This is why you’re obsessed with Despacito, according to IC professor

It’s got nothing to do with Bieber’s abs

The Despacito remix has been the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 since May – and has also become the most streamed song of all time. But why is a song written almost entirely in Spanish still topping the charts three months later? Some might say it's because of Justin Bieber's angelic voice and pull in the music industry, but sadly, according to an Ithaca College music theory professor, the Biebs has almost nothing to do with it.

Professor Alex Reed spoke with about Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's song to explain why it's so appealing to listeners across the globe. Apparently, the reason behind the phenomena is a lot less complex than you might think.

"Between the smoothness of the backing instrumentals, its mid tempo groove, and its repetitive and very familiar chord progression, it's as if they've removed anything that could distract us from the interaction of the voice, the melody, and the language," Reed explained.

The IC professor also told that the song blends the familiar with the unfamiliar, putting together a well known pop progression and a foreign language many Americans don't know fluently. Another interesting point Reed made is that Despacito is made up of three main alternating verses. This "makes it a showcase for subtle differences in vocal timbre".

Although most of us don't understand the lyrics to the hit song we're listening to, we definitely won't stop bumping Despacito anytime soon.

Ithaca College