J Balvin turns 37: how he became the benchmark of current reggaeton

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In Argentina, the name of J Balvin began to become massively known with “Without obligation” alongside Jowell and Randy o”Quiet“. Few imagined then that, years later, he would become one of the ambassadors of modern reggaeton. With him, this genre reached Coachella, in addition to topping rankings around the world of course.

On the day of his 37th birthday, we reviewed the path he traveled to become that figure in current reggaeton.

Born in Medellín, Colombia as José Álvaro Osorio Balvín, he was interested in hip hop since he was a child, although in high school he participated in rock bands that mainly covered Nirvana and Metallica.

In 2007 he released his debut single “Éxtasis”, and by 2008 he was opening for 50 Cent in Medellín. The following year she gets a contract with the EMI Music label and in 2010 she launches “Sin Compromise” achieving good radio reception. In 2012 it would arrive “J Balvin Mix Tape”, his first compilation album of themes, prior to “The family”, his debut album, released the following year.

“Alone“, belonging to that album, hit both Colombia and the United States, like “6 AM” with Farruko. His next big hit would be “Oh come on“, with which he won the Latin Grammy Award for best urban song.

“Ginza” would be his next single, the first broadcast cut of “Energy“, his second album. With this song he would become No. 1 on the Italian charts and appear at the renowned Sanremo Song Festival in that country.

In 2017 he collaborated for the first time with bad bunny -at that time an artist on the rise- and the following year he edited “Vibes”, perhaps his most acclaimed album to date. In this work, he presented another collaboration with an emerging artist of that time, Rosalia. Post-boom her, they released”With Height”, another hit to join the long list that the Colombian already had.

From then on, things went uphill: joint album with Bad Bunny (“Oasis”), two other LPs (“Colores” and “Jose”) and a two-song single with the British Ed Sheeran.

Of course, his career was not spared from controversy. The most recent? The accusations of being racist and sexist for his video “Perra” with Tokischa and Residente’s viral BZRP Music Session in which the Puerto Rican throws everything at him. Did this affect his career? In his image perhaps.

Meanwhile, J Balvin continues to conquer stages and spaces, be it hand in hand with a franchise (as it was with SpongeBob or Pokémon) or doing his thing ironically criticizing, like his hot dog cart in response to Residente.

In his own way and dodging haters, J Balvin built his way to the top of modern reggaeton. If you keep going the way you came, you’ll probably be fine.

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