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Rauw Alejandro

90th Shooter
Darius Baptist
Alexis Centeno
Millie Morales

Rauw Alejandro is a kaleidoscope of sharp Latin flair, pure suave, and an obvious sense of fierceness. Creating an intoxicating blend of anthems perfect for all hours of the night, the Puerto Rico native offers an all-inclusive experience fastened with dance-worthy sounds and catchy, playful lyrics. One Rauw Alejandro song simply isn’t enough — a single push of the play button will quickly send any listener into a rabbit hole of discovery.

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Like a true chameleon, he’s mastered the art of genre-bending, having woven himself into every possible musical narrative. R&B beats tap the electronic space all while the following hip-hop track is heavily influenced by reggaeton. With the attention of fans on a worldwide basis thanks to his vast discography of contagious tunes, many will be excited to discover his new era is here (and yes, we can confirm the music is stellar). Alejandro’s latest drop, VICE VERSA, is ready for takeover.

Since his official mainstream debut in 2019 with seven-song collective Trap Cake, Vol. 1, the king of modern reggaeton is pushing a hefty 8 million followers on Instagram and nearly 4 million on TikTok; put clearly, that’s the power of Rauw Alejandro’s impact. Followers identify with the spirited bond he sustains with his Puerto Rican roots, which only adds even more magic to his already irresistible music. He describes the Latin culture as having a special “flavor” — and he’s totally right. The Rauw Alejandro craze is real, and he can largely credit the extra “spice” of his heritage to its global success.

While the 28-year old’s reputation skyrocketed over the last two years, it’s Alejandro’s story of familial ties, career shifts, and independent projects that helped morph him into the artist millions adore today. Like many other would-be megastars, from Bad Bunny to Billie Eilish, Alejandro took to a 2014-era SoundCloud to initially offer his pieces to the internet. “My friends told me ‘Yo, you should just show to the world what you’re doing! Like, you got nothing to lose!’” he says of his early musical pursuits. “So, I moved to Puerto Rico again and that’s where everything started. I started using SoundCloud and that was the beginning.”

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The platform uniquely allowed Alejandro to stream his music for free, giving him the liberty to experiment with the electronic-infused sounds and Latin touches that ultimately garnered an audience of millions. Since his first upload, he’s been an unstoppable force; his unwavering drive and enthusiasm for new songs only growing stronger with every track released.

Given his current accomplishments, it’s hard to picture Alejandro doing anything except music. He found success, though, as a soccer trainee in his younger years, but says, “Music was like my hobby. I was using music to distract myself. Like an escape from the world. I was definitely doing music for me.” Not long into his sports endeavors, destiny called. Suddenly Alejandro’s path was cleared, and something clicked for the singer. “[Sports] weren’t for me. I was looking for that big opportunity,” he says. And when opportunity knocked, the rising star was more than eager to answer the door. “I was like, every day, every week training. I knew I could train, you know? Sure. But it wasn’t like the studio. 

Alejandro sets the standard for a diligent work ethic and credits his athletic past for molding him into not only a well-respected musician but a genuinely authentic person. He notes a direct, everyday impact within “my personal life, in the discipline, focus, working hard for my goals. All the coaches that I had, my teachers, and my mentors helped me a lot to be the person I am now,” he mentions. “Before you start looking for your dream, I think the most important thing is your base. Where you’re from, your family, your studies. It all helps you to be the person you want to be.”

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In retrospect, it’s no wonder Alejandro had an ultimate musical calling. With a guitarist father and singer for a mother, his household had no shortage of firsthand creative influence (namely in merengue and salsa). “I always was around music,” he shares. “Plus, my culture is rich in music. There are so many musicians and big artists. It’s always, always been around me — and it helped me a lot. I learned a lot when I was little. But you don’t know that until you’re old!”

Alejandro is quick to describe his mom as a superstar: “She used to pick me up at school with the [radio at] highest volume possible. I always knew it was my mom — that she was outside waiting for me.” By the same token, he says that his father “taught me to be more open and to listen to more music.” In addition to the traditional Spanish tunes adored by fellow Puerto Rican neighbors, his father often blared “Elvis Presley, The Beatles, James Brown, and Michael Jackson.”

With many decades of example under his belt, Alejandro was able to shift from the school talent show stage to performing before thousands. While his Puerto Rican heritage is deeply rooted in every track, much of his time was spent in other major music hubs, from Miami to New York City. “When I’m creating in the studio, being around cities helped me a lot to think differently and feel different vibes,” he says. His diverse set of adventures transformed him into one of the most well-versed artists capable of producing fiery sounds paired with colorful, passionate lyrics.

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His talents came to fruition with the release of 2020’s Afrodisíaco, an immersive, 16-song experience full of high-energy tracks fit for any night on the town. Smash hits “Enchule” and “Reloj” have amassed hundreds of millions of streams to date, establishing him as a mainstream force to be reckoned with. The album also served as a benchmark for the singer, having collaborated alongside J Balvin, Sech, Trippie Redd, and Tainy (to name just a few of many on the project).

Similar to the way Alejandro fosters knowledge from his hometown cities, he understands that each musical collaboration is its own individual learning venture. With so many partnerships on his table, he says, “It’s like I have new friends every year. Maybe they have the same ambition or the same goals, and you always get to share your ideas and art. And for me, that’s the most important part. We’re sharing art. I’m giving you a part of me. You give me a part of you.” And what about the future? “Bruno [Mars] and Daddy Yankee are my top two to do a collab for sure.”

In the last year alone, Alejandro’s collaborative efforts proved to be incredibly lucrative. After securing a feature on Selena Gomez’s Revelación EP with “Baila Conmigo (with Rauw Alejandro),” the Latin star was notably positioned for major pop exposure. Despite the track’s young age, it remains one of his largest hits — and just in time. Preparing to unleash an all-new set of records, building hype around his artistry is exactly the pedestal needed to promote his upcoming projects. In May, he dropped “Todo De Ti” — a quintessentially dynamic tune teasing an electronic sound that will become a present theme in his latest album, VICE VERSA.

The urban-Latin record (out today) is an immersive 14-track experience able to teleport any listener into the ultimate partygoer’s escape. It brings everything we love about classic dance-worthy anthems to light with a Puerto Rican edge unique to Alejandro himself. If anything, VICE VERSA positions the star as a master of genre-bending, having delved into his signature reggaeton styles with a nu-wave twist.

The earliest Rauw Alejandro music solidified him as a creator with a stronghold in R&B, hip-hop, and reggaeton, but 2020’s Afrodisíaco era ushered in a modern, electronic infusion to his sound. Subsequent projects can expect a continuation of this thematic identity. In fact, he’s  eager to emphasize that VICE VERSA “has a lot of electronic music.”

Like so many other EDM enthusiasts at live shows, Alejandro “saw all the people jumping, a thousand people just having fun.” And it’s that same infectious effect the singer aims to mimic within his projects. “Electronic music has always been a good vibe. And I love that,” he says. For the dancehall devotees alike, there’s still plenty of the iconic R&B allure that made millions of adoring fans fall in love with Alejandro. Plainly put, he’s expanded his skillset. “I think being a Latino, being in that vibe is having new tools and always trying to take it to the next level.”

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For any music fanatic, concerts are not only sources of inspiration, but the epitome of fostering connections and making memories. The first artist Alejandro used his own money to see was Zion & Lennox, who later appeared on the Afrodisíaco song “Química (feat. The Martinez Brothers).” The collaboration marks a full-circle moment for the star. He recalls the concert itself as “amazing,” but working with the duo is even better. “I have a great relationship with Zion & Lennox. For me, they are like GOATS. They’re game-changers. They did a lot for Latin music. They still do! They’re still killing the game; they’re legends. And to personally work with them, for me it was an honor. They’re like my uncles!” he shares with a final chuckle.

Considering the immense amount of material within the Rauw Alejandro discography, it’s safe to say there are always looming creative thoughts brewing. Given impending new music, the singer breaks down his production process and teases the many powerful tracks to come. He credits his “secret” to crafting melodies before any lyrics entirely. “When I write, I’m pretty spontaneous. Sometimes I’m driving and I get these ideas — I’ll just put it into my notes.” Like a puzzle, he says, “It all depends. Sometimes it takes one day, or a few days, or even a month. It’s just random, but I’m involved in all my production. I’m always 100% involved in everything.”

Any unreleased favorites the world should prepare to hear? “All of them are special to me! I can’t decide yet which one is my favorite,” he answers.

His careful attention to detail leaves plenty of room for growth. Chasing perfection is hardly a negative for Alejandro; instead, it means taking the time to be familiarized with each possible facet of music-making. Discussing how his mastery has evolved is a proud topic for the Latin star. “I’m always in that vibe of learning. I think knowledge is the most important thing,” he shares.

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Already a lyrical expert, he’s dedicated time to refine his expertise on the technical side. “I love being around my producers. They know more than me in that area.” He says of his early studio days, “I was telling people ‘I have this idea,’ and they’d do it for me. Now I do it, and then I show it to them, and they finish it for me. So, for me, it’s a big accomplishment to be able to work with so many programs. To record myself, mix, and master. And every day I’m learning more, and you start to be a better producer. Even with songwriting. When I sit down with other songwriters, I learn a lot.” He’s even carved out the space to improve his stage presence: “Three years ago I was a bad dancer. Now I got something!”

Needless to say, the upcoming Rauw Alejandro era will be a fully electrifying sonic and visual experience unquestionably capable of dominating the globe. The musical whiz has prepared a carefully crafted deck of new records ideally suited for any hype playlist. From the hottest clubs in Miami to late-night highway rides, there’s an Alejandro song to fit every journey.

To that, we asked the genius behind the tracks where he thinks listeners should be when hitting play on a “Rauw Alejandro” mix. “I love listening to music in the car,” he says. “I love to do long drives and listen to music. When I do the final work at the studio, I go to the car, and I’ll go drive for a little bit and listen to the new songs. For me, that is the best place. Second place, your house with a good speaker — just chilling. When you’re in the club and listen to the songs, you’ll feel super happy. And that’s another vibe.”

What truly makes Alejandro’s music special is far deeper than the production value he’s perfected — it’s the personal touches woven into every beat. He’s the complete embodiment of a grounded, authentic singer building art not only for himself, but for the fans. “I’m always going to represent my flag and my people — and I’m trying to take it to the next level and put my country on the top. And represent all the Latinos around the world. We got the flavor!” Say less, Rauw! We’re ready to bring the heat to our stereos.

Ready to be the life of the party? Listen to Rauw Alejandro’s new album, VICE VERSA, out now on all platforms.