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Bad Bunny Covers TIME, Talks Same-Sex Kiss In New Movie, Grammy Performance & Colorism In Reggaeton

One of the biggest artists in Reggaeton Bad Bunny covers the latest issue of TIME, and inside he addresses kissing a man in the upcoming film Cassandro, evolving his music to English-language material, colorism in Reggaeton and more.

Check out some excerpts from the interview, as well as the photo shoot lensed by Elliot & Erick Jiménez below...

On Losing Out On Opportunities Due To A Language Barrier, and If He'll Ever Do Music In English:

No. I’m just learning, that’s it. There’s a lot of things that I’m losing, like opportunities, ‘cause the language. I didn’t care about [learning] English. But now, I think I care. It has been so natural just talking and practicing but without pressure or with one goal or something. No one asks Drake when he’s going to make a Spanish song. The day I feel like I need to do a song in English, I’ll do it because I feel it.

On Who He Does His Music For:

I do music for the people that love me. When I read comments that say, ‘Bad Bunny, now I’m not going to listen to your music,’ that’s fine. If you don’t want to listen to my music anymore that’s OK. That’s fine, someone will like it. I do music for who wants to listen to me and for who wants to connect with me. If you don’t like what I’m doing I’m not going to do something else for you to like it. If you don’t like it, well brother, there are plenty of artists out there, and perhaps you’ll find someone you’ll like. Someone is going to like what I’m doing and those are the people I’m singing to. But obviously, yes I do music for Puerto Rico. It’s where I was born and grew up. I’m a fan of our people, our culture, as well as our culture within reggaeton. When I write and I do music my spirit is always in Puerto Rico and I try for the music that I do to be liked by people there.

If Racism And Colorism Determines Who Is Successful In Reggaeton:

They’ve asked me that before… it’s been a long time since I’ve had a question like that. Within my ignorance I didn’t understand it. I said that can’t be. I couldn’t imagine it. I can’t say that yes or no because I haven’t lived it. I also haven’t seen with my own eyes that yes this person didn’t become more successful because of their skin. I haven’t seen it. It’d be irresponsible of me to say yes. For example, they asked me about if Tego Calderón would’ve been bigger if he wasn’t Black. But in my eyes, Tego Calderón is the biggest singer in the industry. You understand? I didn’t understand things about the industry that maybe are true. Maybe doors closed because of his skin, maybe some promoter preferred an artist whiter than him. But those things I don’t know. I haven’t lived it. When they asked me I said, ‘What? To me Tego Calderón is the biggest singer in the genre, he is one of my idols too. What do you mean not as big? What’s bigger than him?’

On The Process of Creating His Memorable Grammy Performance:

They never told me what to do. They gave me the liberty to do what I wanted and I knew that I wanted to sing “Después De La Playa.” A lot of people thought that I’d perform “Titi Me Pregunto” or “Moscow Mule,” but I knew I wanted to do “Despues De La Playa.” But I wanted something more. So I had the idea to do the first part of ”El Apagón.” And mano (brother) the idea came very spontaneously and naturally. In Puerto Rico in the month of January there’s the street festival of San Sebastián. It’s a super big, traditional Puerto Rican festival where you’ll see personalities portrayed by the cabezudos (big heads). Incredibly, in all my life I’ve never been to one. So I thought this year, I wanted to go. I thought I’d find a way to put myself there, but I couldn’t because I was here so I thought, you know what, I’m bringing the San Sebastián Festival to the Grammys. I actually didn’t know that I was going to be the opening act. That was something decided at the last minute. I think after they saw the show they thought let’s put him as the first act. And I said, ‘First?’ It was all very natural.

His Thoughts On The Subtitles Snafu During The Grammys:

In reality when I saw it…it didn’t capture the message. It didn’t say ‘in Spanish’… como que (like) ‘non-english’… well, the system doesn’t work. It was porqueria (crap), that’s the only way I could put it.

On Being The First Latino To Headline Coachella:

A lot of people ask me that in the street. I’m like, ‘Am I supposed to feel something?’ I performed at Azteca. I performed at Yankee Stadium. I’ve performed every place. Coachella is going to be another f–king performance to me. I felt more pressure at the Hiram Bithorn [Stadium in Puerto Rico] than I feel for Coachella. Obviously I’m excited. I want to do my best.

On Fans Invading His Personal Space:

I think it’s possible that they operate in a different way. If they understand that we are the same, we are human, that we should not be aggressive, why invade my private space? I always say I will never say no to someone who comes up to me to say hi. I will never leave someone’s hand out that’s greeting me. Never. If you’re coming up like you’re going to rob me, then yes, it’ll bother me. Someone will ask me for a photo, I stretch out my hand, and they leave it there because they’re looking for their phone. Why do you want a picture with me? Cause I’m the Statue of liberty? I’m a human. Greet me. The photo isn’t worth more than a greeting. A photo isn’t worth more than an exchange of words. That’s worth more than a photo. You can say I know Bad Bunny. You prefer to know me or have a picture with me?

On Kissing Gael Garcia Bernal In Cassandro:

Amazing. That was one of my first experiences acting. I remember I was nervous. I think I was more nervous than for Bullet Train because it was my first experience. I didn’t want to joderlo (mess it up) or ruin it. Acting with Gael was so great and they treated me super well. I’m glad it was my first experience.

It was cabrón (badass). My first kiss for a movie and it was with a man. That’s the penalty I get for being with so many women during my life. [Begins to laugh] If you’re acting, you’re being someone you’re not. That’s the fun part. So when they asked me for that I said, ‘Yes, I’m here for whatever you want.’ I think it was very cool. I didn’t feel uncomfortable. It’s part of acting. It’s part of what I’m doing.

On His First Leading Role In The Upcoming Superhero Film El Muerto:

We haven’t recorded any scenes yet. Maybe they’ll switch me out for Pedro Pascal. [Laughs]

You can read the full article here.

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