From Bonaire to the World, Ir-Sais Talks ‘Dream Girl’ Success & His Latin Roots

Two years ago, Ir-Sais (real name: Irgwin Placido Sluis) released his single “Dream Girl,” singing about the girl of his dreams in his native language, Papiamento. Fast forward to now, the song is a global hit, fueled by a 2019 remix with Rauw Alejandro.

Born and raised in Bonaire, an island municipality of the Netherlands, Ir-Sais is also half Dominican, telling Billboard that his favorite artists of all time are Aventura and Romeo Santos and that he was raised with Latin music.

Fusing the best Caribbean rhythms found in Bonaire and Puerto Rico, the remix is a sultry dancehall-meets-reggaeton sung in Spanish and the Portuguese-based creole language.

Currently with over one billion views on TikTok and over one hundred million views on YouTube, “Dream Girl” is a global sensation. “This is my biggest hit and I feel great,” Ir tells Billboard.

“Dream Girl (Remix)” peaked at No. 25 on the Hot Latin Songs chart dated July 11 and peaked at No. 6 on the Latin Rhythm Digital Song Sales chart dated June 27.

In an interview with Billboard, Ir-Sais tells us all about his hit.

Rauw Alejandro is one of the hottest Latin urban acts of the moment. How did you first discover his music?

That was a universal connection. I knew about him from a couple of years ago when I saw him on the music video for Alex Rose’s “Toda (Remix).” I told my girlfriend that he was going to make it big because his flow is different. The years passed by and I never thought that I would work on my first Latin feature with him.

On this song, you tap into your Latin roots. Will you be doing more of these Latin collaborations in the future?

I was born in Bonaire but my mom is Dominican. She raised me in a Latin world with Dominican food, Dominican rules, and so on. Only three islands in the world (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao) speak Papiamento, which is very similar to Spanish. I’ve always sung in my native language but this opportunity came and now I want to continue representing my Latinos. I have Latin blood. The flavor I carry is 50/50

“Dream Girl (Remix)” made it on the Billboard charts. What does this represent for you?

Ever since I was a kid, I knew about Billboard. From where I come from, it’s impossible for an artist to make it so big. I’ve always dreamt big, with the Grammys and Billboard. Wow, it’s a dream come true and I feel that I'm still dreaming. It’s such a big accomplishment and there’s no word to describe it. I’m happy and proud.

The song is also a hit on TikTok! Talk to me about the #DreamGirlChallenge, made famous by artists such as Jason Derulo.

The challenge was really born about two years ago on Snapchat. It first started in France and got very popular in Europe. Then it went to Chile and other Latin American countries picked it up. It then got on TikTok and blew up. The first person to do the “Dream Girl Challenge” on TikTok was actually Gil Croes, he’s a popular TikToker in Aruba and a good friend of mine. After that, it exploded, and the rest is history.