In Tête-à-Tête, L'Officiel USA gets into the celebrity psyche by asking stars to tell us what's on their minds right now.
Sebastián Yatra is a Colombian singer-songwriter who gained worldwide fame with his 2016 hit “Traicionera.” His new album, Fantasía, departs slightly from EDM-reggaetón territory to focus on deeper ballads and uplifting lyrics. Having moved to Miami when he was five, Yatra understands the importance of building self-confidence and resilience from a young age, especially for Latin American immigrants who may experience rejection in their new homes. Through meaningful interactions with fans and through his own life, Yatra has been able to spread positivity across the globe.
A topic that I thought would be cool to talk about is, I have an album called Fantasía and I have one song that’s called “En Guerra.” It was like you know the way things happen, I think it was something that God sent because I had the opportunity to be with the Pope last year. I was nervous when he came into the complex; you just feel the peace and quiet. It’s pretty amazing because one thing lead to another with different situations in my life that lead to me becoming the ambassador for the Pope’s foundation worldwide. “En Guerra,” which translates in English to “at war,” is the official song for his foundation worldwide. It’s a beautiful song about that war that we all live inside you know between ourselves that we don’t value what we are. We look at ourselves in the mirror and we don’t love ourselves enough, so whenever someone bullies us or says hurtful words, those words hurt so much more. If we loved ourselves more and some people do, but if you value yourself those words don’t really hurt you if you don’t take them personally. I had done that song before, and I ended up being there with the Pope and one day they were talking about how they wanted to do a song for anti-bullying and they were looking for a song to fight that. I said I have a song that’s coming out and it’s precisely coming out with a video on May 2nd which is the International Anti Bullying day and it all came together. I gave him the lyrics to the song when I met him and we hugged. Now the song came out two weeks ago, it’s been incredible: the reception, people, the comments “this music really can change lives.”
I grew up in Miami. Growing up in school in a place where it’s multicultural, a lot of kids: coming from Latin America, coming from the Middle East, coming from Europe. Leaving their comfort zones, they come to America and sometimes feel left out. If you feel left out at home sometimes, imagine coming to a new place and not understanding it and not understanding yourself. I grew up in a place where the kids had good things going for them but a lot of them had difficult childhoods. You see these kids and they are so amazing, but maybe they don’t see it. Of course, self-doubt creeps up all the time, you know maturity helps you fight it and makes it stable. We are all human beings, it’s not like insecurities are just going to go away all of the sudden. It’s learning to always look to the positive side. You know understanding that happiness is, you know your talk about the sky, you talk about dreams and all your fantasies, a lot of times we see that as a far off goal when it really just lives inside of us. It’s about living in the moment here and now. Having gone inside your heart, valuing the people that are close to you, valuing your heart, valuing the opportunities you have in front of you. Understanding that life is decision-based, you get what you want based on whatever decisions you are taking right now. The next decision you take is all about going up that ladder and going down that path you want.
It depends on each one of us to look at life that way. It can either be a fantasy or it can be horrible or a nightmare. It’s all in your mind, it’s all in your brain, it’s all in your heart. It’s all on the way you treat people and the way you do things. Taking things day by day.
Obviously fame gives you some awesome things, and you have access to traveling and seeing different things and you sing in front of millions of people, really beautiful things but in the end, materialistic things give you something more and that’s cool but that’s not everything in life connected to happiness. It’s like saying because someone has everything materialistically doesn’t have a right to be sad. It’s like saying that someone has nothing has no right to be happy.
I was in Spain, I’d rather not say where exactly because it could get connected to the girl. A couple of months ago, we were at this meet-and-greet, and I see this girl trembling intensely and she comes up for this picture and something is not okay. I go “Are you okay?” and she was from not a Spanish-speaking country and tells me “At the beginning of the year I wanted to commit suicide” and she is trembling the whole time. “The day before I saw you were coming out with a new song called ‘En Guerra’ and I decided I was going to wait a week to hear the song, and then I heard the song and I decided not to do it.” Cause the song talks about how love is stronger than anything. If you have faith, things are always going to be better when you find that place that you always want to be. You know, sometimes, you are looking all over the place but at the end of the day, it’s right here. It was pretty intense, it was pretty emotional. We hugged it out. She’s doing a lot better now. That’s one of the stories, there are a lot of stories like that that happen to a lot of other artists, through these types of lyrics. I think it’s really important with my album Fantasía with ballads and meaning in lyrics. Having lyrics as the protagonist of the song has faded away in the Spanish market in the last twenty years. As an artist, these songs, these lyrics, are for you. I write about my own life story. I get really personal, I get real deep. I open myself up so that the people that follow me aren’t lonely. So they know everybody goes through these feelings and they happen to all of us. It’s okay to be vulnerable sometimes.