Rauw Alejandro is Rolling Stone’s latest cover star.
In his cover story for the famed music mag, the Puerto Rican singer discusses all of the challenges he overcame to become reggateon’s latest superstar.
Growing up, Rauw— whose real name is Raúl Alejandro Ocasio Ruiz — had dreams of being a soccer player. He even made a bid to play on a semi-pro league in the United States before an injury cut his career short, which is when he pivoted to music. Though some of his earlier releases made it seem like he would be at the forefront of an R&B wave in Spanish-language music, he continues to lean more and more toward reggaeton.
“I couldn’t not do reggaeton,” he told Rolling Stone in a previous interview. “It’s in my culture. It’s in my blood, and when I released those first reggaeton tracks, people went crazy.”
In his February 2022 cover, other big names in the music industry talked highly of the 29-year-old, complimenting just how far he‘s come in such a short time.
“He’s just an exciting artist,” super-producer Tainy said of Rauw. “To see what he’s doing and what he’s capable of, the melody and the tone of his voice, and combine that with his ideas — how he’s thinking about what moves he’s gonna do, what the crowd is going to do — it’s something really special. His growth is insane.”
I see him as someone who wants to push,” Alejandro‘s close friend and collaborator Álvaro Diaz said.. “Like, ‘Oh, you’re saying I can’t dance?’ OK. ‘I’m not supposed to do this?’ OK. ‘This isn’t going to work?’ OK. It’s like those things feed him to go harder.”
The Puerto Rican powerhouse also talked about the pressure that comes with his meteoric rise, admitting the stress that is caused by being so successful.
“Doing good music isn’t easy in terms of, like, after hit after hit,” Rauw admitted. “You feel like now you’re pickier. It’s like, ‘Oh s**t, I need to be more strict — with the sounds, the lyrics, the melodies, everything’...It gets stressful sometimes.”
He went on to talk about the way he likes to decompress amid such a constant workload, referencing his girlfriend, Rosalía.
“I try to be with my girl,” he says. “We fly a weekend off, if we can...I try to have fun, but I’m a workaholic. After a few days of being off, I get this thing, like, ‘What’s going on?’ I need to work.”
Rauw also mentions his feud with Jhay Cortez, though he doesn‘t mention the rapper by name.
“Nowadays, the internet is toxic,” he says. “People exaggerate stuff, and there’s a lot of haters,“ he said. “I’m at peace with the world. You know, I had a thing with this guy, this artist people know in Puerto Rico.”
But, when asked who he’s referring to, he waved his hand dismissively.
“I don’t want to mention his name in my interview. But stupid stuff,“ he continued. “I don’t care. I’m always gonna be me, I’m always gonna respect my vision. I’m a cool guy, but I’m from Puerto Rico. If you f*** with me, yo soy un gallito de pelea [“I’m like a bird in a cockfight”]. I’m not afraid.”
You can read Rauw Alejandro‘s full interview over at Rolling Stone.