Rauw Alejandro knew early on that in a crowded space of new reggaeton artists in his native Puerto Rico, his dancing would make him stand out. “I was dancing and doing different stuff in the island. I thought, ‘My music is blowing up,’ so my dancing needed to match it,” the 29-year-old Puerto Rican artist said during Billboard‘s inaugural MusicCon, which kicked off May 13.
Alejandro sat down with Billboard‘s Leila Cobo for a candid conversation that touched on the early days of his career, using his dancing skills to stand out, upcoming new music with girlfriend Rosalía, and where he sees himself in the future. Titled “The Future of Reggaeton,” here are five takeaways from the conversation between the “Todo De Ti” singer and Cobo.
The Early Days
Alejandro was determined to be a fútbol star, while music and dancing would stay as a hobby. But after friends convinced him to upload music he had been working on to SoundCloud, things took a turn.
“I loved music all my life but I didn’t know it would be my future. I was focused on sports. I did [music] because I enjoyed it. Like the dancing, singing, painting, theatre. I loved to be involved with art. It was just fun for me. Then my friends told me, ‘you’ve been writing and singing for a long time you should show it to people.’ At that time, I was negative 15 in my bank account so I realized that was going to be my door. I had been doing music since I was a kid and figured I should dedicate more to this because it makes me happy. It felt natural. So I quit everything else.”
The Importance of Dancing
Alejandro danced “all day” when he was younger. With a broom, a mop, while showering, he danced. He knew early on that dancing would set him apart from a crowded field of new artists in Puerto Rico.
“I started taking classes and took dancing serious too. That was my door to prove something new in the Latin culture. I met Chris Brown’s choreographer and took a class he was offering in Puerto Rico one day. He then told me that he was impressed an artist had taken his class. He decided to help me improve in my dancing. Now, he’s one of my best friends and we’ve been working together for four years.”
Rauw and Rosalía
The two artists went public with their relationship late last year sharing sweet photos on social media. During the chat, Alejandro confirmed they’ve been working on new music together that would be released “soon, but we can’t say when exactly just yet.”
“We have some songs in the studio already. She’s my girl so I did it with more love. It’ll be a No. 1 for sure. She puts all the theory and all her knowledge and I put all my feelings. We’re both super chill. We both listen to each other, we respect each other, she knows and I know that what we do is honest. When she helps me with my stuff and when I help her with her stuff, it’s genuine, from the heart. “
Alejandro also confirmed that another collab with Shakira could potentially be included in his new album, set to drop in the Fall.
Daddy Yankee’s Retirement
Like almost everyone else, Daddy Yankee announcing he was retiring came as a shock for Alejandro. “Artists are forever but I get it. He’s been in every generation working hard, thanks to him, he opened doors for us. I was sad but he’s been working hard and he deserves it.”
In 10 Years …
Alejandro says he’s not the type to think about the future but in 10 years, he hopes to be spending more time relaxing than dancing on a stage. “In 10 years, I see myself on a hammock in a beach in Puerto Rico. Maybe on Fridays I’ll go dance on a stage. I’m not a big fan of thinking ahead but if you do things right, you’ll have a secure and good future.”