The audience might’ve been treated to a healthy downpour before Rauw Alejandro took the stage at Miami’s open-air venue Oasis on Tuesday (Sept. 21), but that hardly dampened spirits for the Puerto Rican artist’s knockout performance during Billboard Latin Music Week 2021. Following the first full day of panels at 2021 Latin Music Week, a late-night showcase — Duars Entertainment and Amazon Music LAT!N Present: Billboard En Vivo, Featuring a Special Performance by Rauw Alejandro and Friends — brought the party.
Prior to Alejandro’s 11-song set, a coterie of rising artists, including Ally, took the stage for a several songs. Formerly part of Fifth Harmony as Ally Brooke, the singer is leaning into her Latin roots and delivering an all-Spanish album after signing a deal with Duars Entertainment and AMSI; previewing mid-tempo bops and even a heartfelt, full-throated acoustic ballad, Ally told the crowd, “I feel like I can finally be the artist I want to be.”
A quick deluge soaked the audience after Ally, but it hardly washed away the Miami crowd’s enthusiasm. A laser-light show as colorful as the murals peppering the surrounding Wynwood neighborhood signaled that Alejandro was about to take stage, and when he walked out and delivered “Dile a El” from his 2020 debut Afrodisíaco, it seemed like all the phones were in the air and a third of the women were up on someone’s shoulders.
Images of a car cruising down a palm tree-lined street, drenched in neon hues, accompanied a vibey “Algo Magico,” which had the crowd bumping, grinding and fully forgetting just how wet they were. Shouting out collaborator Farruko (who previewed new music at a different 2021 Latin Music Week event), Alejandro launched into their joint track “Fantasias” after a thumping, high-energy “Desenfocao’.”
If anyone showed up hoping to tear up, Alejandro delivered with a heartfelt take on “Tattoo” from his debut. As hand-drawn hearts appeared on the screen behind him, he crooned the Camilo remix version of the sweet, sensual ode, which had the crowd singing every word of the chorus back to him.
If fatigue meant that girls on shoulders had their feet back on the ground toward the end of the set, all that changed when Alejandro busted out his Anuel AA collab “Reloj.” Phones and people were back in the air for the reggaeton banger, and when the beat dropped low for a moment, it felt like a communal a cappella version of the track.
Rauw, by this point having shed his sunglasses and shirt, wrapped with the buoyant, synth-flavored jam “Todo De Ti.” As lasers washed over the crowd and plumes of smoke shot out of the stage, the Miami crowd joyously sang along to the dance-flavored song. Both “Todo De Ti” and its parent album Vice Versa, his second, demonstrate that we’re just starting to discover Alejandro’s stylistic range and the breadth of his artistry. When Alejandro and his dancers took a bow at the end, it was a well-deserved one from a talent that’s just getting started.