Rauw Alejandro, Mariah Angeliq & Sech Talk Inspiration, Why They Love Collaborating & More

Rauw Alejandro
Kevin Figueroa

Rauw Alejandro

The artists came together virtually via Twitter Spaces on Thursday for a Road to the Billboard Music Awards conversation.

Rauw Alejandro, Mariah Angeliq and Sech came together virtually via Twitter Spaces on Thursday (May 13) for a Road to the Billboard Music Awards conversation on how reggaeton has helped popularize Latin music in the U.S. and globally, the importance of collaborations in the Latin space and social responsibility.

Hosted by Leila Cobo, Billboard's VP/Latin industry lead, the three artists kicked off the candid conversation talking about the projects they're currently working on. Both Alejandro and Angeliq are in the studio adding the last touches to their forthcoming albums. "Albums are very special for me," said Alejandro, while offering some advice to Angeliq, who will drop her debut set this year. "Take your time and if you like it, that's all that matters." Meanwhile, Sech is focused on promoting his recently released album 42.

Then, they went on to talk about about the genres that inspired their careers, which range from salsa to merengue, reggae and R&B, resulting in their eclectic sounds that have helped propel Latin music to a global level. "It's the flavor of our music that has been evolving and fusing with so many different sounds for many years now," Sech pointed out. "It's only time that we become global," he added.

Collaborations between urbano titans and rising reggaeton singers has also been key to growing the genre. "It's been incredible to see so many big artists willing to collaborate with me," Sech said. "It's helped me grow. We all grow and at the same time, our genre grows," Sech said.

Angeliq echoed the Panamanian artist, adding that collaborating with Karol G on "El Makinon" was a dream come true. "I loved doing a song with a woman that is so important in the industry. I admire her."

As for which artist is still on their bucket list to collaborate with, Alejandro suggested Bruno Mars, Angeliq has her eyes set on Daddy Yankee while Sech wishes he could collab with compatriot El General. "We've asked but since he doesn't sing anymore, I don't think it will ever happen so there goes my bucket list collab," Sech said.

On a more serious note, the three touched on representation in the industry and if they've felt compelled to speak out against social injustices. "We have a responsibility to share the message of our people," said Alejandro. "Although I'm not a huge fan of getting into politics because I do music and am always in the studio so I'm not always up to date on everything, but we have a platform and we should help however we can."

On the topic of Afro-Latin representation in the industry, Sech suggested that fans recognize talent where there is talent regardless of skin color. "You can be tall, short, skinny, blue, black, green but if you have talent, that's what matters at the end of the day. Back in the day, there was a prototype of what an artist should look like and many people told me that I shouldn't be where I'm at because of how I look, but I'm here."

The 2021 Billboard Music Awards are set to air Sunday, May 23, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The show will air live across the country.

Billboard Music Awards finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data. This year’s awards are based on the chart period of March 21, 2020 through April 3, 2021. Fan-voted categories this year include top social artist and top collaboration.