J Balvin has taken a very public step back from social media to focus on “reality.” However, the Colombian superstar is jumping back into the digital world for his concert in the metaverse. On Friday, the “Mi Gente” singer will perform 17 of his hits as part of the J Balvin Futurum: A VR Concert Experience Presented by Meta and iHeart.
“I’ve been really, really, really on the Oculus 5 and just, like, having fun,” he tells ET ahead of the performance. “It’s amazing. I always want to take the Latin culture to another level and this is the very first time that a Latino’s doing a concert in the metaverse, where you have 180 degrees concert experience that is created specifically for VR. So you can take the viewers to watch another perspective and also showing the greatest hits that we have. It’s really cool. Like, Meta and iHeartRadio, I’m very grateful with them to partner with us.”
Balvin pre-recorded this performance with the help of a team of dancers, cameras and a next-level robot.
Get ready to see J Balvin like never before!! 🔥 The VR experience show with Meta Horizon Worlds goes down on Feb. 17th at 9pm ET. Watch it on iHeartRadio’s FB + IG or in VR. #iHeartJBalvin RSVP now 👉 https://ocul.us/3wwb5yq
Posted by iHeartRadio on Friday, February 10, 2023
“It was the most exhausting,” he says with a laugh. “I’m a hard worker, a hardworking guy. I never complain about nothing. I wasn’t complaining, but that thing was crazy because every detail has to be first-rate. We had like a robotic arm that was perfectly, made sure by the cameras and everything. If even a dancer just do the wrong move, we’ve got to do it again. So it really was, like, almost 30 hours of nonstop working.”
Recording the metaverse concert was a new experience for the hitmaker, who is used to performing in front of crowds of thousands.
“I was also inviting friends to come over,” he says about brining in this own audience. “It was great because it was a lot of people. It was, like, cameras in every corner, up in the roof, in the floor, to the right, to the left, to the back. Everything was just, like, cameras everywhere because you’ve got to make the spirit, then you can see the whole concert. And then you can actually walk around me, and be just there with me. So it was a really cool, exhausting experience. But it definitely was worth it. And I think people will just love it, and that will be in the books.”
Balvin is warning his fans to move the furniture out of the way in order to safely take in the vibes and avoid dancing into any walls.
“We have so many songs. And if you want to, like, just jump a little bit, I mean, jump,” he says. It’s such a good rollout. People will know that I’m really showing up on there, I’m really confident about that. People will love the spirit and our concert.”
And Balvin’s goal for anyone tuning into the show is to have a “great experience.”
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
“That’s what I want them to feel,” he adds. “Like, ‘Wow, what is this?'”
One person who can’t feel the vibes of the concert — just yet — is his 1-year-old son, Rio, whom he shares with his partner, Valentina Ferrer.
“I think he’s such a sweet little guy, he can not even have those Oculus on,” he says about his son. “First, his head won’t take it, and he moves so much that he lives in his own metaverse.”
But little Rio still feels the music.
“I mean, he’s a twister,” he says. “He loves music. Everything that plays, he dances to it. … And he also really likes a reggaeton Baby Shark. Now you know what type of kid we’re dealing with.”
Balvin, who has been vocal about his struggles with mental health, also shares that he has taken a step back to shift his perspective after a whirlwind few years.
“Just like focusing on myself and my family. And just to recharge,” he tells ET about his break from social media and releasing new music. “Like really recharging my energy and being more stronger than ever, which is not an easy task. I already know it’s a hard sacrifice and hard work. And I think it’s more harder when it comes about depression, and that’s just not only the professional side. It sounds easy but it’s not, because we have to deal with a lot of demons that we have to face.”
The Latin GRAMMY-winning artist reiterates why it was important for him to advocate for mental health while working through his challenges.
“I’m an advocator of mental health because I suffer from it,” he says. “I know how it feels, I know what people go through. So I just want to take it to another conversation, because there’s a lot of people that suffer from mental health and you just kind of struggle to talk about it. So I’m a public guy, and once you speak about it, there will be a lot of people that will follow and make this more common to talk.”
He adds, “I mean, it has helped me a lot. Something beautiful in my brain and in my heart trigger different types of vibe I got in my brain.”
Meanwhile, 2023 may bring some surprises for this fans. Balvin is hitting the festivals in June and shares that he has still been in the studio.
“I go to the studio just to have fun,” he says. “Whenever I’m ready, I’ll just be offering high vibes. High vibes.”
J Balvin Futurum: A VR Concert Experience Presented by Meta and iHeart premieres Feb. 17 in VR in Meta Horizon Worlds and on Meta Quest TV and Messenger’s Watch Together, as well as iHeartRadio’s Facebook and Instagram pages at 6:00 p.m, PT/9:00 p.m. ET.
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