Entertainment

Maluma Spills The Tea On His Relationship With J Balvin, Starring In A Movie With J Lo And What His Future Holds

It’s safe to say that Colombian music artist Maluma has got this success thing covered. If we’re looking at his online following, the Latin pop star has over 47 million followers on Instagram and his YouTube channel has a combined total of 13 billion views. His ticket sales are another huge win. Maluma has been selling out arenas around the world for years. This includes New York’s famous Madison Square Garden where the star just played a sold-out show in October of 2019. If these marks of professional achievement weren’t enough, the Latin star also recently added the accolade of “Pop Sensation of the Year” to his resume after it was awarded to him by “GQ Magazine.”

In his interview with the respected publication, Maluma talked about his surprising global fan base, his upcoming move to the big screen and his determination to stay true to HIS kind of music.

In the interview by Julyssa Lopez (photographed by William Ukoh), Maluma’s beginnings in the music business were explored. While he first had ambitions to be a professional soccer player, the Colombian decided at 17 years-old to use his natural charisma to pursue music instead. Using the first two letters of his mother’s, father’s and sister’s names, he took on the stage name Maluma to honor his family and began performing at local quinces.  

He started off using lighter reggaeton beats and blended in hip-hop and Latin trap. During this time, other music professionals pressured Maluma into exploring genres and styles he wasn’t comfortable with. However, the pop star was very confident in who he was as an artist — even while he is exploring his own sound — so he didn’t give into this pressure. 

“I think people at the beginning were confused because they thought I was strictly a reggaeton artist,” Maluma explains in the “GQ” interview. “My genre is the genre I do—it’s salsa, it’s reggaeton, it’s hip hop, it’s R&B, my genre is the genre of Maluma.”  

Staying true to his own sound has been a smart strategy because it has helped the pop star reach fans in unexpected places around the world. 

During his “GQ” interview, he recalled a large group of fans waiting for him outside the Madison Square Garden performance back in October. According to the interview, this group of fans was memorable because they had flown to New York all the way from China — a country that Maluma didn’t even realize already had access to his music.

In the interview, Maluma explained that the Chinese fans shared news of his huge fan base in the People’s Republic. However, he had never visited the communist country so they had to make the trip all the way to the US in order to see him. In the interview, Maluma says he promised to make it a priority to visit China in the future to meet these new fans; showing just how far-reaching his popularity already is.

Maluma’s ability to blend his style with different artists has also allowed him to collaborate with some of the biggest names in music.

As the “GQ” interview points out, Maluma’s absurdly popular music has featured a number of musicians from Ricky Martin, Ty Dolla $ign and Madonna to Steve Aoki, Jason Derulo, and Shakira. However, his more widely talked about collab came about this past year and the attention surrounding it was mainly caused by a supposed rivalry. In September, Maluma and J Balvin released the song for “Qué Pena” and made harmless fun of each other in the accompanying music video. 

Still, according to the “GQ Magazine” interview, there is a perceived rivalry between the two. 

“I never felt anything bad toward him, but all the attention on the genre and people created this tension between us,” Maluma says of Balvin. “I said to him, ‘Yo, bro, come on, I used to listen to your music when I was 14 years old. I used to go to quinceañeras, if you were performing there. I used to see you performing, I was your fan, cabrón.”

While 2019 was an phenomenal year for Maluma, 2020 will only be better thanks to his big move to the big screen. 

For his first shot at the movies, the Pop Sensation of the Year was hand picked by a fellow Latinx superstar. According to his interview with “GQ Magazine,” JLo chose Maluma to star in the film, “Marry Me,” opposite the superstar. Due out next year, the movie features JLo as a jilted pop star who marries a random person (Maluma) after being stood up by her fiance. Of course, shenanigans ensue. We can’t wait to see the chemistry and humor this duo brings to the big screen.

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