POV: You are spread across two foldable chairs, knocked out cold, while “Suavemente” by Elvis Crespo plays in the background. All the older people get up to dance, yet you are sleeping through one of the most iconic songs in Latin American history because you are six years old and it is 4 a.m. Latines and non-Latines alike have at least one memory of the song. Whether listening to it at a family function, the clubs, birthday celebrations, or even at the bautizo party, everyone knows “Suavemente” is a cultural staple.
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It’s been 25 years since the release of “Suavemente,” and Crespo is getting ready to celebrate its impact on the world by being named a Game Changer in music by Amazon Music. It is no debate that the Puerto Rican singer’s talent has changed music forever. As part of the recognition, Amazon Music and Crespo have been working together to release a new mambo version of “Suavemente.” The point of giving the song this twist is to do something Crespo has never done with this song before.
In a conversation with Remezcla, Crespo excitedly shares that the well-respected Puerto Rican producer, Paco Lopez, helped him with this project. This version of “Suavemente” has unique, playful, and upbeat rhythms that will make you get up and dance just like the original. If you thought the original version of “Suavemente” had us all on our feet, this modern version of the song doesn’t disappoint.
Amazon Music approached Crespo about creating a new version of the song to celebrate its 25 years. Crespo explains that this version of “Suavemente” joins a movement that newer artists like Bad Bunny, Rosalía, and Ryan Castro are experimenting with the musical genre of mambo. This version of “Suavemente” has a catchy beat and a faster-paced tempo that will have you asking, “This is ‘Suavemente?’” Crespo is excited to have brought something so unique to his style and to the song that made him celebrate the anniversary with his fans across the globe.
Although people collectively know who Elvis Crespo is, he tells Remezcla, “my music has surpassed my name.” To exemplify this, he shares an experience he had in Colombia. “I was talking to these women, and they had asked me what I do for a living. I responded, ‘I sing,’” he says with a laugh. But what was funny to him was not the fact that they did not recognize him, but the women’s reactions when they heard him sing.
Crespo has been a hot topic lately, partly thanks to Bad Bunny’s “Neverita” video. The homage surprised him one morning when he kept receiving calls and messages from people in his circle. Once he opened the link to Benito’s video, he was in complete shock. “Bad Bunny is the No. 1 artist in the world. Paying homage to me and my most streamed song. It was a big moment for me. We collaborated without even knowing it,” he says cheerfully, adding that he felt appreciative and humbled.
But this also inspired him to think outside of the box. Crespo has been toying with the idea of collaborating with more artists in el movimiento. “Suavemente” is a Latine marker, and while Crespo has had a long and fruitful journey with that song, he is still striving to bring his fans the best of himself.
He mentions that he will be doing a concert in Puerto Rico for the first time in years, looking forward to performing on the island that made him who he is today. We definitely have to keep an eye out for those tour dates to activate our collective nostalgia.
Check out the new version of “Suavemente” below.