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AP Breakthrough Entertainer: Rauw Alejandro, higher level


Singer / rapper Rauw Alejandro, named one of AP’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year, poses for a portrait at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas on November 18, 2021 (AP Photo / Chris Pizzello)

Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP

He started out wanting to be a star soccer player, but instead Rauw Alejandro became a Latin music sensation.

His birth name is Raúl Alejandro Ocasio Ruiz, but growing up in Puerto Rico his friends and family called him Raulito, who eventually became Rauw for short.

Alejandro has been on the rise in recent years, but 2021 has catapulted him to another level of success. He was named one of The Associated Press’s groundbreaking artists in 2021, alongside Damson Idris, Simu Liu, Rachel Zegler, Adrienne Warren and more.

“I think so far in my career this year has been my best, and I hope the next one surpasses this one,” he said from his Las Vegas sequel in November, just a few hours away. before attending the Latin Grammys.

“This year, I started collaborating with Selena Gomez in January,” he said.

Then “Todo de Ti,” included on his 2021 album “Vice Versa,” topped the charts in Latin America with over 670 million plays on Spotify – and one video with over 425 million views on YouTube – and has been nominated for Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the Latin Grammys.

He ended up winning the trophy for best urban fusion / performance alongside Camilo for their hit “Tattoo Remix”. Now he is nominated for next year’s Grammys for his album “Afrodisíaco” in the category of best album of Latin urban music.

“I had like five songs in the top 50, it was crazy,” Alejandro said of this year alone. “We have done 65 shows in the United States, Central America, Spain and the Caribbean. “

Alejandro also sold four shows at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in Puerto Rico, which was a huge deal for him.

Prior to being at the top of the charts, Alejandro was scoring field goals as a football player from the age of 7.

“I was like, I’m going to be like a famous soccer player. You know, I’m going to be at Real Madrid from Puerto Rico, something like that. But you get older, you get more responsibility. And you have to pay the bills. . Lots of things. I had like a dark moment in my life, “he explained.

At the age of 21, he turned to his hobby and passion – music and dancing – to bring him out of obscurity after suffering a football injury. Her father played guitar at home and her mother was a backing vocalist who introduced her to artists such as Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Chris Brown. Alejandro said he had always been fascinated by artists and participated in theater, talent shows and artistic programs at his own school.

Thus, for Alejandro, the pivot towards song, production and dance seemed natural. He recorded a few R&B songs and shared them with his closest friends. They liked the songs and told him he had an original sound and pushed him to pursue music professionally.

“So I got down to it. I was like, ‘Oh, how do I start making music? What should I do? Like, what’s the next move? And I have always been curious and I entered the world of music without knowing it. Then I start this whole Rauw thing, ”he said with a big smile.

Besides her love for music and performance, the 28-year-old star has always had a love and admiration for women after being raised by her grandmother, mother and sister. He describes women as “role models” and “superheroes”.

The R&B crooner, fluid dancer and reggaeton performer admits he was just 5 when he first fell in love. He joked, he’s always been in love with someone.

“I was in kindergarten and I was like, ‘Mom, I love this girl.’ And my mother said to me: “What are you talking about love about? You don’t know anything about love.

But his mother helped him anyway, and they chose chocolate and a stuffed animal for his new love, but they were turned down.

“All the girls told me no when I was little. It is a fact. I’ve always been in love, but they always said no. So I said to myself: ‘When I grow up, I’ll go to the gym, I’ll grow up a bit,’ ”he recalls, laughing.

None of this is a problem anymore. Alejandro is dating Spanish superstar Rosalia and gets thrown in bras and panties with notes, phone number and pictures of fans begging for a call from him. Alejandro joked that they collected so many items from the concerts that he might put on an exhibit one day after it was all washed up.

Early next year, Alejandro is releasing “Trap Cake Volume 2” as an EP, a project he started before his debut album for his underground fans, including R&B, trap and pop sounds. He’s also working on his third studio album, but admits he still has a long way to go.

Besides Gomez, he has collaborated with Jennifer Lopez, his idol Chris Brown and Ozuna to name a few. Alejandro has stated that he is also open to collaborating with new artists, but for the moment he is crossing his fingers for a “24k Magic”.

“I am a big fan of Bruno Mars. I wish I had something with him. I always say that in interviews. “So, yo Bruno (Mars), if you watch this, call me.” Let’s do something.'”


To learn more about the 2021 class of AP’s Breakthrough Entertainers, please visit: