Quarantine Routine: J Balvin on Wanting to Collaborate With Drake and How Music Offers Hope During Tough Times

In a new SPY series, FN will interview celebrities, athletes and fashion insiders about their quarantine routine as they open up about the changes to their daily lives during the coronavirus crisis.

Although the coronavirus crisis has brought the world to a near standstill, J Balvin has found ways to keep things moving forward in ways that should make his fans happy.

Speaking with FN today via Instagram Live, the “Blanco” singer explained his decision to release his latest album, “Colores,” on March 19 — a day prior to its original release date.

“I was checking the whole vibe and it’s kind of like a dark time, and if I was waiting for my favorite artist to drop an album I’d be so happy in this moment. Like if Drake dropped an album tomorrow I’d be happy. I’d be grateful,” Balvin told FN. “Basically, I was thinking as a fan and was like, ‘You know what? Let me drop it even sooner.’ It was supposed to be on a Friday. I was like, ‘No, let’s drop it on Thursday, right now.’ “

According to the Colombian musician, his fans seem to appreciate the gesture. “The love is there, the engagement is huge, the meter is still going up,” he said. “Everything is dope, man. I can’t complain.”

And soon there will be more to look forward to — this time, in a visual medium.

“We basically shot all the videos, 10 videos. It’s the concept of the new album, ‘Colores,’ ” Balvin said. “We just dropped ‘Gris’ last week and tomorrow we’re going to drop the trailer of ‘Verde.’ We have the whole videos ready to drop fire for the people who follow us in quarantine.”

Just as many people are turning to music to feel good, so is Balvin. He admitted he is writing a lot (“This is a moment for creativity, this is a moment to create, express yourself.”) and has been particularly inspired by of one of his favorite artists. 

“I love Drake, I can’t deny it, man,” Balvin said. “I love that he dropped a song [“Toosie Slide”] in this moment.”

Balvin also mentioned wanting to collaborate with the Canadian rapper. “Drake has always been one of my dream collabs,” he said. “It’s going to happen when it has to happen.”

Where Balvin differs from most, however, is in what he’s wearing daily during the isolation.

“First, when the quarantine started, I was super cozy, just in shorts and sweatpants and hoodies, which is amazing,” Balvin said. “But lately, I’ve been wearing jeans. I just want to feel that I’m doing something, you know? Like I’m out there, even if I’m not.”

Although his music has moved forward, the coronavirus has derailed some of his plans. In February, the two-time FN cover star and 2019 FNAA Style Influencer of the Year revealed his upcoming Air Jordan 1 collaboration on the Super Bowl 54 stage in Miami. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shoes won’t hit retail until November.

Despite the delayed drop, he has no feelings of dismay.

“Sometimes when you’re in this moment, you forget about those beautiful blessings, you know? It’s a blessing because I grew up with Jordan 1s,” Balvin said. “I was born in 1985 when basically the first Jordan 1 dropped, so I have a real connection with Jordan, especially with the Jordan 1.”

But if you’re looking to wear something designed by the artist right away, his collaborative collection with Guess is on the way.

“We had to postpone it because of the pandemic, but I think we’re going first week of May, dropping the new collection [then],” Balvin said.

Before signing off — undoubtedly to spend time with his new puppies, Paz and Felicidad —  the stylish hit maker revealed some of his quarantine essentials (coffee and water), shared thoughts on how life will be post-coronavirus (“we are going to be more grateful”) and offered advice on how to get through this period of forced isolation.

“Sleep eight hours — not more than that,” Balvin said. “Eating healthy and exercise is the key. Just walk around your apartment, walk around wherever you are, do some cardio. And meditation. Those four elements make a difference with anxiety and depression.”

Watch the interview here:

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