Latin Urban singer Gadiel isn’t new to the music scene. Although he just recently dropped his first album after having signed with Sony Music Latin, he’s been singing for years with duo Wisin & Yandel and later with his older brother, Latin Urban singer Yandel. He has toured with them extensively, has dropped a few songs here and there along the years and was also briefly signed on to the now dissolved WY Records (record label founded by Wisin & Yandel) as one of their artists. Prior to that, he also formed part of the duo Gadiel y Lobo which later disbanded in 2006.

But now, Gadiel is an artist all on his own, out from the shadow of Wisin & Yandel and Yandel and is on his way to prove himself. Recorded between Cayey, Puerto Rico (his hometown) and Orlando, Florida, Alto Rango is Gadiel’s debut album that contains 15 tracks of which some are collaborations with Yandel, Wisin, J Quiles, and Endo. Some songs were written by him and others by renowned songwriters.

Gadiel was in Miami recently promoting his album and latest single, so naturally I sat down with him to chat about this new chapter in his career. The meeting took place at a restaurant and over some delicious Peruvian food, we chatted about his new album. I’ve known Gadiel for many years just like his brother Yandel so our meeting started out updating each other on how we were doing and then I proceeded to ask him about his album.

BECKY BORICUA (BB): Gadiel, for those that may not know, you’ve been singing for years with Wisin & Yandel and most recently with your brother Yandel so you’re not new to all of this. Tell us a little about your recently launched first album, Alto Rango, and your most recent single, Pégate Más.

GADIEL (G): Yes, I’m a newbie with experience, lots of it (laughs). We recently launched this album which is my first album and we’re excited because it made it to the #2 position on Billboard’s lists and that means a lot to us. Pégate Màs is our most recent single and it also has a music video. We’re also excited about the music video because it already hit 1 million views and that’s big. The support has been amazing and I’m very grateful for all of it.

(BB) You mentioned Pégate Más has a music video, tell us about it. Where was it filmed?

(G) Yes, the video for Pegate Mas was filmed here in Miami in Little Haiti by director Fernando Lugo, one of the best in Miami. It was a great experience filming this video and like I mentioned, it already surpassed the 1 million view mark and that’s amazing. It was a video that was made with a lot of love from me to the fans so I hope everyone checks it out if they haven’t done so already.

(BB) Out of all the songs in this album, which one is your favorite?

(G) Wow. Well, we originally had 25 songs for this album but we had to shorten the list so we chose the best 15 out of those 25. I really can’t choose one because they’re all my favorites because I chose the 15 that would go on this album (laughs).

(BB) How do you feel now that you’re paving your own way as an artist with your own career and aren’t necessarily in the shadow of Wisin & Yandel or Yandel anymore? Is it a big responsibility?

(G) Wow. It’s very different and it’s also a big responsibility because if I worked hard before, I have to work even harder now because it’s all me, but I don’t mind. I love doing this, I love giving my best to the fans so I’m really enjoying all of it, but yes, it is a lot of work.

(BB) What plans does Gadiel, the artist, have in store for 2017?

(G) Well, next year is just around the corner and we have lots in store. We plan on working this album a little more by launching another single for a total of three. The first single I chose, but for the subsequent singles, I decided that the fans would dictate which one it would be based on their feedback, and Has Cambiado with J Quiles has gotten great reviews and feedback so I think that’s the next one we’ll be launching. We hope to also make a music video for it so expect that soon.

After talking with Gadiel about his album, I continued to chat with him about his plans for this Christmas season. He mentioned he’ll be spending it in Puerto Rico with his family eating lots of traditional Puerto Rican food. Gadiel is definitely closing 2016 off as one of his best years yet with the successful launch of his debut album. Big things are in store for next year and if 2016 is any indication of what’s to come, there’s no doubt about it, he’s off to a great start.

Watch the full interview in Spanish here.