José Álvaro Osorio Balvín
7 May 1985
|Valentina Ferrer (2018–present)
Biography[change | change source]
Balvin was born in a middle-class family in Medellín, Colombia, on May 7, 1985. He is the son of José Álvaro Osorio and Alba Mery Balvin. Balvin has a younger sister named Carolina, who is a model. His father was an economist and businessman and grew up in a large house in the hills outside the city. He grew up listening to rock bands like Metallica and Nirvana. He claims that he incorporates grunge aesthetics into his personal style by having a Nirvana tattoo on his knee. He developed an interest in reggaeton after listening to Daddy Yankee. He recalls that "I was such a fan that I copied his style, the way he moved on stage, his flows, his raps," comparing him to reggaeton's Jay-Z. His father's business went bankrupt and his family lost their homes and cars, demanding that the family move to a poorer neighborhood. During this period of his life, J Balvin observes: "When I went into the favela, people saw me as a rich person, but when I'm around rich people, they see me as someone from the ghetto. They are all perceptions. I like to move between the worlds. I feel equally comfortable in both.".
When J Balvin was 17, he attended an English exchange program in Oklahoma. He was disappointed by the experience, saying, "I was expecting the US that everyone knows about Hollywood." Shortly after the experience, he moved to New York to study English and music, living with an aunt in Staten Island and working as a dog walker. During his time in New York, he was fascinated by the business knowledge of rappers 50 Cent and P. Diddy of New York. J Balvin worked in various jobs in New York, Miami and Medellin, including working illegally in the United States as a carpenter and house painter. He finally decided to return to Colombia and began performing at various urban clubs in Medellín and increasing his social media afterwards. He enrolled at the prestigious EAFIT University in Medellin for seven semesters studying international business. At 19, he began to pursue a career in music and adopted the stage name J Balvin "El Negocio", meaning "the Business" in Portuguese.
He met his DJ and business partner David Rivera Mazo in a freestyle rap battle in Medellin. The two became friends and began producing and promoting their own music without a record label. The first songs by J Balvin were described as "basically poor imitations of Puerto Rican commercial reggaeton." He soon adopted a more relaxed and minimalist style in his music. He signed with EMI Colombia in 2009 and soon afterwards released the single "Ella Me Cautivó", which was reached number 35 on the Billboard Tropical Songs chart. His first international success was the one-night " Yo Te Lo Dije". J Balvin signed with Universal's subsidiary Capitol Latin, a year later.
References[change | change source]
- "J Balvin Panas Primera Cancion". Amino Apps. Amino Apps. 24 November 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "Biography of J Balvin" (in Spanish). Musica.com. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "La curiosa reflexión de J Balvin tras comprarse su tercer avión". EuropaFM (in Spanish). 2021-08-20. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
Other websites[change | change source]