Maluma Shuts Down Rumors His Hit Single Hawai Is About His Ex-Girlfriend Natalia Barulich
Maluma performed his tropical hit "Hawái" at the 2020 VMAs
Maluma's music is often about love, heartbreak and the aftermath of relationships — just not his own.
In this week's issue of PEOPLE, the reggaeton singer opens up about his hit single "Hawái," off his new album Papi Juancho, and clarifies the inspiration behind the song amid speculation that the lyrics reference his ex, Natalia Barulich.
The music video begins with a woman slamming a car door as she says their relationship is toxic, with Maluma firing back that she's always looking for excuses, as the scenes cut to him sporting boxing gloves while hitting a punching bag.
"Stop lying to yourself/the photo you uploaded with him saying he was your heaven/Baby, I know you so well/I know it was to make me jealous," Maluma starts off the song, going on to sing that while she may not be lacking anything, she's also not truly happy in her new relationship.
Talking to PEOPLE, Maluma, 26, says, "I think that everybody has these kinds of relationships or this kind of way to end a relationship. I didn't have an exact situation on my mind when I wrote the song."
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Maluma, 26, and Barulich first met on the set of his 2017 video for "Felices Los 4," in which the model starred as his love interest. In April 2018, Barulich made their relationship Instagram official, posting a boomerang of the two kissing, writing in the caption, "My everything."
But after debuting matching infinity sign tattoos, the couple called it quits last October and Barulich was later spotted getting cozy with Brazilian soccer star Neymar. (She later confirmed their relationship on Instagram.)
Despite all the buzz surrounding the lyrics, Maluma insists he was caught off guard when the track debuted and fans stormed social media drawing similarities between the song and his former flame.
"My management team called and were like, 'Bro, have you seen all the comments on Twitter and Instagram?' " Maluma recalls. "I was like, 'No, what happened?' 'Everybody's thinking you dedicated this song to this girl.' I was like, 'I never thought about it.' "
Addressing the theorists specifically, Maluma adds, "If they want to think that that's why I did it, it's fine. But no, I didn't think about it."
Although "Hawái" may not be written from his own personal experiences, Maluma says his single "ADMV," an abbreviation for Amor De Mi Vida (Love of My Life), is a different story.
"That song I wrote because I want that in my life," he says of the single which tells the story of a couple growing old together. "That's a song that I could say, 'Yeah, I want to get old and have a family.' "
He continues, "That is for sure one of the songs that I'm going to remember forever because that's one of my biggest dreams — getting old with someone next to me and giving my life to someone."
For more from Maluma on fame, family and his future, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.