Despacito and the Latin Invasion

Published 22nd November 2017
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Despacito and the Latin invasion

I know that recently the OED confirmed the word of the year was Fake News – and yes, I believe we can all agree on that, but if there was a foreign word of the year, I have a funny feeling that Despacito would win. It even has its own Wikipedia page! *


Despacito has been more than just the song of the summer, it has been the song of the year! Only those who have been in a coma since Spring would not know of it. In just 7 months on YouTube, it became the most watched music video ever.  And what did it take to be the most watched video? Just 3 billion views…. It is also the most streamed song in the world- being listened to 4.6 billion times! Despacito reached number 1 in 45 countries, including good old Britain. The last Spanish song to do that here was the Macarena in 1996. The song has been nominated for 23 awards (remixes and original). Winning 6 so far, while 8 are still to be announced.

And it’s not just Despacito which has taken the world by storm this year… its Spanish/ Latina music in general. At the end of August three out of the top 10 songs were primarily in Spanish. Despacito (obviously), CNCO ‘Reggaeton Lento’ which they have collaborated with our X factor heavyhitters Little Mix, and ‘Mi Gente’ by Willy William and J Balvin, featuring Beyoncé. Let’s not forget about Enrique Iglesias ‘Subeme La Radio’ which was in 12th spot.


X Factor-

Viva Latino week – A whole episode dedicated to the resurgence in Spanish language music. There was everything from Enrique Iglesias to Camila Cabello in the show. ‘Reggaeton Lento’ from the Ex X factor heavyweights Little Mix was also on the show. It wasn’t just the music that got people talking as well. It was also Nicole Scherzinger’s attempt to put a Spanish ‘twang’ into her accent for the show. Maybe she saw Trumps ‘Puerto Rico’ attempt and wanted to jump on the bandwagon.


Strictly Come Dancing –

As Latin is one of the biggest varieties of dance on the show, this is no news that Latin music is frequent on Strictly. But during this year’s dances Aston from VLS and his partner Janette did dance to Despacito for their salsa.


So, what does this mean?

Publicity like this can only be good. More and more people are opening themselves up to more languages. A song in a different beat, from a different culture, in a different language. PSY’s Gangnam Style in 2012 showed that it could be done, and now the Latina music is ‘pitching up’ in everyone’s charts. Here’s hoping more foreign music language pops up in our charts next year! *

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