Arts & Entertainment

Puerto Rican rapper Chris Wandell assembles ‘team of stars’ for debut album

By Jorge J. Muñiz Ortiz

Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Feb 23 (EFE).- Puerto Rican urban artist Chris Wandell said ahead of Thursday’s launch of his debut album that the all-star team of collaborators he has assembled will make it a sure-fire hit with his fans.

Rauw Alejandro, De La Ghetto, Jowell, Rafa Pabon, Brray, Almighty, Lyanno and Kevvo are some of the names Wandell recruited to contribute to “Mi Monopolio,” which he has released after paying his dues as a songwriter for other recording artists.

“The wait is over,” the 27-year-old artist born Christian De La Mata Santana said in an interview with Efe at his recording studio in Toa Baja, a town on Puerto Rico’s northern coast.

“I wanted to do a collaborative record,” Wandell said of an album whose contributors also include Luar La L, D-Alexis and Paulino Rey.

He said some of the songs were recorded more than three years ago but have since been updated to incorporate the latest sounds being used in the urban genre.

“It’s what I was hoping for. I needed a new ‘show’ with new music and to release a lot of music all at once, because I was always releasing singles and it’s not the same,” Wandell said.

A native of Rio Grande, a town on Puerto Rico’s northeast coast, Wandell said musically speaking “Mi Monopolio” is a very “complete” work that includes tracks with trap, reggaeton and “drill” rhythms.

While acknowledging that the album does not necessarily contain the 12 best songs he has written and recorded, he said they include the ones that are the most important to him personally and that his fans will enjoy.

Due to the long wait for the release of his debut album, Wandell said his next release will mark a major shift musically because it will be based on a fusion of different rhythms and also incorporate others, namely salsa and bachata.

During the interview, the recording artist recalled that he had a golden opportunity early in his career to record a song with Bad Bunny, a Puerto Rican rapper and singer who is currently the world’s most streamed artist on music platforms.

Wandell told Efe that in 2016, when both artists were launching their careers with self-released songs on the SoundCloud platform, Bad Bunny had released the single “Diles” and proposed doing a “remix” with him and Almighty.

But according to Wandell, Almighty was late in recording his part and music producer DJ Luian arranged for Bad Bunny to do the remix with Ozuna, Arcangel, Farruko and Ñengo Flow.

After that initial opportunity fell through, Bad Bunny wanted to do the remix of “Polaroid,” the first song Wandell released on Sound Cloud.

“Bad Bunny did the recording, but at that time my team wasn’t on the same page as me,” Wandell said of that golden chance to collaborate with the famed recording artist.

“I could’ve (done the) ‘Diles’ (remix) and the story could been different. (But) God’s time is perfect, and when the moment comes, it will happen organically,” he said. EFE


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