Sebastian Yatra Dishes on the Why “En Guerra” Wooed the Pope and Hints at His “Mind-blowing” Collab Coming This Month
Sebastian Yatra's quest for global stardom is promising as he fills seats on tour and tops the Latin charts with his romantic vibes. Following the success of 2018's MANTRA, the balladeer recently dropped the album Fantasia and his latest track "En Guerra."
In a time when urbano is dominating the charts, balladeer Sebastian Yatra is bringing romanticism back. The Latin Grammy nominee isn’t just sweeping women off their feet, he’s breaking barriers as well. He sold out prestigious venues Luna Park in Argentina and The Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City for his first solo concert — just a few weeks after announcing. Gushing about his fans, he says of the latter spot: “It’s exciting… it’s like the most incredible venue there, it holds 10,000 people.”
Following his May 2018 album MANTRA, which debuted at the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Latin Pop chart in the U.S., he presented Fantasia in April 2019. Created along with producers Andres Torres and Mauricio Rengifo, it focuses on ballads and the songwriting aspect. “We have amazing chemistry, we’ve been writing together for the past five or six years, writing songs like ‘Robarte un Beso’ and ‘Traicionera.'”
The Colombian native, born Sebastián Obando Giraldo, lived in Miami for most of his life. On a school day, he saw the line for the school play audition — well, correction: He saw the pretty girls in line for the audition. He decided to go for the role of Troy in the play adaptation of High School Musical. “I was like, OK, I’m a audition for the school play because there is a kissing scene and I gotta get my kissing…. And that’s when I fell in love with music and the stage.”
The 24-year-old credits those of the 1999 Latin explosion as his influence: “I would see an artist like Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin, and all these guys who have done incredible things, being Latin and also in the American market. It was my goal to one day make music like them and write songs that stick in people’s hearts forever.”
The late ’90s Latin music boom showcased the importance of Latin American culture and exposed a large audience with an appetite for crossover music. With digital advances in the industry today, Latin music is even more influential. Yatra agrees: “Nowadays you go onto Spotify or streaming sites and you find a bunch of artists that are killing it…. I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he says. “Now it’s not Latin music, it’s world music — it’s global.”
Not only did he work with One Republic as a feature for their song “No Vacancy,” but he also performed alongside Halsey on the 2018 Latin Grammy stage. Now he teases a collaboration dropping this month that will include three global acts — one that “may or may not be a group” and that, in his words, will “blow your minds because it blew my mind and I’m still mind-blown.”
You can watch the full video to “En Guerra” above.
His latest single “En Guerra,” off Fantasia, debuted No. 1 on the Billboard Latin Pop charts and sent such a powerful message that it became the Pope’s Scholas Foundation theme song and gave the young star a chance to meet Pope Francis. “When we wrote it, we wanted to make a song for those people that are insecure, that are in en guerra [at war] with themselves, and look at themselves in the mirror and think I’m not worth it, or I’m ugly, or short, or I’m too tall, fat or skinny. It’s not about that. It’s about looking at yourself in the mirror and finding the positive things and being like, I’m unique, I’m awesome, I’m funny, and I have all these things to be grateful for and goals to work towards.”