Who said a bachata star can’t sing rancheras? On Friday, Romeo Santos joined música Mexicana heavyweight Christian Nodál for the emotional, tequila-soaked video for “Me Extraño,” which shows the two of them trading verses about love and regrets at an opulent bar.
The song follows Santos — fresh out of a breakup — as he tells Nodál, who’s his ex’s new love, how much he regrets how he treated her and, somewhat cynically, wishes him luck. In Spanish, he sings, “It’s fucked up to mess up completely/I took off her dress 60 times a month/And I was just like you when I first found her/I even miss myself.”
The Santos-Nodál collaboration happened after the Aventura singer expressed interest in making a ranchera song. Nodál, he told Rolling Stone en Español, was the perfect person to do it with.
“I said, ‘I can write a pretty song, but to structure it like a ranchera, I don’t know. Can you help me with that?'” Santos said. “And when we started writing, I said, ‘I love this. This is perfect.’ That’s how this started so organically.”
Nodál loved the song and the two met up in Los Angeles to record it together. Santos said he’s “a bit traditional” and prefers making music in the studio together, as opposed to having an artist send him verses remotely. That’s how he worked on most of the other collaborations on his most recent album, Fórmula, Vol. 3, which also features Rosalía on “El Pañuelo” and Justin Timberlake on “Sin Fin.”
“I like to feel the vibe, I like to change things when the artist is there singing and vice versa. That’s how it was with Rosalía, that’s how it was with Justin Timberlake,” Santos said. “We exchange ideas.”
“Me Extraño” is a great example of how Santos continues pushing boundaries in the genre he’s known for. “I’ve never been afraid to experiment with bachata. I’ve always been able to create ideas that aren’t the norm, unorthodox,” he told Rolling Stone over the summer. “There are some music proposals that people are going to be shocked to hear, because I’ve never done them before, with artists that clearly are icons.”
Nodál has welcomed collaborations with those outside the música Mexican genre. He recently welcomed Puerto Rican singer Kany Garcia on “La Siguiente” and joined reggaetón singer vf7 on “Pensar en Ti.”