ways. Palabras del Silencio is one of my favorite albums still to this day.  I know you’re very busy, and we don’t have much time, so I will just jump in and start asking questions.  When I first heard Despacito, my initial response was it needed to be heard in all markets across the board. Was that your intention when recording the song?

Luis: I knew the song had potential to be a crossover hit, but that wasn’t my intention. When I wrote Despactio, my intention was to write a song for my new album. When I start working on my album I usually take time off from touring and promoting, and I just go into writing mode. As the song unfolded, I knew it needed another element to it, something to give it the explosion that my voice can’t do. I have more of a romantic, pop voice, and the song needed another voice to cut through, so that’s where
Daddy Yankee came in. I called him and said I really need you to do what you do.

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