Riddle time: What do you get when you put Major Lazer, Brazilian music sensation Anitta, a splash of Costa Rica, the taste of summer and BACARDÍ rum into a blender and mix it all up? Easy! Major Lazer's latest song, "Make It Hot."
The music video, directed by Jovan Todorović, was inspired directly by BACARDÍ's Latin Caribbean island roots, using Costa Rica as its inspiration. Full of vivid and rich colors to match the vivacious and energetic dance moves of Anitta and the Lazer Gyals, it has to be seen to be believed. The official video for "Make It Hot" comes out on June 26th, but you can get a sneak peek of the track in BACARDÍ's summer spot, "Pass the Beat" right here:
You can stream the full song today by clicking HERE.
VH1 joined BACARDÍ in Costa Rica with Major Lazer and Anitta to talk about their new music video, their collaboration, and whether or not Diplo will ever get back into one of those giant hamster balls at a festival again.
When I arrive on set in Costa Rica for the filming of the "Make It Hot" music video, Diplo and Walshy Fire of Major Lazer are sitting on a porch, facing the ocean, a BACARDÍ mojito by their side. Inside, the Lazer Gyals, Sara Bivens and Helen Gedlu, take a break after dancing like their lives depend on it. Somewhere on set, Brazilian pop star Anitta saunters around in a way that makes me wonder if I'm just imagining the heat. She's been dancing all morning, but still looks flawless.
Anitta is a huge star in Brazil, so what made her the perfect partner for a collaboration with Major Lazer and BACARDÍ? "Man, great energy. Great person. Great talent. Super dope voice. Great performer," Walshy Fire says, adding, "You guys'll see that in the video." Diplo tells me, "I met her many years ago and I was blown away by her energy, her atmosphere. She's so beautiful and she's literally the Queen of Brazil, and now the Queen of Latin Music, so I'm just glad to be part of her movement."
And the admiration is mutual. For her part, the 26-year-old says that working on this shoot with Major Lazer is "just easy." She explains, "We feel like family. The energy between the guys and my team and everyone is like a friendship. We are used to each other. It makes me feel comfortable. It's like we are a group, a band!" She laughs and teases, "Maybe doing an album some time, I don't know!"
While you may just be hearing her name in the U.S., Anitta is not brand new! From gracing the cover of Vogue Brazil to collaborating with Madonna--Anitta's been making hits and insanely popular music since 2010 and boasts nearly 40 million followers on Instagram. She's the most streamed artist on Spotify in Brazil, where all of her singles peaked at number 1. In other words, she's huge. The singer, who effortlessly switches between Portuguese, Spanish, and English, also studied business. She says the best piece of career advice she ever got was from her mother. "When we're young, we are afraid of so many things, but my mom just looked at me and said, 'Hey, you're young. You can start over and over and over again however many times you want to. It's never gonna be late. You can start right now and if it's not successful, I'm gonna be here and you can start again.'" Though she hasn't had to "start again," that advice clearly stuck with her as she continues to make moves!
As for her hopes of crossing over to the American music scene? It's not always easy. "It's really hard to mix [Brazilian and American] cultures because the Portuguese are really locked into their culture, to their own language. So when I'm singing in English, or when I bring other artists, they're not singing in Portuguese, so we're gonna find some resistance." But that doesn't mean that Anitta doesn't try to change it up. "I try to mix things like the Snoop Dogg song that I had on my album--I'm singing in Portuguese, he's singing in English, so sometimes I switch languages just for people to know that music is something universal," she says. "Whatever language you're singing, it's possible for the people, for the audience to like it even if they're not understanding. I think the hard part is to make the Brazilian audience to stay with me still as I go out to reach the other audience."
You did read that correctly, Anitta has collaborated with none other than Uncle Snoop.
Snoop called Anitta asking for a collaboration after he watched her documentary series Vai Anitta, and she was completely shocked. "I grew up listening to him and I'm such a fan. And then he was on my track! And then he invited me for more work stuff! I love him. I love him as a person and everything. And then we started to keep in touch, making jokes with each other--That was a moment that I was like, "That's my life?! I'm really living this?"
Which lands us here, in the beautiful Costa Rica, where the BACARDÍ is plentiful and the energy is electric. When I tell you that I listened to "Make It Hot" on set more times than I can count and still wanted to hear it again, I'm not exaggerating even a little bit. The song's dancehall-inspired beats mixed with Anitta's sultry vocals (and dance moves) make it a must-have on your summer playlist.
When asked to describe the song in three words, Diplo decided on "mucho, mucho calor." Loosely translated: Very, very hot. Diplo explains, "I mean, sometimes you're cold, so you gotta make it hot. That's basically the math of the song and it's about having a good time, about turning it up in the club, in the car, whatever. Just having fun with your friends, you know?" Major Lazer's always bringing the club records so we had to bring on the of the biggest artists in the world, Anitta, to shut it down and make it hot all around the world."
While this song is gearing up to be the song of the summer, I was curious what their favorite summer bop of all time is. Walshy settles on Dr. Dre's The Chronic record; "That had the summer." Even though it "sounds kind of corny," Diplo says that "Informer" by Snow says summer to him. "I remember when I was in high school," he explains, "It was the biggest. They crossed over everywhere for one summer time." Fair pick: "Informer" still slaps.
The pair are also huge fans of Cardi B. When I asked them about their pop culture guilty pleasures, they immediately called out our regula, degula, schmegula girl from the Bronx. "She can't stop," Diplo says after calling Cardi "everything." He continues, "She's revolutionizing Instagram by just being so raw and I hope more people do it. Billie Eilish, too. So many young people just use Instagram wrong, and it's amazing. They don't care about what the public thinks and they're not putting perimeters around what they do. They're just crazy and we love that."
Speaking of crazy, the Kings of the Music Festival are known for getting hype all over the globe, but this writer wanted to know one very important thing before leaving Costa Rica: Will they ever get back into those giant hamster balls and crowd surf again?
"I'm glad you asked that," Diplo starts. Walshy Fire immediately pipes up, "Maybe that one is a 'no,' only because we did it. Maybe one day, right? But we did it so much!" Plus, even though it looks cool, it apparently isn't the safest of ways to crowd surf. "It's hard to cover with insurance," Diplo says by way of explanation. "It hurts! I don't think people understand how much it hurts. [Diplo], I think he blew his knew out?"
What followed--and this was unexpected--was the story of how Diplo almost drowned in a giant hamster ball. Diplo begins, "Yeah, I hurt myself. Oh my God! I took that thing once, we did a Caribbean tour and I was in the ball, we decided to test it out in the water." Walshy interjects, "Yeah, he almost drowned." As Diplo recalls, "The thing exploded, it got cut, and I was sinking in the middle of the ocean slowly. They had to drag me by a rope and I barely--a little bit of water, ergh--got my head out like I was like, someone's giving birth to me, and I was coming out of that and barely took a breath..." Walshy explains, "Because it stuck to his skin so quick, he almost suffocated." So that's...a no? "Yeah, I wanna say 'no.'"
Well, it may be a 'no' for the hamster ball but it's definitely a 'yes' when it comes to "Make It Hot." So grab a BACARDÍ mojito (or rum and cola if that's more your vibe), sit back, relax, and don't forget to stream "Make It Hot" today by clicking HERE.