In a crowded reggaeton music scene, Feid is finding his own way. What has set the Colombian singer apart and led him to becoming one of this year’s biggest Latin stars is how proudly he represents his hometown. Through his massive hits and casual style, Feid has made the nea lifestyle of Medellín mainstream. Now he is aiming to go global with his new album Mor, No Le Temas A La Oscuridad, which boasts features from Sean Paul, Afrobeats artist Rema, and fellow nea Ryan Castro.
“It’s a specific way to call a certain group of people: Your friends, the homies, or people you grew up with,” Feid says about defining nea, which is slang from Medellín.
Nea also describes the subculture of the people in Medellín’s barrios. Reggaeton is rooted in Puerto Rico, so artists in that genre usually adapt to speaking like people on the island, even if they’re not from there. In Feid’s reggaeton bangers like “Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo” and “Normal,” his lyrics are layered with phrases from Colombia and more so Medellín. Feid has popularized slang like mor, which can mean “my love,” and pirobo, or another way of saying “loser.” Feid’s nea fashion sense has also caught on with his fans replicating his green looks on his recent sold-out world tour.
Feid fever is in full swing with his five nominations at this year’s Latin Grammy Awards and an upcoming project with Marvel. Over Zoom, he caught up with Uproxx about his style philosophy, his ambitious album, and what’s coming next.
What inspired your sense of style?
I’m from a hood, a barrio, in Medellín. Not a dangerous one. Just a chill barrio. A humble one. The people there wear clothes from their cousins in the US. Nothing is brand new. Everything is super old and it fits baggy. I wear clothes that represent who I am. I like to dress comfortable wherever I go with my shorts, my sandals, and my t-shirt, always extra large. That defines a lot of people there in Medellín, like nea people, or people from the hood.
What would you recommend to achieve the signature Feid look?
They just need a super oversized shirt, comfortable shorts, and whatever kind of socks. It doesn’t matter the brand or the color. You can have Salomon shoes or the Air Force 1s. Some slides would be so cool too. You need the Oakley sunglasses, of course, and a hat that you like. I’m always into Oakley’s stuff. Clothes like that let me run around like how I want to in my shows. For me, the concerts are like a long cardio session. I love independent brands like Warren Lotas. There’s one from France called Satisfy. Everything that is comfortable for me to do my job, I’m going to wear it.
How did you feel to see your fans dress up like you at your concerts?
It’s so fun because there are lots of me’s from different times. There’s like Ferxxo from 2022 and 2020. It’s so fun. Sometimes I think people are wearing it like a costume, but then I see that they identify with the style and they feel comfortable wearing those baggy clothes. That’s special for me. What matters to me is that you feel comfortable, that you feel one with yourself, and you’re feeling yourself.
Is there a difference between Feid and your nickname Ferxxo?
I think a lot of people think that there’s two different artists: Feid and Ferxxo. I think the same thing as well. Maybe Feid is doing more experimental music and Ferxxo is more in the reggaeton corner. It’s special for me having those two faces to do music and people understand that. In my shows, I say, “I know you love Ferxxo, but I know some people here love Feid’s music too, so I’m going to perform some Feid songs.” And they go crazy. I think there’s two ways to do music, as Feid and Ferxxo.
Now we’re seeing you in your signature look on the cover of a Marvel comic. What can you tell us about that?
That is a super collaboration that I’m so hyped to put out. We’ve spent a lot of months working on it. They’re welcoming me into the Marvel world. We made this comic book in 2020 called “La Mafia Vol. 1.” All the OG fans have a copy of that. It was so special. One day, thinking about random things, Wain from my team made a joke like, “Yo, you should do a collaboration with Marvel and do a new comic book.” It took two years to do it in the perfect way, working on the design, the story, and thinking how Ferxxo can live in the Marvel universe. Soon we’re going to release my first comic book with them. It’s going to be a couple of comic books about my story. It’s like a biography but not super real. It’s a chimba [awesome] way to tell my life story and where I came from.
What was the inspiration behind your new album Mor, No Le Temas A La Oscuridad?
For me, my inspiration was trying to make music that puts me on the outside of all the songs that I’ve been doing. I know that formula of doing reggaeton songs, of doing sad perreo, and doing songs like “Porfa,” “Normal,” “Hey Mor,” and “Yandel 150.” I’m a fan of myself too, so I really wanted to listen to new Feid music. We were trying to write special lyrics that couples can relate to good moments. I always say that the songs by Sin Bandera always bring you back to a special moment in your life, and that’s what I’m trying to do with this specific album. The name is saying to not be afraid of change. Dare yourself to change. You’ve always been shining in that dark world or industry.
How would you describe the experience of working with Sean Paul and Rema on this album?
It was a dream for me, especially with Sean Paul. I’m a big fan of Rema too. For me, it was special working with Sean Paul because I listened to his music since I was a kid. I had the Dutty Rock album. I told him that day like, “Yo, your album, I didn’t have the original, but I had a pirated copy.” [Laughs.] He said thank you for having him on the song.
Rema too. I’ve been following his career for like three or four years now. I went to a show that he did in Miami like three years ago and it was fire. I remember I was thinking about the energy that guy had on stage. It was so cool to put two cultures together, the Jamaican one and the Nigerian one, and try to bring them into the nea world. Let them sing in Spanish. Rema did it so well. Sean Paul did it well too. It was amazing! I enjoyed it a lot.
How do you feel that the artists who collaborate with you now are singing Colombian slang in your songs?
I love it! It’s saying Colombian culture, Medellín culture, and nea culture, it’s taking over the world. As a joke we say backstage, there’s one specific word that went so global, pirobo. I put that word in “Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo,” and we say that now we’re making everyone say pirobo. It’s fun because that’s a bad word. Well, it depends how you use that word. We use it in a playful and funny way.
And now “Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo” with pirobo in it is nominated for a Latin Grammy Award. What do you think about your five nominations this year?
That’s crazy! Especially with the name of the album, Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo Te Pirateamos El Álbum, and the Grammys saying that very paisa [people from Medellín] name. For me, that’s special. I know that people know Colombia has a lot of culture and everything, but we have slang too. Last time when we were in Madrid, there was a house that had a sombrero and chiva, a colorful bus with a lot of speakers that you get drunk inside of. It was like a small sculpture of a chiva in Madrid and it said: “¡Que chimba, Colombia!” Our culture and our form of expressing ourselves that is special to us Colombians is taking over the world.
You have one of the biggest songs in the world right now with “Classy 101” featuring openly queer rapper Young Miko. I also loved when you showed two men in love in your “Prohibidox” music video. Do you have message for your fans in the LGBTQ+ community?
For me, it’s all about love. Everyone in the world has to think and make decisions and express themselves in love. They’re not outside of the love and aura that I want to share with people. I really invite people to be themselves in whatever way they want to be. I do things my way, you know, wearing baggy clothes, wearing slides, or whatever. Just feeling comfortable with who you are. That’s special and I respect that a lot. I really love it when people are like that.
Mor, No Le Temas A La Oscuridad is out now via Universal Music Latino. Listen to it here.