Hennessy Salutes First-Time Grammy Nominees Los Rakas at L.A. Dinner
Whether it was the altitude of being 71 floors up at a Los Angeles skyscraper or the fact that they are Grammy nominees for best Latin rock, urban or alternative album, Los Rakas can't seem get their heads out of the clouds over the possibility of taking home their first golden gramophone on Sunday (Feb. 12).
"If we win, it'll add fuel to the 10 years of hard work we've been putting in," Raka Rich, one-half of the Panamanian-American duo, told Billboard during an intimate Hennessy dinner party Friday night at the 71 Above restaurant in Los Angeles.
Nominated for their self-titled album, winning would just reassure the duo that musically they're on the right path and that sticking to their unique, fresh style of music -- a mix of bilingual reggae, hip-hop and Latin rap -- paid off.
"We're here and it's a blessing. Ten years of hard work and then this happens. I guess we've been doing things right. Now we know for sure that we're in the right place. We understand that this is a business and a lot of the mainstream artists are now tapping into our genre, so it just works better for us because now the audience will pay attention to what we're doing, and our music won't be so foreign anymore."
And if they don't win: "Either way we'll still feel proud to have been nominated. We'll remain motivated, positive and keep pushing. We'll be back for another Grammy."
While the "Orgulloso de ser Latino" singers celebrated by "going out to eat cheeseburgers in the Bay Area" when they found out about their nomination back in December, in L.A. they're celebrating with Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege, which honors artists like Los Orgulloso de ser Latino" singers celebrated by "going out to eat cheeseburgers in the Bay Area" when they found out about their nomination back in December, in L.A. they're celebrating with Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege, which honors artists like Los Rakas who "Never stop. Never settle."
"We have done a lot of great things in our career but we just don't stop there. You know like, we performed at Coachella ... ok what's next? You meet one goal and quickly move on to the next goal. We want more -- which is why we connected with the campaign," Dun says.
Los Rakas were not only in town spreading some Raka love before the awards ceremony, they also celebrated their Grammy nod with a special concert at Los Globos.
Up next next for the Oakland-based duo? Fans can expect a special Valentine's Day EP titled Raka Love Pt. 2, which picks up from their first edition in 2012 Raka Love.
"Part 1 was amazing! But actually we just did it for fun back then because we had a lot of love songs that we never released. When we released the album fans loved it so much that they're asking us for another Raka Love. And it's just perfect timing too. With everything that's going on in the world, we need love. Some Raka love!"
We had to ask -- would Los Rakas return to perform at the White House like they did back in 2016 for the Innovators of Color Summit now with Donald Trump as president?
"Would we go back? With Donald Trump? Whoa. That's a good question," Dun says with a chuckle. Rich adds, "Uh, I don't think I can answer that. I actually don't know. I don't agree with a lot of the things that he says. But maybe you have to do things to inspire Donald. To make him change his heart or have a change of heart when he sees us perform or something."
The 59th annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.