The Weeknd joined forces with Maluma to sing in Spanish.
The new track, released on Thursday along with a smoldering music video directed by Jessy Terrero, marks a “huge moment for Latin culture,” Maluma says.
“He killed it, because he's a real artist,” the 26-year-old singer tells Zane Lowe in an interview for Apple Music. “For him, it was like he was doing reggaeton for his whole life. And I knew that his voice in the song could work amazing. And that's what happened. At the beginning, when I listened to the first verse when he just started the song, that we changed the whole intro of the song, I put his vocals there, I was like, ‘Bro, this sounds like The Weeknd's song.’ I couldn't believe how good it was mixing his vocals with my vocals. And man, yeah, I'm blessed. I'm very happy. This is a huge moment for the Latin culture.”
For the first time ever, The Weeknd sings in both English and Spanish, joining a list of other mainstream celebrities who have collaborated with Maluma, including Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber.
“It's crazy how, how we're mixing our cultures, how we're mixing languages, how we're mixing rhythms, instrumentals,” Maluma notes. “And that's what is happening. Now we can say that the music is actually universal right now. There's no language barrier. There is no rhythm barriers. All these things are happening, they're happening, very organic, very natural. And we can see it.”
“Hawái” is the lead single from Maluma’s fifth studio album, Papi Juancho, which he released in August. The track has been dominating the Latin and global music charts and the internet. Aside from topping Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart for eight weeks, and the Latin Streaming Songs chart for nine weeks, “Hawái” hit No. 1 on the Latin Airplay chart for three weeks.
Additionally, the music video has garnered nearly half a billion views on YouTube in three months.
For more on Maluma, watch the video below.