Brytiago is linked to legends that transformed reggaeton culture. Now he's transforming the new generation of urbano.

By Jennifer Mota
July 25, 2019 02:29 PM

Urbano artist Brytiago has a lot to look forward to these next few months. With his long-awaited album set for release at the end of 2019 and his six-track Back to the Basics project due this summer, fans are in for a treat. “It’s six tracks with the concept of what birthed Brytiago, with artists that started in the same generation,” the singer-rapper tells People CHICA. Going back to the basics will be no sweat for the Carolina, Puerto Rico native, who grew up in the generation that witnessed the early years of the reggaeton “crossover.” “I’ve been a fanatic since I was little,” says Brytiago. Like many Carolina teens, he enjoyed the music of Arcángel, De La Ghetto and Jowell y Randy, but also cherished the classics by Daddy Yankee (whose label he’s now signed to) and Don Omar. “I remember every song Don Omar dropped was an automatic hit,” he says.

Born Bryan Cancel Santiago, Brytiago was only 23 when he was signed to Daddy Yankee’s record label, El Cartel Records. Though the singer was active a decade before that (he was discovered at just 12 years old by legendary producer Noriega), he took a break from the studio due to his mother’s concern that he was spending too much time with older people. “I knew about music, but it wasn’t until I grew older, at 16, that I realized the first person to record me was Noriega, a legend in the genre,” he says.

He returned to music six years later, and began composing and creating tracks in his friend’s DIY studio. He scored his first hit at 20 with “Tu Me Enamoraste,” but it would be the 2018 songs “Bipolar” (a collaboration with Ozuna and Chris Jeday) and “Asesina (Remix)” (with Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, Darell and Anuel AA) that pegged him as a Billboard chart-topper.

Brytiago’s style is in line with the traditional reggaeton beats and themes, but he often features new and upcoming artists in the genre. His latest remix for “La Mentira” spotlights the freshman class of the genre, including Rafa Pabón, Panamanian whiz Sech, 25-year-old composer-rapper Myke Towers, Argentinian rapera Cazzu, and Puerto Rican R&B/urbano star Rauw Alejandro. The inclusion of the newcomers was purposefully done, as Brytiago felt strongly about making space for rising stars of the genre. “I feel that new artists are adding different colors to music,” he says. “The original was a success, and I didn’t want to remove that theme. I wanted to do it with new artists, new faces.” The video has garnered more than 22 million views since its release two months ago.

Though he romantically serenaded female fans from different cities and countries on his past tour, he says there’s no time for a relationship in real life. “I’m too busy at the moment. I’m fine with way things are right now. I like my life how it is now, so everything at its time.” Single or taken, though, his relationship status doesn’t affect the swarm of fans supporting him, anxiously waiting for what’s yet to come.

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