So, How Was Your Decade is a series in which the decade’s most innovative musicians answer our questionnaire about the music, culture and memorable moments that shaped their decade. We’ll be rolling these pieces out throughout December.
So you want to make a viral hit: who better to help than Ozuna, the world’s most-watched artist on YouTube? It’s clear that the Puerto Rican-Dominican singer has something everyone wants. Yet central to his pop music savvy is his collaborative spirit. While the 27-year-old prides himself on being a family man, he doesn’t just mean his wife and two children: “I’m building a family in music, too,” he tells Rolling Stone.
Ozuna first generated a modest following through SoundCloud, then rapidly rose through Latin pop’s ranks with his 2017 LP Odisea, followed by his 2018 blockbuster of an album, Aura. In his highly anticipated third album, Nibiru, Ozuna finally expands his sound beyond the confines of its home base of reggaeton — and boasts assists from Cultura Profética’s Willy Rodríguez, Snoop Dogg, DJ Snake and Diddy. “I am a fan of yours,” Diddy reportedly told Ozuna. “I play your music in my house!”
Though a power player in his own right, Ozuna also got a boost from reggaeton titans Daddy Yankee and J Balvin in the remix to his 2019 single “Baila Baila Baila” — and made his tenth-ever appearance on the Hot 100. The song would be nominated for Best Urban Song this year at the Latin Grammys.
“In this current moment, reggaeton is at its best,” says Ozuna. “We are all making music and really we are taking this to the next level by collaborating and making different rhythms and styles. We’re always looking for ways to grow.” The musician told us his favorite moments of the decade.
My favorite album of the 2010s was: Daddy Yankee’s Mundial.
My favorite song of the 2010s was: Daddy Yankee’s “La Despedida.”
The artist who had the best decade was: Daddy Yankee. It’s important for a star to help uplift younger artists — that’s what Daddy Yankee does, and I am building a family in music, too. Guys like Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel, Jowell y Randy… they inspire me and make me believe in urban music today. We are all taking this to the next level by collaborating and making different rhythms and styles. We’re always looking for ways to grow.
My least favorite trend in music this decade was: For me, there is not a least favorite trend in music. Music is universal [and] all trends contribute to music; there is music for every taste.
The best live show I saw in the 2010s was: Aventura.
The most surprising encounter I had with a fellow artist this decade was: Selena Gomez. When we performed [“Taki Taki”] at Coachella, it was something special, something almost underground. There weren’t many Latinos at that festival, so I shared a lot with Selena, and with Cardi B. We were like a family there for a little while.
The best book I read this decade was: The Bible.
Something cool I did this decade that nobody noticed was: I went snowboarding!
The best outfit I wore this decade was: My looks at the Premios Juventud 2019 and the Billboard Latin Music Awards in 2017.
The most “2010s” moment of the 2010s was: The birth of my daughter and my son.
My biggest hope for the 2020s is: May God allow me to continue doing music and continue to give my fans memorable experiences in my tour.