“Right now, I’m in my happiest moment of my career,” Bad Bunny tells Billboard host Neja Joy during an interview in New York.
The Latin superstar — who, along with Ozuna, leads this year’s list of finalists for the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards — on Saturday (Feb. 29) released his highly anticipated new album YHLQMDLG, an acronym that stands for “yo hago lo que me da la gana” (I do whatever I want).
And that he does.
Born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter has always made music on his own terms. From uploading tracks on SoundCloud in his early beginnings in 2016 to landing 15 songs on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart in 2017 and scoring his first Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper with his feature on Cardi B’s “I Like It.”
Additionally, in 2019, Bad Bunny earned two Grammy nods thanks to his debut album X100Pre and his joint album with friend and fellow reggaetonero J Balvin Oasis.
And he became Billboard’s year-end Top Latin Artist for the 2019 chart year after his debut album spent 34 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums survey and placed 32 tracks on the Hot Latin Songs chart.
“It was an amazing year full of amazing moments and I’m so grateful, but I think 2020 will be a lot better,” he says confidently.
It’s safe to say that 2020 is already off to a great star for El Conejo Malo who performed alongside Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Balvin at the Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show where he and Balvin sang exclusively in Spanish. The epic halftime show was watched by 103 million people in the U.S., according to Fox.
Singing in Spanish was important for Bunny. “It was such a special experience to represent the Latino community in an American event of the NFL. I don’t know anything about the NFL. I don’t know who won. Latinos won the game.”
To match his happy mood, the “Callaíta” singer, who last year made his Coachella debut performing on the main stage, just released his second studio album that he says is “happier than my first one X100Pre. That album was nostalgic, it had sad tracks and this new album is happier. It’s for having fun, dancing, forget [your] problems. I don’t want to compete with my last album because it’s something different. People will see an evolution of X100Pre.”
The packed album includes 20 tracks and features collaborators like Daddy Yankee, Sech and Jowell & Randy, among others.
“I can do whatever I want. That’s how I feel right now. It’s about doing what you feel,” he adds.
Bad Bunny is a 14-time finalist at the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards which will air live April 23 on Telemundo, following the three-day event and panel series LatinFest+ presented by Billboard and Telemundo in Las Vegas.