A week before its release last Friday, Urban Latino superstar Ozuna’s new album Nibiru still wasn’t ready.
“Listen up, the torture continues,” Ozuna tells EW ahead of the premiere of his third studio effort. “What people don’t really understand is that this is a complicated process. I don’t want to release something to my fans that hasn’t undergone a rigorous process in the studio — something that I’m not completely happy with. I’m just putting the final touches on it before it hits the streets.”
Those final touches eventually happened, and the 18-track Sony Latin release dropped less than 24 hours after he performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, making good on that “Coming Soon” response he’s had over the last year for anxious fans asking about a release date.
Nibiru, which is the name for Planet X, takes listeners on an intergalactic journey through a universe that, much like Ozuna’s career, is not limited by language or genre. On tracks “Eres Top” he collaborates with Puff Daddy and DJ Snake (“We had been trying to work together for years but nothing ever came together until now; it’s truly one of the most influential collaborations of my career”), and later with Snoop Dogg and Anuel AA on “Patek” — all while singing in his native Spanish.
Ozuna admits he’s beyond gracious and even a little surprised at times at how far his music has traveled. He’s especially proud of how the English language market has embraced him, which was evident to everyone who saw him perform on America’s Got Talent alongside contestant Benicio Bryant. The duo, who sang a mix of two of Ozuna’s biggest hits “Baila Baila Baila” and “Taki Taki,” are still in touch and hopes no one is surprised if they collaborate on a new project in the future.
“We have quite a few things pending that were delayed because I was working on the album,” he says about Bryant. “I’ve been talking to my team about he and I collaborating on a song. I’ll never forget that experience we shared on the show where I learned so much. I got to meet so many young and talented singers trying to come up in the industry, and they’re so hungry to make the music they’re passionate about. … Helping the next generation of artists has always been of utmost importance to me.”
Now that Nibiru is out and in the hands of the masses, he’s ready for his next big project, Fast and Furious 9, where he’ll co-star alongside Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, and his good friend Cardi B. Though very tight-lipped about his role, he can’t wait till he’s finally able to discuss it.
“Working on this movie was truly a dream. I still can’t believe I am part of a franchise I love and consider myself such a huge fan of,” he says. “I hope anyone can take from this that dreams really do come true. Every day, I put in so much work and passion into what I do. But life has sent me some pretty incredible surprises, like Fast and Furious. My scenes are funny and full of action, really great stuff.”
Ozuna adds that even though he and Cardi are both in the same film, they, unfortunately, do not share any scenes together. And if a collaboration between the two ends up on the film’s soundtrack, it won’t be new content.
“Our characters didn’t mix. But I do know that her role is badass! The franchise has always shown love to Latinos, and I’m particularly proud of what we get to do in this one,” he says. “As far as music for the soundtrack is concerned, I know they liked some of my songs. I’m not sure if there were any there that they were interested in that I’ve worked on with Cardi. I view her as my sister and I really hope one makes it on there.”
But rest assured, they do have some things in the works unrelated to the movie, involving “her album and new collaborations with some incredible producers,” Ozuna says. “Cardi and I are always talking about what we’re working on and not if but when we will work together again. I’m very supportive of our Latina talent working in the urban Latino market, not just Cardi but also Natti Natasha, and Karol G. I think it’s important for us to lift them up if and when they need us.”
With Ozuna getting a taste of Hollywood films after making his feature debut in 2018’s Que Leon, could he ever see himself leaving music and acting full time? “I plan to take things as they come, who knows what lies ahead for me?” he says. “I know my future still holds a lot more music, and hopefully more acting too. I’m currently reading scripts and seeing what’s out there. I am excited that fans will be able to see me on the big screen more. I hope they like the projects and support them. I still have so many more dreams that I hope come true. I want to continue studying music, learn more about the piano, the guitar, and other instruments. I want to keep learning English, too. I still have so many personal and professional goals that I want to focus on in the next few years. If God allows it, I hope to earn them all.”