February 27, 2024

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Wisin Talks La Base, Working With Young Miko and Don Omar and the Future of Wisin & Yandel

5 min read

“I want to collaborate with people who are not like me and who do different things from what I do.”

A few hours before he was set to take the stage at Oasis this past October, an open air club in Miami, Wisin’s backstage trailer was packed with bold-faced names. There was J Balvin, side by side with fellow Colombian Ryan Castro, Dominican dembow king El Alfa, Colombian rapper Farina, producers Luny, Tunes and DJ Nelson, and a bevvy of young and established artists — all there to pay their respects to one of reggaetón’s legends.

The thing with Wisin, though, is he’s a legend that continues to churn out hits, on an almost weekly basis. That night at Oasis, he was performing with special guests Luny Tunes and DJ Nelson as part of the official presentation of his label and collective, La Base, presented by Smirnoff as part of Billboard Latin Music Week. On November 30, he released “Señorita,” a new reggaetón single with newcomer Young Miko, who he calls “very talented and full of potential.” It follows “Sandunga,” a single with two other legends: Don Omar and Yandel. On February, he will release Mr. W, an album that he describes as “full of fusions and different collaborations. It’s an album that has been done as a team, and it’s full of the knowledge and energy of many people.”

That thirst for knowledge and for collaboration in music is at the root of Wisin’s long career, and defines La Base — his recording studio, record label and musical co-op. With offices and studios in Puerto Rico, dozens of artists — from Ozuna to Chencho and Don Omar — have gone to La Base to create and record.

Following his participation in Latin Music Week, which included his performance at Oasis, as well as a panel with production legends Luny, Tunes and DJ Nelson (and moderated by radio personality Molusco), we spoke with Wisin about the past and future of the genre, and what comes next for him and La Base.

You were the anchor of a truly historic panel with historic figures during Billboard Latin Music Week in October. Why was it important to participate?

First of all, it was an honor to sit down next to Luny, Tunes and DJ Nelson. Since The Noice [DJ Nelson’s legendary urban music collective], before we [Wisin and Yandel] were even artists, we dreamed of being like them. It’s also an honor for me to talk about our experiences and the knowledge gained for over two decades. Obviously, we’ve cried, we’ve stumbled, and we’ve learned from the blows. When we started out, there were no opportunities, no tools. So, we’re happy to still be relevant, and to have Billboard allow us the opportunity to tell our experiences to new talents and new producers, so they can also learn. I think it was a historic panel, where every speaker has given so much to urban music. I have no words to describe how important it was to be there.

And what was the significance of bringing La Base to Miami for a performance?

An achievement. Not just for me but for this group of dreamers that make up La Base. For Hyde El Químico and all the legendary producers and writers that go to La Base every day to create big things. Flying over the ocean to bring our music and our productions to Miami was incredible. I felt the unconditional support of so many colleagues that were there. And that’s what music is about. It’s about sharing, exchanging ideas and learning from each other.  

Why did you invite Luny Tunes? What is their importance for the genre?

Luny Tunes is one of the key pieces of our urban movement. I dreamt of working with them when I first started, and I’ve learned so much from them. I learned to dream, to fuse musical genres and I learned that our urban music works with all different genres of music. It’s also important that people see them and understand they’re pillars of this movement. What an honor that they can be part of my enterprise right now — and what an honor, brother, that they support me.

What is La Base’s role in the future of the genre?

Continue dreaming and giving opportunities and tools to new artists. Continue [providing] a platform in Puerto Rico, from my home town, Cayey, for dreamers, writers and producers. This isn’t only for artists. Being big in music is not just for those who have the microphone and do shows. It’s for everyone who is collaborating in the process, and for different people who go to La Base every day to dream.

How important are collaborations to you?

I believe completely in them. My next album, Mr. W,  is going to be full of collabs, of fusions, of different genres and styles. I think that’s where the magic is. I want to collaborate with people who are not like me and who do different things from what I do. That’s the beauty of music and of urban music. Obviously, reggaetón is still our core, and what we do best, but we’re daring to do different things. And I want to thanks the many artists and producers who worked on this album. It’s teamwork, and I believe in teamwork and in learning from others.

You just released “Sandunga” with Don Omar and Yandel. How important is it for you to work with Don Omar?

It’s always an honor to work with Don Omar. He’s the king of reggaetón and one of the most talented artists I’ve worked with, with a vocal prowess like few I’ve ever encountered. We’ve done so many hits, but this is the first time we make a video together. And, we did the reggaetón we all know how to do. We knew millions of people wanted to hear something like that; the sound of the clubs, the barrios, the root of the movement. I want to publicly thank Don for the opportunity.

What’s going to happen to Wisin and Yandel?

WIsin and Yandel is an immortal brand. Not making music with Yandel would [show] a lack of respect to millions of people. In my new album we have a song together called “Reggaetón.” Obviously, Yandel has his company, and I have mine. But we continue to make music together, knowing millions of people love what we do.

And, what’s next for La Base?

From the moment we opened our doors, La Base has been producing every day, not just for us, but for different artists. We did Ozuna’s new album, many of Wisin and Yandel singles, we just finished mixing Jowell and Randy’s new album, and of course, my album Mr. W is being recorded there. We get new talent and new songs every day. That’s what La Base is. A music and talent factory and our doors are always open to talent. We’re honored that so many people have come to the mountains of Puerto Rico to make music with us.

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