Rauw Alejandro’s Serious Steppin’ and Colorful Nails Add Flavor to Latin’s Urban Genre
Rauw Alejandro is a urbano music up-and-comer. With his dance moves setting him apart and a new school music catalog that includes collabs with Ozuna, Nicky Jam and Chencho, he’s sure to conquer the internet and summer 2019.
Rauw Alejandro has been hoofing it up to the next level of Latin music's el genero urbano (the urban genre).
The artist-performer participated in summer 2018's “Toda Remix” with Lyanno, Alex Rose, Cazzu and Lenny Tavarez, which garnered more than 605 million views. He ended the year with a feature on Ozuna's multi-artist track “Luz Apaga.” The song peaked at No. 26 on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs. Nominated in four categories for the Premios Tu Musica Urbano, Rauw attended the March event in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “When I won the award for Artist Revelation of the Year, I froze. I'm super happy with that award. The competition was tight, I didn't even think I was going to win.”
But Rauw is aware that the hustle doesn't stop there: “Now, in 2019, I want to maintain that position and keep working,” he shares with CHICA.
Born Raúl Alejandro Ocasio Ruiz, the 24-year-old from Carolina, Puerto Rico, grew up involved in the performing arts, but the stage kid only began to focus on music four years ago. Dance was his earliest hobby: “I would be dancing in Walmart while my mom shopped, and all of a sudden, she would go missing, and I would cry because I couldn't find her. The intercom would then go off, ‘Miss Maria, your son is looking for you, he's lost. And it's because I would always be dancing. I was always involved with dance.”
This ability to dance undeniably sets him apart from other urban artists, and it's an identity he carries with pride. “I'm trying to form my own lane. It's a challenge for me. You have to be dedicated and train so it can come out great.” He grew up with influences like Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.
Rauw's colorful fashion sense is inspired by the arts and dance community in Puerto Rico. He notes that many male dancers on the islands paint their nails like he does: “As artists, we are very creative. Many artists envision things differently. They project things differently. For example, I'll braid my hair and add color or switch up my clothing. I can paint my nails just because I want to have fun, or match them with my sneakers.” He is unbothered by social generalizations made when he's seen rocking different colors of nail polish, he explained: “There will always be negative opinions. I just ignore that because I'm just being me. You have to do what makes you happy. If coloring your hair makes you happy or wearing a certain style of pants make you happy, just do it.”
Although just in his early stages, he's worked with veterans like Nicky Jam for “Que le de” and Chencho on “El Efecto.” The artist acknowledges the privilege he's had to work with such stars: “It's like earning a trophy because of your sacrifices and hard work. For legends like Nicky Jam, Chencho and Daddy Yankee to support me and say, ‘Rauw let's work, I like what you do,' for me, it's a grand honor.”
He's hopeful for this year: “This year I have many plans. Dropping more music, more dance moves — choreographies, and level up. I hope to win more awards this year, make good numbers, and be recognized worldwide.”
Watch “Que le de”!