De La Ghetto on His Favorite Latin Artist of All Time and Recording an Album in English
Singer Rafael Castillo — aka De La Ghetto — opened up to People CHICA about his new music and some of his favorite things in life. The New York–born artist of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent did not have to think twice when he was asked to reveal his favorite place on Earth: “It's my house with my kids. No better place than home!” When it came to discussing favorite dishes, it was tougher to decide. “That's a little hard because I'm a foodie. I love to eat!” he admits. “I love Chinese food, I love Caribbean food (I mean Dominican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Jamaican). Italian food, too, but you gotta watch out with the pasta and the bread,” he adds. When asked to share what his favorite word is, the 35-year-old rapper couldn't hold back his laughter. “Favorite word? It's a cuss word my mom always used to say!”
He also talked about his favorite music and most admired artist of all time. “I'm a salsa-head like my mother,” he says. “You can say Héctor Lavoe.” The Latin Grammy nominee is also open to recording more songs in English. “I've always wanted to record a whole English album. On my first album that I did back in 2008, Masacre Musical, I had the chance to work with Teddy Riley, one of Michael Jackson's producers. It was an amazing experience,” he recalls. “Little by little, it's all a process. On this latest album Mi Movimiento, the one that I'm nominated for, I did a record with Fetty Wap, an all-English hip-hop record, and it went really well, so it's all a process. We're going to do it, believe me. It's going to happen, but I want to do it the right way.”
He also dreams of having top producers like Diddy, Timbaland and Dr. Dre produce his music in the future. “Collab-wise, I would love to do a record with Rihanna on some Caribbean thing, like a dancehall. I would love to work with Drake also,” he adds. “I grew up listening to Dre and Snoop. I would love to do a record with Snoop Dogg, Pharrell. There are a couple of names! I listen to everything from Phil Collins to 21 Savage, I'm all ears!”
What is his favorite part of making music? “The experience, to create something from nothing and make it a huge success,” he says. “It's the process that I love. Coming up with the melodies, picking the beat, the instrumentals, coming up with the lyrics. The process is a beautiful thing.”
The singer, who is nominated this year for the Latin Grammy for Best Urban Album and Best Urban Song (with J Balvin for “Caliente”), says he already feels like a winner. “I'm celebrating the moment right now. If I win, hallelujah. If I don't, it's another hallelujah! Just to be there nominated with top elite artists is a blessing.”
There are also plenty of new De La Ghetto songs to add to your playlist! Check out the Caribbean, hip-hop and R&B twist “Selfie,” and the new track “Uniforme” featuring Panamanian star Sech and Puerto Rican duo Zion y Lennox. He will also be collaborating on a new “hip-hop trap joint” with Dominican urban artist El Alfa and Puerto Rican rising star Miky Woodz. “I always like helping young artists develop because I was a new artist myself,” De La Ghetto reflects.