Meet Morelli: Colombian Hit-Maker Talks Writing For Camilo And New Single “Mala Conmigo”
Following in the footsteps of his friends Camilo and Mau y Ricky, Morelli is the next songwriter stepping into the spotlight as an artist. The Colombian musician launched his music career this week with the new single “Mala Conmigo.” In the music video, he’s partying with Camilo and company. In an interview with Latido Music, Morelli talked about the stories behind the hits he’s written and his journey to releasing “Mala Conmigo.”
Before launching as Morelli, he put out a few songs under his full name.
Morelli might not be a familiar name yet, but the name Juan Morelli is in the credits of hits like Mau y Ricky’s “La Boca” and Camilo’s “El Mismo Aire.” For the launch of his recording career, he’s solely going by his last name. “Mala Conmigo” isn’t the first time Morelli has released music. A few years back he dropped a few songs under his full name.
“As Juan Morelli, I did all the genres possible,” Morelli tells mitú. “I did ballads, pop-rock, techno-pop. Everything that was there, I tried it. All of that helped me find my own sound now. I’ve been fortunate to be able to write for other people. Through that, by accident, I discovered how I wanted to do my sound.”
Morelli’s frequent co-writer Camilo is also his best friend.
One of the artists Morelli has written for includes his longtime friend Camilo. Both singer-songwriters grew up as kids together in Bogotá. They’ve always been supportive of each other. Now Camilo is returning the favor as a co-writer on Morelli’s “Mala Conmigo.”
“I’ve been fortunate that Camilo is my best friend from when I was 13-years-old,” Morelli says. “We’ve grown up together. I’ve seen his career grow. We’re like brothers practically. It’s just that we have different moms. I’ve been happy to see everything that’s happened for him, and he’s been happy for everything that’s happening to me.”
Morelli’s life changed when he wrote Mau y Ricky’s “La Boca” with Camilo.
Morelli wrote the song that changed his life with Camilo. In 2019, the two were in Miami writing what would eventually evolve into “La Boca,” the six-times Platinum hit by Venezuelan duo Mau y Ricky. Not only did that song put Morelli’s name on the map, but he became closer to Mau y Ricky because of it.
“‘La Boca’ was the song that opened all the doors for me to do what I’m doing now,” Morelli says. “I went back to Bogotá feeling that I wrote a great song. A month and a half later, Camilo called me saying that Mau y Ricky would be added to it. For me, that was a dream. They told me they were going to record it in Santa Marta. I shared their hotel room because I went with nothing. That’s where I met Ricky and he told me, ‘Why don’t you come to Miami to work?’ They believed more in my talent than I did myself at the time. That gave the confidence and power to be doing what I’m doing today.”
Camilo’s “El Mismo Aire” was inspired by the thought of his wife, Evaluna Montaner, leaving him.
On Camilo’s breakthrough album Por Primera Vez, Morelli had a hand in writing “El Mismo Aire.” It’s one of the darker moments in Camilo’s discography. When it was nominated for Song of the Year at last year’s Latin Grammy Awards, Morelli became a first-time nominee.
“That was a dream come true for the 12-year-old Juan who wanted to become a musician,” Morelli says about the nomination. “‘El Mismo Aire’ came from Camilo’s imagination of thinking about if Evaluna left him. He said, ‘How would I feel if Evaluna left me one day?’ That’s the feeling behind that beautiful song that we wrote with Edgar [Barrera], Richi [Lopéz], and Jon [Leone]. Of course, I was thinking about my fiancée Paula [Macher] and if she left me. What would I do? That’s Camilo’s song, but I had to put myself in the same position.”
Morelli cried when Pablo Alborán recorded it as a duet with Camilo.
A few months after the release of Por Primera Vez, Camilo released “El Mismo Aire” as a duet with Spanish pop star Pablo Alborán. Morelli calls that moment another highlight of his career.
“In our last few months living in Bogotá, me and Camilo would sit down in my living room and play the guitar and sing Pablo Alborán songs from his first album,” Morelli recalls. “We uploaded the covers to YouTube and Instagram. The day [Camilo] called me and said that Pablo Alborán would be added to ‘El Mismo Aire,’ I cried a lot. I cried from a lot of happiness.”
Now Morelli is living his best life in “Mala Conmigo” with his friends.
Morelli wrote “Mala Conmigo” with Camilo and Jon Leone, who produced it as JonTheProducer. Leone is another close friend of Morelli’s in their group that includes Mau y Ricky. It’s a bubbly pop song with an electronic edge that Morelli sounds like he sang with a smile on his face. He’s having the best time in the music video with a twerking Camilo, Mau y Ricky, Leone, Macher, and Evaluna Montaner. Evaluna also directed it.
“You can imagine it’s complete happiness for me,” Morelli says of all his friends appearing in the video. “For me it’s an honor because I’ve seen them on TV and dreamed of being like them. They’re my examples going forward. To have them there as my family that loves me, it was a blessing.”
Morelli recently worked with John Legend and there are more stars he wants to work with next.
Recently, Morelli wrote on John Legend’s Spanglish remix of “Bigger Love” with Mau y Ricky. As for who he wants to work with next, Morelli says the list is long. For the interview, he narrows it down to: Farruko, Juanes, Anitta, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, and, of course, Pablo Alborán. Morelli is hoping to release a song once a month following “Mala Conmigo.”
“Two and a half years ago, I was in my apartment in Bogotá working on other things to make ends meet,” he says. “Now two years later, I’m releasing my song, I have Latin Grammy nominations, and I worked with John Legend. When I’m going to a [writing] session, I’m always happy because it’s a blessing to be living doing what I love.”
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