Kiko El Crazy Talks New Album Pila’e Teteo, Working With El Alfa and Having Nina Simone On His Playlist
Kiko el Crazy is quickly becoming a driving global force for dembow music and representing the Dominican Republic in the process. His new album “Pila’ e Teteo” — which translates to Head Over Heels — brings the signature sound of dembow to life while also highlighting both Dominican culture and his own vibrant personality that’s often overlooked by fans. Kiko wanted to capture the energy of the hometown streets, creating an upbeat soundtrack perfect for partying and having a good time.
With this record, he’s out to share not only the genre but their culture worldwide. As for what inspired this concept, Kiko shares, “I was very excited about making a very Dominican dembow album.” To elevate this project even further, Kiko has collaborated with some of Latin America’s hottest stars including El Alfa on “Pichirry” and La Mala Rodriguez and Chimbala on “Saco de Sal.” Working with both El Alfa and Chimbala always proves fun-filled experiences full of learning moments.
Of his collaboration with La Mala, Kiko says it’ll be a surprise that listeners will absolutely love, as one of his favorite tracks off of “Pila’ e Teteo.”
When discussing what he hopes fans take away from this record, Kiko shared he wants them to have fun with it while feeling all the love he put in along with producing it in the Dominican Republic so it can represent them in a global setting. As for his own favorite track off the album? He shared that’s “Loca y Linda,” saying it’s full of catchy hooks and playful vibes that embody what “Pila’ e Teteo” is all about.
Kiko goes beyond this particular art form into style too. From fashion choices to everything else does just that: promote inclusivity among all types of music fans no matter our backgrounds or identities may be. It’s through his actions such as these that Kiko shows us how intertwined cultural influences are when it comes to music creation today by embodying its most important lesson of being respectful no matter your background or identity you may have!
What inspired your new album “Pila’ e Teteo?” “I wanted to make a very Dominican dembow album. To share our music and culture, what we listen to in el barrio and bring it to the world.”
What does it mean to you to be a driving global force for dembow? “I am happy and proud to be one of the artists representing the genre internationally. There are many dembow artists, and being one of the few that is representing dembow internationally is an honor that I do not take lightly. It makes me feel responsible for the music I make, because I am exporting and representing not only the genre but our culture. It makes me more focused and work harder to produce the best music and represent my country worldwide.”
Can you tell us more about your collaboration with El Alfa on “Pichirry?” How did it come together and what was it like working with him? “Working with El Alfa is always a pleasure. I learn so much every time I work with him. He is someone who works on his music very much, he goes back and forth, he looks for the hook and works on it until he is satisfied, always wanting to give his best. I learn a lot every time I go into the studio with him.”
What was it like working with La Mala Rodríguez and Chimbala on “Saco de Sal?” “It was an amazing experience working with both of them. Working with Chimbala is always fun, and I am always happy to collaborate with him. This was my first time working with La Mala, I have always admired her music and was super excited to collaborate. This collaboration will be a surprise for fans, and the song is one of my faves on the album. I hope fans love it was much.”
What kind of message do you hope fans will take away from this album? “I want them to have fun and party with it. I am representing not only the genre but my country, and I hope they can feel all the love that I have put into this album that was produced in the Dominican Republic to represent us worldwide.”
What is your favorite track off of “Pila’ e Teteo” and why?“Loca y Linda, this is a song that is just me on it. The hook is catchy, it’s fun, it embodies the playful side of the album and I can’t wait for fans to hear it and start performing it live.”
How are you using your music and platform to promote inclusivity among music fans? “From my music, to my fashion choices, to everything I do, I believe we should all be more inclusive. With my music I am elevating a genre and the Dominican Republic, bringing us to the world. I love doing unexpected collaborations like the one with Mala Rodríguez, I think that brings us a little closer.”
How has Dominican culture influenced your music and style over the years? “I am El Domi. I am influenced by my culture in everything. I am proud to be Dominican, and represent.”
What is one thing that the world doesn’t know about Kiko el Crazy? “I think people are surprised when I tell them what I listen to. I have very varied taste, and fans think I only listen to urban music, but that is not true. I love to listen to all kinds of music, like Prince, Nina Simone, and artists like Toño Rosario have influenced me a lot. I have a very varied playlist.”