Yandel Reflects On Turning A Dream Into Reality

A fifteen-year-old from Puerto Rico had the will to make his dreams a reality, and he succeeded. His name is LLandel Veguilla, also known as Yandel. From mixtapes and local venues to platinum records and sold-out arenas, the rise of this superstar is one for the books. A pioneer in the Reggaeton genre, his name never goes unnoticed. Stacking a catalog of hits and even a pair of Latin Grammys under his belt, yet his drive remains more focused than ever.

At the start of his career, he had the hunger to push through where artists give up. Not every day is a winning day, and Yandel understood the game from his young age. It was his attitude and complementary view on life that kept him going. He kept knocking on doors, and although not everyone was responsive, he persevered. After trial and error with several producers, it was DJ Dicky that gave Yandel his first chance, and together they created “Vamos A Retornar.” 

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In Yandel’s words, “the rest was history.” His music career was born, and a few years later, he formed a duo with longtime friend Wisin. Together with Wisin, they were a force to be reckoned with and pioneered a genre filled with controversy. They elevated Reggaeton and changed the narrative of what it meant to be a reggaeton artist. As a duo, they created their alley and cemented themselves as dominant forces in the scene.

As a solo artist, Yandel released his debut album, QUIEN CONTRA MI, back in 2003. The album, considered a Reggaeton classic, began a new journey for Yandel. It was the start of many successes, which continue to multiply to this day. Amounting countless accolades, including Latin Grammys, a recognition he marks as a highlight as a soloist. Despite the level of success Yandel has achieved, he continues to have the same work ethic as his starter days. 

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Dropping QUIEN CONTRA MI 2, earlier this year, the album serves as a sequel to his debut. After almost two decades, his inspiration came from wanting to unite older and newer audiences. What better way to do that than enlist a variety of seasoned artists as well as newcomers for the project he referred to as “collection.” Placing a pin on the collaboration with Ruben Blades, while praising the Latin legend, goes to show how far Yandel’s reach is.

QUIEN CONTRA MI 2 may just have been released a few months ago, but Yandel stays focused. Passionately naming himself a music addict, he is relentless on always staying ahead of the curve. Yandel keeps his foot on the pedal and doesn’t let go. Music is still ready, as he doesn’t miss a day in the studio. A work ethic one of our previous front cover artists, Justin Quiles, marked with admiration.

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Justin Quiles is not the only one inspired by Yandel; many of the talent leading Latin Music have paid their respects to him. His advice for the next wave of artists is to: “Keep going and don’t give up. Don’t pay mind to the negativity and focus on your goal. If there’s a rock in your way, jump over it. If you want, you’ll make it happen.“ There are many artists on the Reggaeton scene, however, none like Yandel. His name is spoken with a high level of respect, always. A key trait to have and one he also gladly returns. Talented, good vibes, and a friendly personality explain why his peers and fans alike acclaim him. The motivation to keep succeeding remains a constant factor and continues to elevate his status. His career serves as a blueprint for new and upcoming artists. Reggaeton would not be where it is today without the living legend that is Yandel.

Latin Music Editor at Contrast Magazine.


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