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Ovy On The Drums Talks Fusing Country With Reggaeton For Karol G’s ‘Location’

The hit came together late last summer when Ovy met Karol G and Anuel in the studio to play them the country-tinged loop. The trio recorded the intro and chorus in one day, while Balvin did his verse separately. “We had country as a starting point but it didn’t sound ‘Latin,’ so we added the reggaetón drums,” says Ovy. “It was a risk, but it worked well.”

Ovy adds that Avicii’s 2013 hit “Wake Me Up” was “obviously an inspiration” (there are some sonic similarities) and that he’s always admired the late DJ’s career. “I’ve studied it, watched documentaries about it, everything. It was crazy because I saw in one of the documentaries how he created ‘Wake Me Up’ from zero, and to me that was mind-blowing. It always stuck with me, so I’m always trying to do something different, something the industry wouldn’t predict. And that will always be my mentality.”

The country-reggaetón fusion debuted at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, making Karol G the female artist with the most top 10s (11) on the list in the past five years. Meanwhile, the hit raked in 4.2 million U.S. streams in its debut week, according to MRC Data, and its rodeo-inspired music video, directed by Colin Tilley, has garnered over 60 million views on YouTube.

Since January 2020, Karol G has scored five top 10 entries on Hot Latin Songs, four of which were produced by Ovy. “We’ve been working together for eight years, so I’ve learned to make her thoughts into music,” he says. “She hums something, and I automatically understand what she wants — that’s magic. To have that kind of chemistry with an artist isn’t easy to find, but I found that with Karol.”

A version of this article originally appeared in the March 13, 2021 issue of Billboard.

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