Feid is a long way from his native Medellin, Colombia, but the singer-songwriter has clearly made himself at home in Los Angeles in a new episode of “Live From My Den,” which has him performing songs from his most recent albums and discussing his career from a hotel overlooking the L.A. basin that, for now, is serving as his den.
This episode of “Live From My Den,” a series produced by Artists Den and available exclusively at Variety.com, sees Feid performing the favorites “Fumeteo,” “Corone,” “Chimbita,” “Porfa” and “Tengo Fe” with help from an acoustic guitarist and a cellist. Between numbers, he sits with Variety‘s executive editor of music, Shirley Halperin, for an interview and answers viewer-submitted questions.
If the inclusion of a cello player here seems like a surprise, Feid feels you. But maybe even the quality of his vocals will come as a surprise to those who haven’t heard his acoustic renderings of his hits before.
“When I started this project, it was a lot of people saying that reggaeton artists cannot sing,” Feid says. “And my background, I (was part of) a chorus, you know? I have a Christmas music album, you know? I mean, I’m not the best singer in the world, but I know how it works… The guy who was playing the guitar with me, when I started doing this acoustic stuff we prepared, was like, ‘Yo. We don’t want the people to say that Feid cannot sing. So let’s start recording some acoustic versions of you just doing the same songs that you have on your mixtape, on your album.’ So it’s like a tradition for me…
“And this time we have a cello,” he continues. “The cello gives you that melancholic stuff that my music has. I.. I love to do melancholic stuff that makes people feel those feelings that they don’t want to feel like. Like ‘I miss him,’ ‘I need her’… With that cello, I even wanted to cry when I was singing it. It’s so cool to me to do that kind of performance. It opens the minds to the people who maybe do not know so much about reggaeton.”
Halperin asks about his forthcoming album, “Intershibuya La Mafia,” named after the famous intersection in Tokyo. As it turns out, that location is something he’s imagined, not experienced, so far… but give this globally popular artist time and he’ll get there.
“The thing that makes this album special is I was looking for my place in reggaeton,” Feid says. “I’ve got a lot of styles of reggaeton, like romantic reggaeton, club reggaeton, perreo reggaeton…. In all my albums, I’m always doing experiments. I’m a songwriter and I know how I want to put the songs. With the producer, I’m always like, ‘Yo, let’s do this, or let’s keep this in this way. Let’s turn up the drums or let’s keep this without drums.’ But sitting down with Sky (Sky Rompiendo), who is a super-famous reggaeton producer and super-talented guy, it was so cool to me.”
The album title came about because “I’m always changing, and in this album, I bring every concept, throw every type of song together. to make that intersection. That ‘Shibuya’ name is because I love Japan, you know? I have never been there. But I know we’re gonna have time, and we’re definitely gonna go there and see the intersection and take some pictures.”
Right now California is the place for him and his creative juices, although, given his transitory nature, that could change.
“Right now, I’m in love with L.A., and I’m doing a lot of sessions and working with a lot of producers here, but also loving just going out and having experience, you know? Even to just hear people talking about this or that. When I stay too much in one place, it’s kind of boring for me to do music… Being in Colombia was so cool. But then when I moved to Miami, it was even better because I started traveling around the country. I went to Europe too; I did a lot of things and it goes straight to my brain. I start learning things and saying things. And that was the hard part in the lockdown because I was in my house and I was like, ‘What am I supposed to be writing right now?’ So I started calling people, like, ‘Yo, tell me, what’s going on in your life? What happened with your ex-girlfriend? What happened with that girl that you used to text?’ So that’s why I’m always moving. … I cannot spend too many months in a place because I need to be seeing things happening.
A viewer submitted a question asking Feid which of the songs he’s written is his favorite. Fortunately, it just so happened to be one he’d worked up for this “Live From My Den” acoustic set.
“There’s one that is about to drop that is called ‘Tengo Fe’ — ‘I have faith.’ I love that song because the day that I was in the studio, I was super inspired about doing a huge song. And I created it, I wrote it, I did the arrangements, I played the piano… (Everything) around that song is super special.”
Look to Variety.com to check out the other performances and interviews that have already gone down on this season of “Live From My Den” — including episodes featuring Yola, Anderson East and Girl in Red — with more still to come.