After an aggressive marketing campaign that covered walls from Wynwood to Bogotá, J Balvin’s newest reggaeton-ish club banger “Machika” has hit the global markets, the follow-up to his massive 2017 hit “Mi Gente.” Given Balvin’s current hype ascendence, the catchy lyrics should have the masses chanting the as-yet unexplained title (an anime nod, Balvin?) in no time. A degree of curiosity about the song’s collaborators seems inevitable.
Of course, fans of The Business will already be acquainted with “Machika” guest star and A-list Brazilian diva Anitta from the pair’s previous team-ups, notably via her Portuguese verses on a version of Balvin’s breakthrough hit “Ginza” and more recently on the condensation-heavy duet “Downtown.” Lesser-known is the other voice of “Machika,” Aruban singer Jeon Arvani. Jeon’s a likable multitasker who, like his collaborators, gets his life from dabbling in a variety of genres from sweetly modernized folkloric music to more urbano tracks.
Turns out a meet-cute moment led to his linkage with Balvin – we have a combination of physical conditioning and Puerto Rican reggaeton pioneer DJ Blass’ co-sign (Blass has worked with Jeon on songs like 2015’s “Buena Onda (Bon Vibe Spanish Remix)“) to thank for Jeon’s appearance on “Machika.” Balvin gives a great reason for hungry reggaetoneros to hit the weights:
“When I was in New York, I went to the gym and saw someone whose energy captivated me. We spoke, and his name was Jeon, from Aruba. I didn’t know that he made music or sang, and one day when I was going back to my apartment DJ Blass, a producer that I had met from Puerto Rico, posted a video of him singing a song and I loved it. Then I realized it was Jeon, my neighbor. Immediately, when I went back to the gym I asked if it was him. It was and I said, ‘Wow, let’s work,’” he told Remezcla.
“Machika,” which was co-produced by Chuckie and ChildsPlay, is expected to appear on Balvin’s forthcoming album, set to drop later this year. In the video, Anitta, Jeon and Balvin head to the mountains of Medellín in a pseudo post-apocalyptic universe.