J Balvin and Khalid Join Forces on Showstopping Bilingual Track

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J Balvin (left) and Khalid (right) team up to produce their joint single “Otra Noche Sin Ti.” (Courtesy of Facebook)

Alexandra Lange, Staff Writer

In recent months, the music industry has seen increasingly unlikely collaborations, many of which have been in the form of bilingual duets. J Balvin and Khalid are the latest duo to hop on this booming trend with the release of their joint single “Otra Noche Sin Ti.”

The single, whose title translates to “Another Night Without You,” is set to be included on Balvin’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, which he has promised will show a deeply personal side of himself that he’s never shared before. This more vulnerable style is evident in “Otra Noche Sin Ti” as Balvin laments about a woman from his past who walked out on him, leaving him unable to fathom how he will be able to live another night without her.

The track begins with a romantic reggaeton beat that naturally lends itself to an upbeat vibe with its Latin dance influences and rhythmic instrumentals. However, as soon as Balvin begins singing, it is clear this song is about defeat and sadness. His pain transcends the language barrier, as his vocal inflections and languid singing tell a story of longing and hopelessness.

Understanding Balvin’s Spanish lyrics helps listeners see the profoundly personal side of Balvin that he has promised to his fans with his new work. He softly sings on the intro, “Yo comprendo que tú no quieras saber más de mí (Yo lo sé) / Dicen que te perdí (Y no), te perdí,” which translates to “I understand that you don’t care about me anymore / They say I lost you, I lost you.”

Balvin is even more vulnerable in the first verse, where he struggles with the reality of not having this woman in his life anymore and how his mistakes have played a role in his suffering. Despite Balvin’s voice sounding stronger than it does on the soft intro, the longing in his voice is still evident as he sings, “De mis errores yo soy consciente / Pero los cobardes también sienten,” meaning “I am aware of my mistakes / But cowards also have feelings.”

The reggaeton production changes toward the end of the first verse, leaving just a melodic electric guitar and airy synths to back Balvin’s heartbroken vocals. The stripped production adds an even deeper level of emotion to his painful lyrics as he cries, “Nunca pensé que me llegara un oponente / El que menos pensé fue el que a ti te robó el corazón / Y es posible que ahora estés con él bailando esta canción,” translating to “I never thought an opponent would reach me / The person I least thought of was the one who stole your heart / And it’s possible that now you are with him dancing to this song.”

Khalid’s verse lifts the track to a new level with his effortlessly soul-filled R&B vocals. The same stripped-down production backs portions of Khalid’s verse as he gently sings, “Thinkin’ of you every day / Say the word, I’m on a one way.” His voice is warm as he continues, “Why you want to cause my pain / When you know I’m sorry?” Despite the track’s reggaeton style, Khalid’ssignature style and flow blend seamlessly into the Latin-inspired track.

In the final chorus featuring both artists, Khalid’s gentle vocals shine and provide a unique contrast to the dance-style production. His falsetto harmonies are heartbreakingly beautiful as he sings, “you know I can’t go another night without you / No more nights without you.” Balvin accompanies him to end the track as they both sing in Spanish, “Y yo no aguanto otra noche sin ti,” or “I can’t stand another night without you.” The harmonization between Khalid and Balvin on this ending expresses the pain of a breakup in a stunning fashion and makes the track hit even harder.

While Balvin’s vocals and storytelling are strong on “Otra Noche Sin Ti,” it is the inclusion of Khalid that truly makes the track something special. Listeners are left not only longing for lost love like the duo,but also for new projects from Balvin and, even more so, Khalid.