Puerto Rican singer Yandel, now embarking on his solo career, lit up the crowd Saturday night at the House of Blues Sunset Strip in West Hollywood with a fresh and dynamic concert as part of his From Leader to Legend tour.
Widely known as a member of the wildly popular duo Wisin & Yandel, the songwriter, musician and producer seemed truly upbeat, humble and very confident with himself both as a person and as an artist. Friends and family were on hand to lend their support, including Casper Smart, Jennifer Lopez’s ex. Smart was keen on avoiding all questions about his separation, as to not steal the spotlight from his friend.
Yandel is currently promoting his new album, De Lider a Leyenda (From Leader to Legend) and in an exclusive interview with Living Out Loud before the show, he talked about his tour and his new direction with his career.
“I changed my entire team, with the goal of offering something new, something different and more fresh. I’m on tour because I want everyone in the industry to see that I have arrived, and they have the option of working with me,” said Yandel.
Even though time has passed since he and Wisin decided to take a break, it’s been challenging for him to shed the stigma that came from the separation.
“People sometimes just don’t understand,” he said. “One of the reasons I decided to go on tour was so that fans could see me on my own.”
As part of his re-invention, Yandel has left behind the reggaeton that made him famous for a more electric-pop sound. When asked if this was to differentiate himself from his old duo or if it was part of his evolution as an artist, he answered that it was both.
“I wanted to offer something different,” he continued. “My aim was to mix urban and electronic sounds, and it resulted in a unique blend that’s found in the new album. My concerts will be full of energy. I don’t like people just listening to ballads. I love it when people dance and groove, and that’s what you’ll be seeing tonight.”
When asked if there was significance to the timing of his album release (last November), he replied, “I did it because I wanted to. I was with the duo for 14 years and fulfilled all my contractual obligations to the record label and the publicists. I had no ties to anyone, so I knew it was the right time to pursue this dream, and we’re moving forward.”
Nevertheless, he made it very clear that he wishes no ill fate on anyone, especially Wisin, and that he is always open to the duo getting back together in the future.
“I will never abandon Wisin y Yandel. It was the fruit of 14 years of hard work and sacrifice. I have a great relationship with Wisin, and there’s no beef between us,” he said.
Ironically, at one point, Wisin and Yandel were big supporters of Baby Rasta, but their relationship took a bad turn and did not end on good terms. However, it’s been rumored that Wisin has plans to collaborate with them soon. In response to this, Yandel added, “Yeah, I think they’ll be working together. I don’t know much about it, but I would also be open to working with them. They were with us from the beginning.”
The House of Blues concert was nearly sold out and began right at 9:30 p.m. It proved to be a very complete show with phenomenal dancers and an excellent band.
Yandel delivered on his promise to give his fans something new and exciting. With his unique style and fashion sense, he made a great impression on his loyal supporters who left the venue highly satisfied with a talent who clearly has what it takes to make it on his own.
Edison Millan contributed to this story.