Rauw Alejandro is still riding high from the previous day’s celebration when he shows up to Hypebeast’s stateside flagship, HBX New York, on Saturday morning. Just a day prior, the Puerto Rican singer debuted RR, a succinct three-track EP made in collaboration with his longtime partner Rosalía. Accompanying (and overshadowing) the long-awaited project’s release was an intimate music video for the duet “Beso.” For his latest viral moment in a career full of them, a montage of the globetrotting couple is followed by a dim-lit selfie video of Rosalía revealing her engagement ring from Alejandro.
Ahead of meeting with fans in New York to commemorate the latest drop from his label Zorro Stuff, Alejandro sat down with Hypebeast for an interview spanning his relationship with Rosalía and the new EP, his third album SATURNO and his embrace of his Puerto Rican heritage in his brand and music alike.
On Friday, you released RR with Rosalía, a collaboration fans have been waiting for basically since your relationship went public. How did the idea to drop a joint project come about?
Before we became a couple, we knew each other as artists. As a couple, we decided to focus on ourselves and our relationship instead of the potential of working together. Then, over time, we began to think that we could do something really special. We checked the clock, and I was like ‘oh sh*t, we’ve been together four years already. We should put something out.’
Can you walk me through the process of writing and recording the EP?
With our busy schedules, making the EP took about three or four months. My girl’s really picky with making sure each detail is perfect and everything sounds how she wants it to. We were thinking about releasing just one song, but we were like, ‘oh man, we’ve been together so long, so to just to give people one song…’
I didn’t want to feel the pressure of putting out just one song and then having people think ‘oh, we don’t like it.’ We respect our fans and wanted to give them options so that there’s something for everyone. There’s three songs and each one is a bit different: there’s a pop song, a club song and a romantic song. At the end of the day, though, we don’t give a f*ck about what people think because we like what we put out. If you don’t like it, f*ck it. We’re happy with the project.
Do you think you and Rosalía will put out a full-length album together in the future?
We have a lot of personal plans together. We just dropped the EP. She’s touring and working on her next project. We don’t want to rush things, but for sure in the future. Maybe in a few years we will do something else. That would be awesome.
You launched your streetwear label Zorro Stuff in August 2022 and you’ve already put out four collections in the time since. Can you describe your long-term vision for the brand?
There’s so much overlap between fashion and music. Within Latin culture specifically, there aren’t many musical artists creating brands outside of just tour or artist merch.
I wanted to create a brand that has no rules, where we can do whatever we want. Whatever product we think of putting out in a given season or month – a hoodie, a t-shirt – we design it and release it immediately. We go with the flow.
In Puerto Rico, the weather is hot, so with the first collection, we weren’t even considering doing any big jackets or anything. It was always going to be shirts and tank tops with a cool, tropical vibe. We try to put out stuff according to the seasons. We’re finishing up the summer collection, which will have custom surfboards and beach coolers.
Zorro Stuff takes its name from the phrase “El Zorro” – which translates to “The Fox.” What made you choose to call the brand that?
The name came from my alter ego, Zorro. It’s sort of my creative nickname. Rauw Alejandro is like the artist, the singer, but in all my creative endeavors, I want to build a movement around it. I’m from Puerto Rico, so I wanted to focus more on my city and use a Spanish name they could also identify with.
“On SATURNO, I really tried to connect with Puerto Rican culture in the present and past.
You’re juggling a lot of projects simultaneously. On top of Zorro Stuff and the RR EP, your third studio LP SATURNO also just dropped in January.
On SATURNO, I really tried to connect with Puerto Rican culture in the present and past. It’s divided between what was going on in Puerto Rico culture back in the ‘90s and today, as well as what music coming out of the U.S. sounded like at those same times.
I’m connected with my people, so I called up these OG rappers from back in the days – Daddy Yankee, Baby Rasta, DJ Playero. All these OGs in Reggaeton. For me it’s so special to work with the people who truly opened doors for us.
Speaking of being busy, the SATURNO world tour kicked off in February and will run until November. Any cities you’re particularly looking forward to performing in?
New York and Miami were both crazy. I have Los Angeles next, and then my hometown [San Juan] next weekend. That’s going to have to be my best show because it’s my city. I’m putting all my savings into the show. It’s also my first big, big stadium, approximately 30,000 people. I can’t wait to do that one.
Listen to Rauw Alejandro and Rosalía’s RR EP and check out Zorro Stuff’s latest “Self Love” collection.