Maluma Talks Collaborating with the 'Biggest Star in the Universe' and the Pandemic's Teachings
"Simple things are the best things ever," Maluma tells PEOPLE about what the pandemic has taught him ahead of his collaboration with Michelob ULTRA
Maluma might be the biggest Latin superstar, but he's collaborating with the universe's biggest star. Literally.
On Monday, the Colombian king dropped "Rumba (Puro Oro Anthem)" — a new track released right before Earth Day for his collaboration with Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold — that features none other than The Sun. (Yup, that sun.)
"This is a great thing because I'm the first artist on earth that has a collaboration with the sun," Maluma, 27, tells PEOPLE about the track, which features the soft roaring sound of the sun, captured by NASA. "The biggest star in the universe."
The track celebrates the company's new beer brewed with 100% renewable electricity from solar power. For Maluma, the holiday celebrating our planet is too often ignored.
"We don't really pay attention to it," he says over Zoom from Medellín. "But we have to, and notice all the bad things that we're doing to the planet."
The pandemic has given Maluma some time to reflect on his own life as well, though he's kept busy. He dropped his album Papi Juancho in September and surprised fans with #7DJ (7 Días En Jamaica) in January. The pandemic's biggest teachings for Maluma? Gratitude and patience.
"Simple things are the best things ever," he says. "Sometimes you feel like if you don't collect material things, you don't have anything, and for me it was totally the opposite."
"The most important message that the pandemic left in my life is to just live with the simple things," he adds, before being interrupted by his Doberman pup. "That's my best friend. He's always there for me."
As for #7DJ — which he wrote as a tribute to the beautiful island of Jamaica — Maluma said he wanted to capture the essence of the Caribbean and combine it with his own unique style.
"For me, that's the most influential album I've ever done in my life," he says. "Maybe I have bigger songs but these will always be special to me. That's all I wanted to make with the album."
The 7-track visual album even featured a collaboration with Ziggy Marley, son of reggae icon Bob Marley. "I wanted the Marley DNA in the project," he says. "[Ziggy] is the DNA of the Marley family and its legacy."
RELATED VIDEO: Maluma Reflects on His Rapid Rise to Global Superstardom: 'I Feel Like I'm Just Starting'
Maluma is anxious to return back on tour and head across the world to perform. He's gotten used to being the representation for his native Colombia — alongside fellow superstar J Balvin, of course — and he holds that responsibility dear to his heart.
"When people talk about Colombia, they don't talk about Pablo Escobar anymore or drugs or violence. When they come to Latin America, they feel like we have an amazing culture," he says. "They say that we're good people, that we are people who love helping. It makes me feel pretty proud."
And continuing on his message of gratitude, the singer admits that sometimes mental health can take a toll, but he's reminded of his blessings.
"To be honest, I woke up this morning like I wasn't feeling good. I don't know. I was feeling kind of, not sad, but just kind of mad with little things. And then I realized that I have a God that loves me, man, and I'm healthy and the universe has so many good things for me," he says. "I'm blessed, I'm healthy, I'm happy. That's the most important thing."
Maluma's new song "Rumba (Puro Oro Anthem)" is out now. On Thursday, he'll drop a music film with Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold on his YouTube.
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