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The Spanish-language coach Juan Felipe Samper shares his story how he helped Justin sing like a…

The Spanish-language coach Juan Felipe Samper shares his story how he helped Justin sing like a native

Juan Felipe Samper got a call from Justin Bieber’s camp three days before the pop star’s concert in Bogota, Colombia, last April. They wanted Samper, a local singer-songwriter and producer with a past Latin Grammy nomination (when he was a member of pop group Sin Animo de Lucro), to do some “translation” work for Bieber in Bogotá. “They didn’t say anything else,” says Samper, who believes he got tapped because he’d submitted his music for consideration to open Bieber’s show. “They told me to go to the studio and wait for him. Just the sound engineer, his sound engineer, who was coming from New York, and me.”

At around 2 p.m., Bieber arrived with two friends and little fanfare. He sat at the piano and said: “Have you heard a song called ‘Despacito’?”

Samper, who speaks English fluently and has also produced dozens of singers, had been hired to serve as Bieber’s vocal coach in Spanish. But he’d never worked with an English-speaking singer before. He looked at the lyrics, which Poo Bear sent on the spot, and decided to apply a method he had learned working with songwriter and producer Jorge Luis Piloto, who had translated songs for Mariah Carey. “I wrote out the song phonetically so he could read it as if it were in English,” he recalls.

“Des-Pah-Zee-Toh,” he wrote, and handed it to Bieber. It was the beginning of the Spanish recording that rocked world. But it started with half an hour of diction before Bieber went into the recording booth and wowed Samper.

“The guy is an amazing singer,” says Samper. It’s as if Michael Jackson had invited me to record Thriller. I honestly had never worked with someone with that vocal level.”

The challenges in the Spanish, says Samper, came with key specific words and phrases, that in Spanish sound different from the way they logically read. Pasito a pasito, for example, actually sounds like “pasitoa-pasito,” almost as if it didn’t have an a between words.

The phrase “Para que te acuerdes” was the most challenging, because “he couldn’t heard the a in te acuerdes.” Samper wrote it out as “Accu-air-des” so it would make sense to the English-speaking ear. In the end, the result was flawless. “Justin finished, left the recording booth, gave me a hug and said he had loved working with me.”

Source: Bieber News

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The Spanish-language coach Juan Felipe Samper shares his story how he helped Justin sing like a…

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