Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Ozuna is calling 2023 his year. With a new album on the way, the release of a live album today, and an arena tour kicking off this summer — there’s a lot to chat about.
“There are a lot of challenges, a lot of newness coming my way this year,” Ozuna tells Variety over the phone. “But I like a good challenge — and I’m at a point in my career where I have the energy to really give it my all. There’s a lot of goals I want to cross off.”
Time is of the essence for the chart-topper who will embark on a new tour that will kick off in May, and continue on through the end of the summer in Europe. He’ll make stops in arenas across cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas and Miami — including European stops in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris and more — before wrapping on Aug. 5 in Torrevieja, Spain (see full schedule below). Tickets will go on sale on March 3, with more details to be announced soon.
“We’re working on the production side of things now, just figuring out the little details that will make up these special shows,” he says. “Right now all I can think is ‘practice makes perfect.'”
With this announcement also comes the release of “Ozu Vivo,” a 16-song live album via his Sony Music imprint Aura Music. The collection includes 13 live performances from a 2020 concert in the Dominican Republic and three acoustic versions of songs released after 2020 (“Del Mar,” “Caramelo” and “Despeinada”).
Though he admits producing a live album is a complicated feat, his team was used to regularly recording the audio portions of Ozuna’s live shows because it’s something he regularly requests “in an effort to become a better live performer,” he says.
He continues, “I grew up listening to a lot of live records like Daddy Yankee’s ‘Bario Fino en Directo’ to [Don Omar’s] ‘The Last Don Live’ — I feel like live albums are not something a lot of people are producing these days so it’s a huge win for me to be able to do this.”
Ozuna chose his Dominican Republic appearance in 2020, a pre-pandemic show that welcomed over 60,000 audience members, because “it holds a special place in my heart — we filmed it, we recorded the music and now the people who missed it, will be able to party with us.”
He’s also begun teasing the rollout for a new album of original music that will “explore what reggaeton is at its core, mixed with the afro and other rhythms,” he says. “I’m also dedicating more time to writing by myself with this new album. I think before in my career, I hadn’t given myself the time to truly sit down and write. People have loved when I’ve done it in the past.”
This year has also seen the artist delving into more business opportunities. He recently played at FIFA 2022 World Cup, and in partnership with 1800 Tequila, played to a buzzing crowd of Super Bowl watchers on the day of the big game.
Ozuna has also recently been announced as the latest ambassador for the tequila brand, who has similarly worked with musicians such as Kali Uchis, Kojey Radical, Rick Ross and more.
“The way I see it, I am my brand…and this partnership with 1800 Tequila is just another step in the right direction,” he says. “I’m always thinking about the art with anything I do. This partnership was a super opportunity for me and the people on this team have treated me with great attention and I think it’s something my fans will be able to enjoy — that means the most.”
And when he isn’t sipping his favorite cocktail (that’s a clean tequila with sal y limón), Ozuna is busy working on growing the careers of other artists in a partnership with his own imprint Aura Music and his manager Vicente Saavedra’s Dímelo Vi record label which is home to rising acts like trap rapper Lenny Tavárez.
“I’m blessed to be equipped with a team that has motivated me to be bigger since day one — and I think people are going to feel and really connect with the energy of the new music and everything we have coming out,” he concludes. “It’s a year full of blessings, truly.”
AFRO 2023 Tour
May 18 San Diego, CA Pechanga Arena
May 19 San Jose, CA SAP Center
May 20 Las Vegas, NV Grand Garden
May 21 Los Angeles, CA KIA Forum
May 25 Seattle, WA Climate Pledge Arena
May 26 Portland, OR Veterans Coliseum
June 1 Sacramento Golden 1 Arena
June 2 Ontario, CA Toyota Arena
June 3 Phoenix, AZ. Footprint Arena
June 8 San Antonio, TX AT&T Center
June 9 Laredo, TX Sames Auto Arena
June 10 Hidalgo, TX Payne Arena
June 11 Houston, TX Toyota Center
June 15 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
June 16 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
June 18 Chicago, IL Allstate Arena
June 23 Miami, FL FTX Arena
June 24 Orlando, FL Amway Center
June 25 Atlanta, GA State Farm Arena
June 29 Reading, PA Santander, PA
June 30 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
July 1 Boston, MA TD Bank Arena
July 2 Washington, DC Capital One Arena
European Leg (more dates to come)
Julio 7 Paris France Accor Arena
Julio 8 Marbella Spain Oassis
Julio 9 Ibiza Spain Ushuaìa
Julio 14 Tenerife SpainGolf Costa Adeje
Julio 15 Den Hagg Holand Zuiderpark, The Hague
Julio 16 Ibiza Spain Ushuaìa
Julio 20 Milan Italy Milano Latin Festival 1
Julio 21 Valencia Spain Zevra
Julio 22 Madrid Spain Espacio Mad Cool
Julio 23 Barcelona Spain Parc del Forum
Julio 29 Nidau Switzerland Lakelive Festival
Julio 30 London UK TBC
Agosto 3 Cadiz Spain Puerto de Santa Maria
Agosto 5 Torrevieja Spain Antonio Soria