Musicians who aren’t Bon Jovi aficionados may still want to consider increasing their audiences by transcreating lyrics. You don’t even have to perform an entire song in Spanish to attract some of the more than 400 million Spanish speakers worldwide.
But back in 1995, Bon Jovi cut “This Ain’t a Love Song” and then a Spanish version. “Como Yo Nadie Te Ha Amado” ain’t a translation.
Desmond Child, the son of Cuban songwriter Elena “Mimi” Casals, wrote the Spanish version and more than 3,000 songs according to his 2012 interview posted at songfacts.com. He also co-wrote (with Robi Rosa) Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ la Vida Loca.”
Whether it was Child, Rosa or Jon Bon Jovi’s (JBJ) drummer “Tico” Torres, it’s clear that Jon had some help with figuring out how to sing “Como Yo Nadie Te Ha Amado.”
Although JBJ’s pronunciation could use some improvement, the risk he took has no doubt resulted in additional fans.
If you want to expand your audience by infusing Spanish lyrics into your music, you can’t rely on Google/Translate.
You need another musician who appreciates the hard work that goes into writing, who gets what you’re going for, who understands hooks, rhyme and metering. You need someone who’s big on trancreation and who can simplify Spanish pronunciation for you.