Blessd, born Stiven Mesa Londoño, is Colombia’s next big star. Humble, hard-working, and always repping el barrio in his native Medellín, Blessd wants to be an example for future generations that they can also come from nothing, and make it big. The “Imposible Remix” singer talked to mitú about how his career started as he sold fruit and candy with his father, how Maluma’s collaboration was life-changing and what’s next for Colombian rising talent like himself.

Watch our interview here:

He launched his career by free styling as he sold fruit and candy when he was still in school.

Blessd always knew he had a natural ability to make rhymes. At the time, he was in school selling candy and after school he’d help his dad sell fruits and vegetables in Medellin’s La Mayorista market.

One of his classmates, who admired his hustle, put him in touch with a producer, a catalytic moment for his career.

“I didn’t even have money to pay [the producer] because finding $100 dollars for me was an odyssey, so with whatever money I could make at the plaza selling fruit that’s what I would use to pay him, but it would take me such a long time to pay it off. So I would record the songs piece by piece until one of my songs became a local hit, so I started touring schools with this song all over Medellín and Antioquia,” he shared.

The song “Poblado” made its rounds around Colombia with rising talent Crissin, Totoy El Frio, and duo Natan y Shander. Before “Poblado Remix” had the additions of superstars like J Balvin, Karol G and Nicky Jam, the original crew had Blessd in mind for the remix. One particular TikTok with Blessd in the studio went viral and had many fans excited about the release, only to find out that Blessd had been scrapped from the final product.

However, this didn’t stop Blessd. The singer shared that this ended up working out in his favor: “I was really lucky because even though my verse was never released, the TikTok that went viral had my face on it, and then people wondered why I wasn’t in the remix. They started looking me up and they could see that I had a song with Maluma, sold out shows in Medellin, Cali,” he said.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by BLESSD🙏🏻 (@blessd)

Read: J Balvin, Karol G And Nicky Jam Globalize Colombian Hit “Poblado” With Remix Music Video

Blessd credits Maluma as someone that “took him to the next level” for their collaboration on “Imposible Remix.”

Shocked the first time he listened to Maluma saying his tagline, “pretty boy baby” on his song “Imposible Remix,” Blessd expressed his appreciation to artists like Maluma who collaborate with up-and-coming talent, and hopes to do the same as his career grows.

When it came down to filming, Maluma offered to film the music video in his Medellín house, but Blessd wanted to bring Maluma back to el barrio days, so they donned jerseys, sweatpants and baseball caps. “Maluma as a person is someone that I admire. I admire how humble he is, it’s incredible what he did for me. I won’t have a way to repay him in this life or in the next one, because he took me to the next level,” says Blessd.

The next generation of Colombian talent looks bright.

Understanding that in 20 years his career won’t be as relevant, one of Blessd’s biggest wishes is to develop talent in the future. And what better way to do it than with talent hailing from his hometown’s backyard? That’s why he’s tasked himself with finding new artists in different Colombian cities and to help them be more successful.

“It’s a movement that’s developing a lot in Colombia right now, but us as the ones right now being part of this generation, we have to do what Maluma did with me and help each other keep shining,” he contends.

Read: Colombia’s New Pop Wave: 5 Artists You Should Know