Earlier this month, Rels B (a.k.a. Skinny Flakk) sold out the renowned Foro Sol stadium, where he performed for more than 60,000 people — a notable milestone for an artist from Spain who’s still relatively new, and with very few Billboard chart entries. A 14-year-old Rels (real name: Daniel Heredia Vidal) would have never imagined it either.
“I began writing music when I was 11 years old,” he tells Billboard, crediting Eminem as his biggest lyricist inspiration. “Shortly after, when I was 14, I downloaded a [computer] program called FL Studio, and with zero Euros or investment, I was able to create instrumentals and my own beats. That’s when I fully stuck to music.”
The Spanish rapper and singer first tested his luck by producing his own music for four years. At the age of 18, he decided to launch his singing career. “From there, I began to like singing and composing more,” he assures.
Rels, a native of Mallorca (one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean), began to gain notoriety locally — but it was with his viral track “Mary Jane,” released in 2015, that he was able to export his craft internationally. “The song went to the other side of the pond,” he notes. “Later on, some of my older songs began getting traction and more people began to listen to everything that we had been putting out. With that [song] we were able to launch my first tour and the truth is that with the Internet, everything goes very quickly.”
So much so, in fact, that the first time he traveled outside his native Spain for a concert was seven years ago to perform in Mexico City for a crowd of about 300 people — which is why he decided to close his Skinny Flakk Tour at the renowned Foro Sol stadium on May 6, as a love letter to his loyal fans.
Inspired by acts such as Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Tego Calderon, and Hector El Father, Rels’ music is a fusion of R&B and urban/pop, with highly relatable lyrics and memorable melodies. His singles “Dime Cuantas Veces,” with Micro TDH, Lenny Tavarez and Justin Quiles, “Se Me Olvido” with Gera MX, “Lo Que Hay X Aqui,” and “Como Dormiste?” have all entered the Billboard charts.
Still, with all his success, he’s helping usher in the flourishing music scene in Spain, which he says is currently having a “¡momentazo!” (or huge moment).
“Internationally, I think it is the best music moment for Spain after so many years, because very young kids are going viral and that’s incredible,” he elaborates. “In my generation, it was more challenging to leave Spain — but lately, what’s happening with Quevedo, for example, is crazy! In a matter of months, he went viral and has the respect of the whole world. Now we are also seeing many Spanish artists at the top of the local charts. I think it’s a huge moment for Spanish music right now.”
Rels is co-managed by industry leaders Federico Lauria (CEO of DalePlay) and Pepo Ferradas (CEO of FPM Entertainment).
Name: Daniel Heredia Abidal
Recommended Song: “La Prisión” — “I wrote this song at a moment that I felt bad, right after the pandemic,” he says. “It was at a time that I wanted to quit music, I fought with all my friends — and this song is a testament that everything was OK, but I didn’t want to continue doing this. As time passed, many fans thanked me for doing this song, because it helped them. I think that if I can demonstrate one song, with my entire heart, it would be this one.”
Major Accomplishment: “I think the most important thing until now has been [selling out] Foro Sol. But prior to that, I’ve had moments in other countries that were just as important for me. In Medellín, for example, we headlined and sold-out La Solar Festival last year. I got very emotional, because I sold out my favorite city outside of my home.”
What’s Next: “I’m going to launch the heaviest project I’ve ever created. I feel confident and mature about what I’m doing, and I’m going to release exactly what I want. It’s a full Afrobeats album called Afroloba, that I’ve been working on for three to four years already. My producers are very connected with this culture, and we’ve traveled to Nigeria to work with producers there as well. It’s a project that I believe will mark a before-and-after for the Afrobeats genre. Soon we’ll begin releasing the singles.”