For J Balvin, Designing Clothes Is a Lot Like Writing a Killer Guest Verse
Has this affected your music at all?
For the better. Creatively I feel better. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve been in one place more than three months. It’s been more than ten years since I’ve been able to stay in my hometown Medellín and just vibe.
Your Instagram is a place of such positivity and bright colors but a couple weeks ago you made an exception to post in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Why was that important for you to speak up on?
Well, I have to. That’s it. I have to, man. I’m totally anti-racist. In this case, it’s a human thing. It’s something that really goes beyond politics.
What is your perspective of the movement being in Colombia the past couple months and seeing what’s happening in the U.S. from that vantage point?
We suffer the same here in Colombia. Right now we have a lot of cases that I need to talk about, too, on social media. It’s a reality. The racism with black people here is hard, too.
Just on your Instagram now you’ve been showing off some really rare Air Jordan 1 models from 1985. Did you just recently start collecting those?
I got them on right now. I have been a huge fan of Jordans—actually my Jordans are coming out in December—and I became the first Latino ever to make an official collab with Jordan. In 1985, the year I was born, is when they started the Jordan 1. So when I was born two beautiful things were born: Jordan 1s and myself. [laughs]
I have a lot of love for the design and a lot of love for how it stays forever. If you look at what the Jordan 1 looks like, it’s actually the same shape from 1985. So the beautiful thing is that they changed the shape in ’94 and then they were like, “Nah, we gotta go back to the original shape,” which is the ’85. And nowadays, all Jordan 1s are based on the ’85. So I have a lot of love and respect for Jordan and I’ve been with and around him talking about life. And of course I’m a big fan of him and I’m part of the Jordan family. So I became more and more addicted to the OGs—the ’85s—and I want to be one of the biggest collectors of ‘85s.
Being around Michael Jordan and talking about life, has he given you any good life advice?
The last time I was with him was actually the first time I met him but we talked for, like four hours in Paris from midnight to 4 in the morning. I was just paying attention. When you’re with a legend like that you just pay attention. So whatever he was talking about I was just paying attention and watching him.
What do you talk about for four hours at midnight with Michael Jordan?
Everything. I was just like, keep talking. He was telling me stories and of course we were talking about our collab. Actually, it was that day in Paris when Jordan was like, “Yo, we have to go out now with the sneakers, so let’s go.” He made the call, he’s the boss [laughs]. It was dope, really special.
Did you guys have a cigar?
He was smoking the whole cigar the whole night!
Shop the Guess x J Balvin Colores collection starting 1 p.m. EST on Friday, June 19th, here.