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Daddy Yankee
Reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee returns with the follow-up to 2004’s Barrio Fino ~ the album that became his breakthrough release and made him one of the hottest artists in the world.

The man who gave us Gasolina is back with a new album titled El Cartel: The Big Boss and although he does like to party with his music, we found out that he has a lot more on his mind that he’d like to discuss with his fans.

Here is Daddy Yankee, in his own words, talking about his early days, his inspiration, his only addiction and his views on war.

His First Recording
The first song I recorded in my life was called Hasta Abajo (All The Way Down) in 1991 with DJ Piro, may he rest in peace, the first DJ to record me when I was thirteen or fourteen years old. I remember it was there in Las Lomas, we’d go in there and we’d go to Piro’s recording booth. There was [only a] little equipment…we wouldn’t have anything, there was no editing, no punching and you couldn’t make a mistake, because if you did, you had to record the entire song all over again. Those were the resources we had; we didn’t have money or anything. I started with Piro and then I met DJ Playero who’s the godfather of Reggaeton, the person who did the first Reggaeton mix on El Playero 37 local side A, side B tape before acts like The Noise and other local artists. But it was after that CD with Playero 37 that the [Reggaeton] movement grew strong.

On Gasolina
Gasolina was a song that was on my mind. I went to the studio in [the barrio] Villa Kennedy with my friends Urba and Montserrate with the idea, we started to record it but we needed to develop it even more, so I got together with my colleague and great brother Eddie D and from there on Gasolina was born. At the beginning, when Gasolina came out, no one felt it… it was such a big innovation that many people didn’t feel it. Many people said, ‘But what is this? I don’t like it.’ because they were used to the same old sound. The good thing about Daddy Yankee is that I always look for innovation, for new things, that’s what has kept me fresh in the genre, because I have an extensive career, but why do I sound new all the time? Why do I remain ranked in the first position? Because I have no fear to innovate and try new things…

On breaking borders
The first market that opened doors for me after Puerto Rico, was the Dominican Republic without any doubt. The Dominican Republic has a very special place in my heart. I remember those moments in the early 90s when I left Puerto Rico to go to the Dominican Republic, [that] was when I said ‘Wow, this is going to be big.’ because another country was feeling it already, you know what I mean? Eventually, it was [in] New York which is the bridge of the world and thanks to the Puerto Rican and Dominican community in New York Reggaeton exploded around the world. They started to share their Reggaeton music with all the other Latinos of the world and all the different cultures.

His Addictions
If you ask me what vice I have, it’s music…it is what I’m addicted to. Thank God I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I’m not into any of that.

You can read the rest of our feature on Daddy Yankee in the September 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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