The image of when he was a boy in his first graduation was the one selected by the urban exponent Anuel AA to accompany the back cover of his second record production, titled “Emmanuel”, which goes to market this Friday.
Perhaps that image of innocence is the one that with great nostalgia reminds him of Emmanuel Gazmey Santiago, the reggaeton’s first name, where he came from and what his childhood dreams were. Instead, the cover of the record production shows the opulence with which he lives, as a symbol of what he has achieved and how far he has gone.
The voice of “Keii” It has become one of the most powerful reggaeton players in the urban scene. It has millions of followers on social networks, He has collaborated with the greatest exponents of the genre such as DaddyYankee, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Nicky Jam, Ozuna, Tego Calderón and other colleagues and also crossed musical borders with Shakira and Nicki Minaj, among others. At each awards ceremony he adds awards to his career, as well as detractors who do not endorse his musical style or how he projects or presumes himself on social networks, until he proclaims himself the “God of the trap”.
Beyond the urban genre, -in which Anuel AA debuted at the end of 2014 with a very street sound and betting on the letters of explicit and sexual content-, many question how this young man has achieved fame, after leaving the federal prison in May 2018.
Gazmey Santiago was sentenced to 30 months for possession of weapons, served around ten months in prison and the rest on supervised release and with hours of community work. The reggaeton maker, along with two other young men, were seized with three pistols, nine loaders and 152 ammunition.
His time in prison, narrated in several of his songs, especially in the song “April 3”, allowed him to record his first studio album, titled “Real to death”, from the cell. The disc, from the Sony label, was released on July 17, 2018, weeks after his release.
It was then when the artist settled in Miami and his career took off vertiginously on digital platforms, on the street where he had always played and even on radio waves, where he had not been able to enter with his compositions. Anuel AA began to be heard strongly in Latin America and with it on her island.
Anuel AA’s first songs were not broadcast on commercial radio, as her songs contained a strong and explicit lyric in which frequent reference is made to the use of firearms to commit murder, drug transfer and sex. At that time, as the reggaetonista has well expressed, he had chosen the life of a thug that cost him prison. On multiple occasions he has admitted the seriousness of his actions and his mistakes.
It is with that street style that he began to gain followers within the trap and freestyle. He created a loyal fanatic who has supported him since day one when he did it to sound on the street and managed to enter nightclubs in the country.
In his early years in the urban genre, Anuel landed a contract in Miami with the American rapper Rick Ross’ record label Maybach Music, in the company’s Latin division. By then he devoted himself fully to rap and trap. Then he started to make a musical transition and went deeper into the reggaeton sounds and begins to make his way in the “mainstream”. This is evidenced by production “Real to death” and many of the songs he included on that album, such as success “She wants to drink” They allowed him that necessary transition to expand the audience market.
“I feel blessed. I never had plans to release an album while still in jail, but my team told me “let’s do it” and we did it, “said the artist in his first interview with Billboard, after being released.
Family and musical equipment
That first album “Real hasta la muerte”, which came out under the Sony label, featured the producers Gaby Music, Chris Jeday, Yampi and Frabián and a work team that has been responsible for directing the reggaeton player’s career.
“The success that Anuel AA has today lies in the transition that she has been able to make perfectly from the trap and the irreverent to the commercial. Although he can continue to make his songs strong, he knew he had to evolve to the “mainstream”. This is not achieved overnight Anuel, he has a work team that knows this industry perfectly, his father is present in his team, ”said a source familiar with the recording industry.
Anuel is the son of musician and businessman José Gazmey, who was vice president of Sony Music PR for 12 years. The urban exponent comes from a middle-class family from Caroline and although in his first songs he narrated experiences in the Torres de Sabana public residence in Carolina, he never lived there.
Gazmey, father, is a bassist and has studies at Berklee College of Music. In addition, he was president of Gazmey Music. In fact, the businessman had a professional relationship with Tempo. From there Anuel’s friendship with the also ex-convict Tempo was born.
Anuel AA knew the music business from a young age. He grew up in the music industry through the eyes of his father who has been his guide.
Another success in the reggaeton work team is that it has the advice of the lawyer Edwin Prado, who knows the ins and outs of the entertainment industry and the risks assumed when embarking on a musical career.
Love in your life
His relationship with exponent Karol G has also allowed him to expand his audience.
The reggaeton player has earned the love of the Colombian and her followers. Ventilating his love life on social networks makes the Puerto Rican artist connect with another niche that does not necessarily follow him in music. Many couples identify with the relationship.
They recorded the song together “Secret” which is part of the 22 songs on the new album. The reggaeton player engaged Karol G and is used to giving him expensive and luxurious gifts. His fans are waiting for the wedding.
Without stepping on Puerto Rico
There is a popular saying that says that not everyone is a prophet in their country. In the case of the reggaeton, although he has a strong base of followers in his homeland, the artist does not live on the island and it is unknown if he will be able to return.
Since his release in 2018, on social media and on the street, it has been said that Anuel cannot live on the island.
These rumors were exacerbated in December of last year, when the Coliseum of Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot was the subject of a shooting hours after the end of the third function of the Daddy Yankee concert. Anuel attended this third function as a guest artist. The ragpicker arrived with a security contingent at the Coliseum of Puerto Rico, as observed in a video broadcast on social networks. Many questioned, why did he use so much security? To attend the show.
That same morning of December 8, the study of Rafael Pina, a partner in the “Big Boss”, was also shot in Caguas.
This media knew that Anuel came only to his participation in the Coliseum and that same morning he returned to Miami escorted by the security team.
The coliseum structure received over 100 shots. The police investigation has so far not clarified who caused the damage. Among followers of the urban and street genre, as if it were an open secret, it is alleged that the shooting at both structures was a message addressed to Anuel by some story from his past.
In Puerto Rico his son resides and the reggaetonist published in 2018 a meeting with the minor on his social networks from a house on the island. Meanwhile she has posted several photos with her child in Miami.
The controversy with the model Noris Díaz, known as “Taína”, also distanced him from the country. Although the lawsuit filed by the former model against the reggaeton player was dismissed by federal judge Raúl Arias, for many the reggaeton player’s words were offensive. The reggaetonist apologized for the issue.
According to the court decision, Díaz’s lawsuit lacked an allegation of “real malice” on the part of the exponent of the urban genre.
Díaz sued Anuel AA for alleged emotional and mental damage after the ragper mentioned his name in the song “Intocable”, in which he alluded to his condition as a patient of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).