Feid: Photos From the Billboard Cover Shoot

A leaked album was the best thing that ever happened to Feid.

In September 2022, the Colombian singer-songwriter was headlining three consecutive sold-out hometown dates at Plaza de Toros La Macarena — Medellín’s famed bullfighting ring and concert venue — where he performed for more than 30,000 people over the course of the three shows. He was due for some much-needed rest the following Monday. But that never happened.

Instead, the artist born Salomón Villada Hoyos, 30, who also goes by the nickname Ferxxo, received an agitated call from his manager, Luis Villamizar, with the news that his album, Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo — scheduled for a December release — had, without their knowledge, arrived much earlier, in the form of a 39-minute voice note first leaked as a link on the internet.

“All my spirits dropped,” he recalls today, still sounding disappointed. “It was incomplete. It was a mess, and I felt rage — but that feeling lasted about half an hour. After that, I talked to my mom to see how we could take advantage of the situation and thankfully, we reacted quickly.”

With help from his team, producers and record label, Universal Music Latino (UML), he took matters into his own hands, working relentlessly for 24 hours to release an album that wasn’t even mixed or mastered yet. Because all 15 tracks had been leaked, Feid changed the title to Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo Te Pirateamos El Álbum (Happy Birthday Feid We Leaked the Album) and had his sister, who’s also his longtime graphic designer, create new cover art that acknowledged how the songs had ultimately spread: Though Universal quickly took down the initial leaked link, the audio had already been shared to DropBox and then sent wide through a chain of WhatsApp conversations. (Six of the 15 tracks had already been released as singles at the time of the leak.)

Read the full Billboard cover story here. Feid, presented by Samsung Galaxy, will perform at Billboard Presents The Stage at SXSW on March 17.

Penske Media Corp. is the largest shareholder of SXSW; its brands are official media partners of SXSW.

Read the full article here

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