When Julieta Venegas found out Tainy wanted to collaborate with her on a his new song, she recalls her initial reaction as, “Really, me?” But unbeknownst to Venegas – whose pop-leaning classics such as “Lento,” “Andar Conmigo” and “Me Voy” soundtracked the early 2000s – the chart-topping producer is a fan of the Mexican singer-songwriter that helped inspire his career.
“People see me as a reggaetón producer, but growing up, I listened to all types of music,” says Tainy, producer of the year winner at the 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards. “Julieta was a huge part of what I was listening to — and her music influenced how I saw melodies, chords and ambiences in my music. When it was time for me to be a producer, I put a little bit of that into my music, hoping and dreaming that some day I could work with her.”
Today (Oct. 5), Tainy releases “Lo Siento BB:/ (I’m Sorry Baby),” with Venegas and Bad Bunny on vocals — the first single off Data, his forthcoming debut full-length studio album. The ultra-melancholic song — a modern-day “no strings attached” love story — kicks off as a ballad with Venegas on piano, and ultimately transitions into a soft reggaetón groove with a sparse drum beat, and Bunny in tow.
Initially, the plan was to kick off with Bad Bunny swearing off love and any sort of attachment, and have Venegas’ part come at the end of the song with her response to Bunny’s lyrics. “The idea was to add an interlude after the song and have somebody do their own version of what this track was — but in a more acoustic way, just a piano and vocals,” explains Tainy. “Right away Julieta came to my mind — because I’m a huge fan and also because she does magic with a piano, and I thought, ‘This is the closest I can get to have her be a part of this.’”
The producer says he originally sent Venegas just the piano melody with Bad Bunny’s vocal part, “because I didn’t want to throw her off thinking she would have to dive into our world. I wanted her to be as authentically herself as possible. And the most basic way was just send her the piano, what he’s saying, and ask her to answer Benito.”
One Venegas received the song in its original form, she says she “started listening to it like 20 times a day — and thinking, ‘What I would actually answer to what he’s saying?’ The way he invited me seemed so generous. I mean to invite you not only to sing a song but to elaborate the story, it’s really the best invitation ever.”
After adding Venegas’ response to the end, Tainy sent the new version to Bunny. “Benito had no idea I had reached out to Julieta so it was a surprise for him. I sent it to him and he’s like ‘nah, put Julieta in the intro.’ He said it was the perfect buildup to his part and the chorus. And he was right. It was the missing piece we needed for a song that didn’t have an intro. Everything happens for a reason. I’m super happy.”
It’s the first time Venegas has teamed up with Bunny and Tainy on a song — and while the collaboration may be unprecedented, now seemed like the ideal moment for them to link up, as genre lines are increasingly becoming blurrier than ever.
“This collab probably didn’t make sense for people on the outside,” says Tainy. “They thought, ‘He would never work with her,’ or ‘She would never work with him.’ I’m so grateful that music is where it is right now, and I was able to find a way to make this happen.”
Venegas adds, “What I like about Tainy is that he’s very intuitive with his collaborations. This was the best possible way for us to meet; through music and working together.”