J Balvin kicked off his first headlining U.S. tour in Miami, FL, Wednesday (Sept. 23), marking his big foray into crossover appeal. The Colombian singer is known for uniquely blending influences from Puerto Rico’s pioneering reggaeton artists and distinct folk rhythms of his heritage. What separates Balvin from dembow millennials, however, is his love for hip-hop and R&B. Take “Ay Vamos” for instance. The now Latin Grammy-nominated record gave rise to a popular remix featuring fellow Latino singer Nicky Jam and Coke Boy head honcho French Montana.
Born José Álvaro Osorio, Balvin today is basking at the forefront of a new wave of urban Latin American artists, yet the 30-year-old has set his sights on more elaborate dreams of becoming the Drake of reggaeton. “That fact that he is from another country and a different culture and breaks all the cultural barriers with his music, it’s an inspiration for what I’m doing with reggeaton these days,” he said of the Canadian wunderkind.
Balvin is touring the U.S. from September through November. For ticket information, visit here.