“La modelo” (The Model), the much-expected collab between Cardi B and Ozuna, will drop this week, judging by Ozuna’s cryptic Instagram posts with a December 22 date. Then, there’s also a pretty sensational video teaser Ozuna put up on Instgram a couple of days ago.
While we can only guess that the song is going to be a hit, little has been said about the track anywhere — that is, until Ozuna spoke exclusively with Billboard, and gave us the lowdown on what’s to come.
The concept of the song, he says, “is Jamaican dancehall, brought to the club. It’s a really catchy chorus and a really catchy beat. And Cardi sings in Spanish and English.”
The Cardi/Ozuna connection is the organic stuff great collabs are made of. A little over a year ago, when Ozuna was making early waves, Cardi B went to see him at a small show in La Boom, a New York Club.
“I wasn’t really listening to American music and I didn’t know who Cardi B was,” he admits. He found out soon enough, and after the two met post show, “I thought, ‘Wow, she’s so big and she’s into my music.’”
Months later while on the road in Philadelphia, Ozuna was working on a new song and thought Cardi B would be the perfect for it. He hadn’t seen her since that New York show nor had they exchanged emails. “I sent her a personal message on Instagram and she wrote back,” he says. After he sent the song, the answer was yes, and Cardi wrote her own English parts.
The video, which Ozuna describes as “very cultural,” was shot in Jamaica.
“I’ve done a lot of collabs, but most of the time, it’s me on someone else’s track,” says Ozuna. “I’d never brought someone like Cardi B into my own music. When you hear, you’ll say: ‘Wow, that woman is amazing, in English and in Spanish. That to me is the real crossover: a mainstream artist singing in Spanish.”