Thirty-five years later, the star of the upcoming film “In the Heights” has joined forces with rapper and activist Meek Mill and Grammy-winning music producer Boi-1da to recreate the track. Conga was the song that catapulted the Estefan’s into Latin music’s king and queen, which also inspired many Latino artists to sing, perform and produce various fusions of Latin rhythms
The remixed version of “Conga” was released alongside a music video that features fan video submissions from people around the world singing and dancing to the track.
“Gloria has been someone that I’ve looked up to all of my life because she was one of the first people that I saw represented my Latino heritage while singing in English and became a global superstar,” Grace, who grew up in a Dominican-American household, said Leslie Grace “That was always so inspiring to me being bicultural, seeing her just succeed and now being able to walk in her footsteps.”
Grace recalled when she was six years old, she “would just imagine that I was on a stage, just living it up” whenever she would hear the synthesizer fills and rippling Cuban-style piano sounds that characterize the contagious 1985 hit by the Estefan’s group at the time known as the Miami Sound Machine.
Jamaican-Canadian music producer Boi-1da has worked with chart-topping artists such as Drake and Rihanna.
“’Conga’ is like a cult-classic, so in remaking it, I wanted to keep it authentic and true to the original” Boi-1da told NBC News. “I just made a kind of like a whole new beat around it with a little twist.” Grace and Meek Mill then reinvented some of the lyrics while keeping the song’s original hook.
THROWBACK: Check out Leslie Grace performing at our 1ooth magazine issue anniversary party in 2013 below
The “Conga” project is part of a bigger collaboration between the artists and Bacardí rum. The video will be featured in a 30-second ad set to air during Super Bowl pre-programming and multiple times throughout the February “We’ve always seen music as such a powerful force in bringing people together, and as the world trended toward division and isolation this past year, we wanted to use music as a catalyst to bring people back together,” Ned Duggan, global senior vice president of Bacardí rum, said in a statement.
Aside from the “Conga” remake, Grace is excited about the highly anticipated summer release of the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical “In The Heights,” which was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It may seem like a lot of things were pushed back for all of us during quarantine,” said the “In the Heights” star, “but we are really so blessed if we’re above land to continue to do what we love and share amazing art that brings joy to people.”