Home MUSIC Rauw Alejandro Pays Homage to New York at Gov Ball Headlining Set, Talks ‘New Single, New Period’ in Pre-Present Interview

Rauw Alejandro Pays Homage to New York at Gov Ball Headlining Set, Talks ‘New Single, New Period’ in Pre-Present Interview

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It’s a brand new period for Rauw Alejandro. Recent off the discharge of his first solo single since August, the disco-tinged “Touching the Sky,” and teased an upcoming album, the Puerto Rican artist has taken heart stage throughout the worldwide pageant circuit.


The announcement of his headlining slot on the upcoming Coca-Cola Music Fest and Baja Seashore Fest highlights his escalating prominence, following a prime billing at Chicago’s Sueños final month. But his ascension feels most pronounced at New York’s Governor’s Ball Music Competition, the genre-spanning pageant that ties his roots and private narrative inside the bustling vitality of the Large Apple.

On Friday (June 7) at 7:30 p.m., the celebrity lit up Gov Ball’s GoPuff stage. Wearing a striped swimsuit that harked again to the late Nineteen Sixties, a tribute to West Facet Story, Rauw unleashed a efficiency charged with boundless vitality and impeccable dance strikes. Over the course of an hour, he rolled out hits like “Al Callao’,” “Panties y Brasieres,” “Celebration,” “Desesperados,” “Desenfocao,’” and “Todo de Ti,” mixing hard-hitting reggaetón with riveting dance-pop anthems.

His connection to the gang was palpable: “I’ve at all times had a particular connection to this metropolis. My dad was born in Brooklyn. It’s a gathering level for a lot of cultures,” he stated to the viewers. “Many people left our nation looking for alternatives and desires. And I really feel that right here you possibly can fulfill all of the desires that you just need to do in life. In my case, a dream is being fulfilled by sharing it right here with all of you, a dream that I’m residing as we speak, due to all of you who’ve supported me since day one.”

Gov Ball, with its iconic New York-inspired components like a tattooed Statue of Liberty and metropolis memorabilia, noticed Rauw honor NYC in his personal distinctive approach. A subway practice reproduction served as his stage backdrop, setting the scene for a powerhouse dance efficiency that pulled from his admiration of Michael Jackson’s “Clean Prison” and Chris Brown strikes, assuring all of his celebrity caliber. In a standout spotlight, the performer bought off the stage to sing among the many tens of hundreds of fest-goers.

Moments earlier than his dynamic act, Billboard Español caught up with the Puerto Rican artist to debate his upcoming album, and the private tales that form his public persona and electrifying performances.

It’s thrilling to have you ever right here in New York headlining at Gov Ball. How are you feeling about as we speak’s efficiency?

I’m actually excited. It’s my first time. It’s a giant deal. In the previous couple of years, there have been lots of Latinos headlining U.S. festivals. We’re right here. 

Do you put together in another way to carry out a headlining pageant set compared to your individual live shows or whereas on tour? How does the expertise differ to you?

It’s completely different. In festivals, you share a stage with different artists, so that you don’t have two or three hours to do a present. My exhibits are usually two and a half hours lengthy, area and stadium exhibits. However festivals, it’s like we’re united as artists. We’re sharing vitality with the general public. The pageant begins noon till 10 p.m., so it’s like a fast teaser. Festivals are extra enjoyable, extra energetic. I focus extra on what individuals like. I simply need to have a great time. My live performance, I simply go into my album idea, after which I attempt to inform a complete story about it, and promote your new album. With festivals, we use it extra for selling singles. It’s the style earlier than the tour. I keep in mind my first pageant, after I didn’t have an album but six years in the past. It was simply selling me as a brand new artist. Festivals are that chance. I’m headlining this pageant, and I’ve a particular shock for the individuals right here. My dad is from Brooklyn; I’ve lots of household in New York, so there’s that particular connection. And this weekend is the Puerto Rican Day parade. Puerto Rico is right here.


Dance is such a big ingredient of your performances. Are you able to share some insights into the way you develop your choreography? Who’re your choreographers? 

I’ve been working with FeFe Burgos. He’s additionally Puerto Rican. He’s been in New York for a very long time. He’s been dancing with many artists. I’ve been with him for round six years. Additionally, we collaborated with all of the choreographers. It’s the way you combine this Latin taste with all these different forms of dancing all over the world, with hip-hop, jazz and modern. I also have a small basis of ballet. I’ve at all times danced my entire life, only for enjoyable.

For my part, you’re the greatest dancer, taking the style’s performances to the subsequent degree.

I spotted that that is the place I need to be, so I began finding out a bit of bit extra. I attempt to get higher and higher with time, [incorporating] the salsa taste. There’s been so many artists by way of previous generations which have impressed me. I keep in mind seeing Michael Jackson after I was a boy.

My dad has been an enormous fan of Elvis Presley and James Brown. So it’s such as you grew up with that fashion. Since I used to be younger, all [dance] performers caught my consideration. I used to be like, watching them [thinking], “Oh my God, I need to be like them.” I’m hyper. I can’t be on the stage [sitting still]. I would like to maneuver. 

You latterly launched “Touching the Sky,” your first solo single since August (“Hayami Hana”). 

Sure, new single, new period. I attempted to divide my initiatives by eras and characters. It’s only a beginning taste. I bought an album that’s virtually prepared. I strive to not repeat albums, soundwise. In all my albums, you’ll at all times discover reggaetón. Your essence will at all times be there. It’s completely different contact, perspective and musical colours. I did “Touching the Sky” a couple of months in the past, and it seems like summer time is coming. It’s that vibe. I don’t plan precisely what music goes to be [the first single]. It’s simply how you’re feeling at that second. We’re going with a New York vibe. And I filmed in New York. It was actually enjoyable.

You channel an previous dapper New York period. What had been your influences?

It’s a bit of bit extra like late ’60s and ’70s, West Facet Story, Broadway, it’s theatrical. Earlier than I began [making] music, I used to be doing theater at 16, 17 years. So I like to combine theater with music. On Saturno, I began doing quick movies for my albums. For this one we’re getting ready, you’re going to see the distinction between my albums and what I did in Saturno final 12 months. It’s going to be the other.  

I cherished freestyle, too. On a distinct topic, Billboard reported in December that you just left Eric Duars and that you’ve a brand new administration. How has this variation influenced your profession route?

I believe all the things is for the higher. I at all times attempt to develop as an artist. I’ve been on this recreation for nearly 9 years now. I began within the music enterprise on my own, formally in 2015. Then in 2017, I signed with them [Duars]. And now, 2024. It has been very long time. You develop up, you be taught. What we did collectively was nice. Now it’s only a completely different imaginative and prescient, a distinct perspective. However that doesn’t should be… it’s simply enterprise. I’ve an ideal staff proper now. I’m 31 years previous, a grown ass man. I really feel actually comfortable at this second of my life. I really feel answerable for my entire profession. I do know what I need to do. I’ve my notes. I discovered. It’s simply a part of rising. 

Lots of your oldest followers, together with myself, first found your music on SoundCloud over 5 years in the past. How do you assume beginning on such a platform influenced your music profession?

SoundCloud was an enormous device for me after I began my profession. I actually assist SoundCloud artists, and YouTube. Again within the day, it was simply SoundCloud and YouTube earlier than huge platforms. I keep in mind within the Island, all people was down with SoundCloud, listening to this s— in SoundCloud. It was a small group. Myke Towers, Alvarito Díaz. Even Dangerous Bunny. All of the artists again within the days, like in 2017.

Now you’re headlining so many festivals: a Coca-Cola Competition, you probably did Sueños [last month], you’re going to be a Baja Seashore Fest headliner. That’s a giant progress. 

I used to be seeing the previous pageant flyers the opposite day. My title was little, and now we’re headliners!

With fame your private life turns into public too, resembling your breakup along with your ex [Rosalía]. How have you ever confronted these experiences within the public eye and the way have you ever discovered energy or inspiration to develop personally?

I believe that’s a part of life, rising and studying. We’re right here, and I’m simply centered proper now on the current and my future. All these [past] life experiences, I simply use it for being a greater particular person.

How was going to the Met Gala?

The Met Gala was enjoyable. It was my first time. I felt like this child in a brand new college. I used to be like, “What’s up? My title is Rauw. Hello, I’m Puerto Rican.” It was enjoyable. We had the after events and all the things. I’ve been round trend for the previous couple of years. I believe music and trend at all times [go well] collectively.

Talking of trend, what are you sporting tonight on stage?

I work with my stylist. Shout out to Chloe and Chanel. We labored with them additionally for a couple of years. They’re wonderful. However you will see some basic Rauw, like an previous salsa technology. It’s going to be actually enjoyable.

Any new tattoos?

I’m engaged on it. I haven’t had the time, however I need to tat my legs, my again, all the things. The one factor I’m not going to do in my life, as a result of [I promised] my grandma, was my face.

Final phrases? 

It’s a brand new Rauw, new period, new music. The album is one thing wonderful. I at all times love to do my ultimate touches in Puerto Rico. I believe it’s simply good luck. Puerto Rico has this magic contact that no different place has, for my part. The largest artists within the Latin world, most of them are within the Island. It has one thing magical. In the event you guys need to discover out, you’ll want to go and have a go to to the Island.

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