"Despacito," the recently Grammy-nominated (and four-time Latin Grammy-winning) banger is, by now, one of the most essential songs of 2017. Its journey from a collaboration between Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee to a global phenomenon to an awards favorite spans the entire calendar year, and one of its most crucial moments came in April, when the remix featuring Justin Bieber hit the world.
Now that 2017 is wrapping up, Fonsi and Yankee stopped by to tell Billboard the song's origin story, including how Bieber got involved with the track in the first place. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it all started the way most all-star team-ups begin: with a phone call.
"About four months in, 'Despacito' was already tearing up the charts in Latin America and Europe," Fonsi said, "and I got a call from Justin Bieber's camp saying that he heard the song at a nightclub and that he wanted to do the remix. So I said, of course, let's see."
After sending the track, Fonsi said Bieber added "his texture" to the song and sang it with "his flavor." He also complimented him taking the time to get the Spanish pronunciation correct. "I tip my hat off to him, and I think it added just a different layer to a song that was already big," Fonsi said.
A phone call, man. Because Bieber heard the song in a club. Sometimes it's as simple as that.