De La Ghetto Creates Urban Music For Future Generations

Mexico City – The urban musician De la Ghetto received a slightly late birthday gift when he learned that he was nominated for Latin Grammy.

The New York-Puerto Rican singer and songwriter, whose real name is Rafael Castillo, had just woken up when his manager called to congratulate him last week.

Dazed, he thought it was his 35th birthday, which had been just a few days before. But in reality it was for his two nominations for the Latin Recording Academy awards: best urban music album for "My Movement", and best urban song for his theme with J Balvin "Hot", included on the same album .


"It took me by surprise, I didn't expect it," De la Ghetto said in a recent telephone interview from Orlado, Florida, although he acknowledged that he had dreamed of a mention for his album released in September 2018 in which he spent almost three years worked up. "I still don't believe it, but I'm super happy and super happy."

In addition to Balvin, “My movement” has Chris Jeday, Maluma, Wisin, Zion & Lennox and Flo Rida as guests. De la Ghetto says he was looking for a more mature and classic sound, inspired by the music of the 70s and 80s with which he grew up, from artists such as Bob Marley, Madonna and Phil Collins.

“I didn't want to make a simply urban or reggaeton record that you listen to in a moment,” he explained. "I wanted a record that could happen 30 or 40 years and third or fourth generations will continue listening."

He believes that the key to the success of his album was to dare to do something different.

"Sometimes in our gender we are afraid to do different things," he said. "Yes we have the talent to do many more things, many better things."

After the announcement of the nominations, J Balvin, Maluma and Daddy Yankee criticized the academy because there was not much representation of urban music in the main categories (song of the year, album of the year, recording of the year and new artist).

According to De la Ghetto, the relationship between Latin Grammy and the urban genre has advanced over the years, since the creation of urban categories in 2004.

"I understand the point of my colleagues, but I also understand the point of the academy," said De la Ghetto, who with 14 years of career was also nominated in 2016 for best urban song for "Come closer." "You have to work harder, not complain."

“We have to work more and polish ourselves more and be a little more professional … At the end of the day it is not about reggaeton, or rock, or salsa, or ranchera. It's music, universal music, ”he said.

The Spanish singer Rosalia was the second most nominated artist with five mentions, second only to her countryman Alejandro Sanz, who won eight. Rosalia competes in the categories of album of the year, song of the year, recording of the year, pop song and urban song.

"Super woman," said De la Ghetto. “That woman, when she goes out, goes to work … and she is of the genre too. Maybe she doesn't reggaeton, but it's urban. ”

Anitta, Ozuna, Bad Bunny, Farruko, Manuel Turizo, Feid and Sech are other urban artists nominated for the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards, which will be held on November 14 in Las Vegas.

De la Ghetto, who plans to attend the gala with his family, is still enjoying the good acceptance of his single "Selfie" released in mid-August, which will be part of his next album "Los chulitos" and which he expects launch a remix soon.

"Let's see if next year they nominate us again," he said enthusiastically. "It's going to be a little more youthful, more urban record."