20 Questions with Farruko: Collaborations with Myke Towers & El Alfa, New Album and More

Imagine It Media/Carbon Fiber Music


Six months after the release of his party-starting “La Toxica” and its remix, Farruko returns to the scene with a dual "Premium" release, as the Puerto Rican artist teamed up with Myke Towers on “Oh Mama” and El Alfa on “XOXA” -- two tracks with completely different rhythms.

“This project is very special to me because they are two artists that I supported from the beginning of their careers,” he tells Billboard. “Now they’re two big artists, and the fact that they are collaborating with me is a sign of humility and gratefulness. That’s what makes this project come to life and with good energy.”

Both “Oh Mama” and “XOXA” will be included on Farruko’s upcoming album, 167, due out in May. To mark the song releases, Farruko answered 20 Questions from Billboard.

1. What can you tell us about “Oh Mama,” your collaboration with Myke Towers?

The song has Afrobeats, dancehall, and a sensual live saxophone. I personally love this song because it traces back to my sound when I was beginning my career. It’s more melodic. I admire and respect Myke Towers a lot.

2. How about your other release, “XOXA,” with El Alfa?

I feel this is the first song that strongly marks a dembow and urban fusion. Alfa is one of my best friends and I think he’s in the best moment of his career right now.

3. Anything you can share ahead of your new album, La 167?

Both of these songs will form part of it. That’s why I called them “Premium,” because it represents the gasoline we’re going to give our fans before the album comes out. It’s ready, fans don’t have to wait long for it, but I wanted to give fans a preview of what I’ve prepared. With everything that’s happening with the pandemic, my fans are asking for more and more music because there are no live shows. I wanted to do something different, and I took the risk of releasing two singles at the same time. It’s a different strategy.

4. What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

I believe this year is very significant because we’re going to see what’s going to happen with the pandemic and our new reality. As much as we want to, things won’t ever go back to how they used to be. We’d have to wait and see what happens but I definitely think it’ll be a better year than 2020. I think 2021 will be a hopeful year for everyone.

5. What’s the best fitness advice you can give?

Nutrition is everything. Yes, you can work out, but it’s true what they say, you are what you eat. Drink lots of water, eat vegetables and fruits and get rid of fried food.

6. What’s the first piece of music that you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?

The first CD I bought was Baby Rasta y Gringo’s Romances del Ruido.

7. What was the first concert you saw?

The first concert I [attended] as a fan was one of Hector El Father at Puerto Rico’s Coliseo around 2005, 2006.

8. What did your parents do for a living when you were a kid?

My dad had a car wash business and my mom was a medical technologist.

9. Who made you realize you could be an artist full-time?

I started rapping in school, and my friends were the ones who would hype me up and motivate me. We would sing together at the marquesina parties and they’re the ones who told me I should become an artist.

10. What’s at the top of your professional bucket list?

My grandfather took his life because of financial issues. He used to own a gas station and he almost lost it. I would love to be able to recover my grandfather's estate, buy the gas station and honor his legacy that way.

11. How did your hometown/city shape who you are?

Being from Bayamon has shaped my personality, my way of speaking, just everything. If you’re from Puerto Rico, you’ll just know that I’m from Bayamon, because you can tell just by the way I express myself.

12. What’s the last song you listened to?

El Alfa’s “Caso Bugatti.”

13. If you could see any artist in concert, dead or alive, who would it be?

Don Omar, I’m a huge fan of his and he’s been a big influence in my career. He’s one of the artists that I most respect and I feel that I’ve learned a lot from him.

14. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen happen in the crowd of one of your sets?

I was singing one time and the electricity went off. The concert was packed but my fans continued singing with me even if I didn’t have a microphone. That was something impactful for me.

15. What’s your karaoke go-to?

Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” but I like to sing the version that Bobby Capó did.

16. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?

Denzel Washington’s John Q makes me cry because it has a great message.

17. What series have you watched all the way through multiple times?

I like Unauthorized Living, it’s on Netflix.

18. What’s one thing that even your most devoted fans don’t know about you?

That I like to sleep a lot, especially during the daytime. I wake up very late.

19. If you were not a musician, what would you be?

I've always liked cars and I'm passionate about them, so maybe I'd be working with my dad with automobiles.

20. What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

To not be so desperate, measure my steps and most importantly, learn how to say "no" because it's impossible to please everyone.