Romeo Santos: Return of the King
Two summers ago, standing on a stage erected in Yankee Stadium’s hallowed centerfield, Latin superstar Romeo Santos paused for a moment during a concert, taking in the view from the stage and driving the ecstatic crowd into a frenzy.
Exuding confidence, charisma, sensuality, humility and tapped into a bottomless well of raw talent, the two sold-out concerts in the Bronx native’s backyard was the moment the rest of the music world discovered what Latin fans already knew: Romeo Santos is the one and only King of Bachata.
In a world filled with stars, Santos operates in his own galaxy. How many artists, regardless of music style, could go on to then sell out not one, not two, but six consecutive shows at Madison Square Garden, as Santos did two years earlier?
While strangers to Santos’ musical stylings may know him from his appearance alongside co-star Vin Diesel in Furious 7, he’s still scratching the surface of what he can contribute to the culture. Put it this way: with his new role as CEO of Roc Nation Latin, where he will be responsible for finding new talent and advancing careers, Santos is nearly without peer. He not only moves the culture; he defines it. And then moves it again.
Primarily working within the bittersweet, highly-romantic Latin genre of Bachata, Santos’ upbringing in New York saw him deeply influenced by the musical roots of his Dominican and Puerto Rican parents—his mother a homemaker, his father in the construction field.
Imbued with an appreciation for all sorts of music at a young age, Aventura released their first album in 1999, fusing Bachata, pop, hip-hop and R&B into an irresistible formula that would take the Latin world by storm.
Thought often hard to pinpoint a precise moment when a group really makes it, Aventura’s irrefutable commercial breakthrough can be traced to the release of their 2002 single “Obsession,” an aptly named song that entered charts all around the world, including non-Latin markets like Germany, Italy and France, where it spent an extraordinary seven consecutive weeks at Number 1. Needless to say, Santos made quite an impression.
To this very day, Latinos will tell you that Santos’ music is absolutely essential for parties, get-togethers or otherwise, whether you’re talking tracks like “Mi Amorcito” from his Aventura days, his most recent hit, “Propuesta Indecente,” and everything in between.
Furthermore, there are few records that Santos hasn’t managed to smash. To date, he holds the record for most nominations for Latin Artist of the Year by Billboard. In 2011, his solo debut, Formula, Vol. 1, earned him Billboard’s Top Latin Album of the Year. On his follow-up, Formula, Vol. 2, an album featuring guest appearances by Drake, Nicki Minaj, Marc Anthony, Carlos Santana, Tego Calderón and Kevin Hart, Santos further solidified his status as a Latin powerhouse when “Propuesta Indecente” became the best selling song in Latin history.
Latin radio is saturated with such a multitude of bachata offerings, one must make a powerful impression on listeners from the jump — something Santos understands well. Musically enticing fans with a swirling cocktail of bachata, pop and reggaeton, Santos simultaneously extends the boundaries of the traditional bachata style and mindset without leaving any listeners behind.
He’s able to be fun and seductive while remaining the ultimate gentleman. So while Santos may appear to play the player at times, he is, at heart, the loyal lover that bachata demands.
In the video for “Propuesta Indecente,” Santos taps into that knack for the colorful and passionate for which he infuses in his every act. “Una aventura es más divertida si huele a peligro,” he alluringly sings, which translates to “An adventure is better if it smells of danger.”
He is indeed the King of Bachata, but also a living legend and leader taking the Latin world to new heights.
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