Karol G talks “Mañana será bonito” …

Leila Cobo (Billboard) interviews Karol G. Here are excerpts from “Karol G talks ‘Mañana será bonito,’ working with Shakira & Finneas and letting go.” [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]

Despite featuring “TQG,” her vaunted post-breakup collaboration with Shakira, do not for a second think that Karol G’s new album is born out of scorn or heartache. Instead, Mañana Será Bonito (out today on Universal Music Latino), which literally translates to “Tomorrow Will Be Pretty,” is a snapshot of Karol G’s moment today — a moment she describes as “authentic and genuine, now more than ever.”

Coming off the highest-grossing 2022 tour for a Latin woman in 2022, as well as a slew of milestones –including being the first woman to hold Nos. 1 and 2 simultaneously on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart since Selena in 1995 — Karol G has released an album that includes several of those smash hits, but also a cadre of surprises. There’s her collab with Shakira, something both fans and pundits had long yearned to hear from the two Colombian stars, as well as the beautiful title track, which unexpectedly brings in the soulful/alternative Carla Morrison into a gentle reggaetón groove, and the very sexy “X Si Volvemos” with Romeo Santos.

For Karol G, the stakes were high to deliver a strong set after a year of being lauded as the top woman in Latin music, and particularly after the huge success of 2021’s KG0516. With help from longtime producer and collaborator Ovy on the Drums, and an intriguing list of guest artists that also includes Spanish rapper Quevedo and Panama’s Sech, Mañana Será Bonito strives to cover the many sides of Karol G, using a bold reggaetón and electronic palate and relying on immediately relatable, yet sophisticated lyrics.

In a heartfelt conversation with Billboard, the Colombian star delved into the importance of this moment, why being a bichota isn’t always a good thing, and yes, how that Shakira collab came about.  

You’ve said this particular moment in time is very emotional and very important to you, more so than other major milestones. Why?

Everything you do in a career like this becomes important. But definitely, I spent many years working toward a moment where I could demonstrate, where I could elevate – so to speak— the female genre, and represent us in a strong, powerful way. And I think this is that moment, because I’ve been able to garner the attention and establish myself in a position where people are expectant. Although I didn’t create this album thinking about this; I simply made music.

[. . .] Everyone has yearned for a Shakira-Karol G collab for such a long time. You grew up looking up to her. What was the importance of Shakira in this album?

All of us as Latinos have to recognize she’s the one who represents us as Latinas around the world. When I was on set shooting the video and I was watching her, I was realizing all the amazing and legendary moments in her career, and a lot of things I need to work on to get to that point. But it was such a blessing to have her.

This song was born the same day I wrote the verse for “Mamiii.” It was a good day! We were in the studio, I was with Becky G finishing some details for “Mamiii,” and I stayed in the studio. I was with my team, with Ovy, with [writer/producer] Keityn. And we were trying to figure out what we were going to do, because I had said “yes” to Becky, and now we had two songs — but the topic was the same [heartbreak diss tracks].

Then when I saw the story about Shakira and her situation, this song again gained meaning. I really want songs to have a meaning and connect with real stories. I called Shakira, in October of last year — I said, “Hey, I know you’re going through this, and I’m sorry to be so direct.” [But] when she heard the song, she said, “I love it!” Then she explained she had this song coming with Bizarrap and I said, “OMG what are we going to do?”

She asked me to wait to launch this song, so we moved everything. [Even then I said], “Hey, you have ‘Te Felicito,’ “Monotonia,’ the Bizarrap session and then ‘TQG’ with me. It’s four songs [on similar topics].’ And she said, ‘You know what? It doesn’t mean I’m singing this song for somebody [specific].’” I would love for people to simply listen to this song, as a song. [. . .]

[Photo above by Lea Colombo.]

For full interview, see https://www.billboard.com/music/latin/karol-g-manana-sera-bonito-tqg-shakira-finneas-interview-1235260300/ and https://www.billboard.com/espanol/musica/karol-g-manana-sera-bonito-shakira-finneas-1235260891/

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