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Ahead of his Abu Dhabi gig at The Arena, Yas Island on September 5, J Balvin sat down with EDGAR to answer some quick-fire questions.
How much do you know about the music scene in the UAE?
I’ve done my research, so I know the UAE has a history of hosting concerts by major
international artists – from the Rolling Stones, Prince and Paul McCartney, to Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Coldplay and many, many more.
What else did your research reveal?
That the country’s musical palette is very diverse. I’m following in some pretty big footsteps – I play the night after Red Hot Chili Peppers – so I hope the response to my music is really good.
You've worked with some outstanding talents - Beyoncé, Pharrell and more - but who has been your favourite act to collaborate with?
I’ve been really fortunate to collaborate with a lot of big names, but if I had to choose one it would be my work with Bad Bunny on Oasis.
A surprising choice - for us at least. Why was that?
We had such a great time cutting that album; we locked ourselves in a studio for a week and just gelled. There’s a kind of big brother and little brother dynamic, I’m up at 5am and he’s usually going to bed around that time, but it worked.
So you’re polar opposites of each other?
I like to improvise in the booth, he likes to rehearse – way too much if you ask me – but the whole experience was very relaxed with zero pressure and I think that comes through on the album.
Finally, who’s your pick for the UFC 242 headline bout - Khabib Nurmagomedov or Dustin Poirier?
Tough call, they’re both champions. Two guys will walk in with belts but only one will be champ when it’s over.
If you push me, I would probably say Khabib because his takedown game and grappling are so strong. He’s also going to have the lion’s share of support in Abu Dhabi and that should help him.
END OF INTERVIEW