Ed Sheeran & Zion y Lennox Deliver a WTF Collab for the Ages With the Latin Remix of “Shape of You”

Lead Photo: Photo by Itzel Alejandra Martinez for Remezcla
Photo by Itzel Alejandra Martinez for Remezcla
Read more

Ed Sheeran, pop music’s affable redhead and the guy critics love to hate, is here to deliver your WTF moment of the day year. On Friday, the English singer-songwriter unveiled a reimagining of his ubiquitous dancehall number “Shape of You” – featuring none other than reggaeton gods Zion y Lennox. Yes, the Puerto Rican duo – and kings of sunglasses-in-the-club – teamed up with Sheeran for the “Latin remix” of the chart-topping hit, à la Balvin-Bieber.

Unlike Balvin and Bieber’s “Sorry” rework, this reimagining is a little more unexpected – and perhaps even more momentous, since it marks Sheeran’s first collaboration with a Latino artist. On it, the Boricua superstars deliver a couple of Spanish verses (and plenty of guttural “mamacita” flourishes – trust). While I was gunning for a filthy perreo breakdown, or even a mini-bachatón riff, this remix pretty much keeps Sheeran’s marimbas and inoffensive dembow-lite riddim intact.

While the official collaboration seems more like a strategic maneuver intended to tap into Latinx audiences’ buying power, rather than a genuine sign of respect between creators, it’s certainly a savvy business move – cultivating a Latinx fanbase is essential for any mainstream artist in 2017. If anything, it gives two legends a global platform, and the opportunity to claim a part of the Sheeran moment for themselves. Hit play on the remix above.