Pedro Capó on His Hit “Calma” & Collaborating With Latin Pop Icons

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Fresh off his two Latin Grammy wins for one of the year’s biggest songs, Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Pedro Capó played a free concert at Candela La Brea in L.A on December 12, where he performed a career-spanning set. Capó also spoke with Remezcla about the “Calma” before the storm and how his life has changed since dropping the hit single.

Capó follows in the footsteps of musicians like his grandfather, the legendary Bobby Capó. “I was born with the notion that my grandfather was this huge artist,” he says. “I used to see him in hotel rooms, in his concerts and his rehearsal rooms, so it was impressive. I’m sure genetically, of course, he inspired me to do what I do. My father [Bobby Jr.] being a musician as well definitely influenced my decision to go towards music.”

“I was born with the notion that my grandfather was this huge artist.”

Even though Capó released his debut album, Fuego y Amor, in 2007, he wouldn’t get a break in the business until two years later when Mexican superstar Thalía reached out.

“I was in New York at the time,” he adds. “I was struggling economically and hadn’t paid rent in five months. I was about to hang up my gloves. Then, I got a phone call that Thalía saw a couple videos of a few artists in development and ‘she chose you.’ To me, it was an honor and one of the most important moments in my career.”

The two recorded a live duet of “Estoy Enamorado” for Thalía’s Primera Fila album. Capó performed it solo 10 years later in a new reggae-style version.

Pedro Capó accepts the award for Best Urban Fusion/Performance onstage at the Premiere Ceremony during the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images for LARAS
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After that initial breakthrough, Capó released a string of successful albums, including a self-titled album in 2011 and 2014’s Alquila. The latter features the heartfelt single “#FiebreDeAmor” that he sang live in a flashback to those days. In 2015, Capó had a hand in penning one of Ricky Martin’s biggest hits, “La Mordidita” with Cuban singer Yotuel.

“Working with Ricky was a dream as a Puerto Rican,” he says. “He’s one of our huge stars that has brought so much pride to Puerto Rico. One night, I got a melody in my head, went to sleep with it, got up, and I was like this is for Ricky. That’s how ‘La Mordidita’ came about.” The song’s music video currently has more than 1.1 billion views.

Capó finally scored a smash of his own late last year with the serene “Calma.” He explains, “It was written in a fairly innocent way. We were not looking for a major hit. We were just having fun connecting with our roots and the Puerto Rican philosophy of going slow and happy with that Caribbean lifestyle. It goes to show that sometimes being honest and simple also could be big.” The song became even bigger once fellow Puerto Rican Farruko jumped on the remix.

Capó’s Latin pop sound blending with Farruko’s reggaeton flavor made for an irresistible mix. “I think we have so much talent individually that once it becomes collective, it goes to a different level,” he says about fusions in music. “I feel like the new pop – the new mainstream Latino music – is something else. It’s not the traditional pop. It’s not the pure reggaeton. It’s a mingle of things that are happening and I’m all for it.” Their official music video has more 1.7 billion views and the two won the Latin Grammy for Best Urban Fusion Performance.

“Calma” also earned Capó the Latin Grammy Award for Song of the Year. “I’m pretty happy,” he says. “Those are things you don’t think about in the studio, but those are the things that your inner child dreams about. For it to happen on my birthday, I mean what else can I ask for?” He triumphantly performed the single as part of his encore after the audience shouted out for it.

“I’m happy to be working with amazing artists that I get to contribute to and that I get to learn a lot from as well.”

This year Capó released “Como Lo Hiciste Ayer” with Colombian production team ICON and local reggaetonero Reykon. He brought the energy of that song to life on stage by himself. Capó is climbing the charts again with another Colombian act, Camilo, and their remix of “Tutu” featuring future Super Bowl halftime headliner Shakira.

“I admire what he does, his sound, and his craftiness,” he says about Camilo. “He called me and showed me the song and I was like, ‘Yo, I’m all over it.’ And then the Shakira phone call came. I’m happy to be working with amazing artists that I get to contribute to and that I get to learn a lot from as well.” Capó’s solo rendition was a cute moment during his set.

As for the future, Capó says he is working on his next album and that a new single should be dropping early next year.

“I’m very excited and celebratory about the present of Latin music,” he adds. “I don’t think it’s going to stop. I think we always had the great music, but now because of the way we consume music, I think it’s easier to get to us and we’re just showing up.”