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How Philly native Luis Figueroa caught the eye of Marc Anthony

‘Everything I do is for Philly,’ he says

Philadelphia native Luis Figueroa released his new song and video, “Hasta El Sol de Hoy,” on April 7.

Figueroa is a singer-songwriter of Puerto Rican descent who studied music at Berklee College of Music and participated in shows such as “Star Search,” “Sábado Gigante” and “American Idol.” As a result of his version of “Flor Palida,” he caught the attention of singer Marc Anthony, and that led to an agreement with Magnus, the record label of the salsa star. In 2018, he accompanied Romeo Santos as a vocalist on his international tour.

In 2019, he released his first single for Sony Music Latin, “La Especialista,” which reached No. 27 on the Billboard Latin Pop Airplay chart, remaining for eight weeks. The pre-release single from his debut album, “Te Deseo,” reached number 24 on the Latin Pop Airplay chart, and spent 11 weeks on the billboard.

PW recently caught up with Figueroa to talk about his career and what’s ahead.

PW: Let’s go back to the beginning. When were you first attracted to music and performing? Who were some of your earliest influences? 

LF: Growing up in a Puerto Rican household in Philadelphia, music was everywhere. Marc Anthony was a household staple and big influence for me wanting to become an aspiring salsa artist as a kid. I used to perform at festivals and city events. Word got around, and I would be invited to open for touring salsa artists like La India, Johnny Rivera and Domingo Quiñones, just to name a few. 

PW: You’ve participated in numerous shows, such as “American Idol.” How did those experiences impact you and your career? 

LF: Humbling and a great reminder to keep believing in yourself. 

PW: Talk a little about “Hasta El Sol de Hoy.” How did the single and video come together? What are the best ways for people to listen to the song and see the video? 

LF: The concept came together during quarantine. As the rest of the world, I had a lot of time to reflect on the path and influences that brought me here. My uncle, Anthony Colon, was a big inspiration to me, and this song is a big part of me and to be able to cover his record is an honor. I recorded an acoustic version for the album and a salsa version as well.  They are both available on all music platforms and my YouTube channel! 

Luis Figueroa was in the midst of opening Marc Anthony’s Opus Tour when the pandemic shut it down. | Image: Sony Music Latin

PW: How has the pandemic affected your career? 

LF: I was in the midst of opening Marc Anthony’s Opus Tour and the tour was cancelled due to [the] pandemic. Not being able to continue the tour was rough but here we are! Blessed. 

PW: How did you spend your downtime? 

LF: Creating a makeshift studio in my apartment to make music. I was able to record a lot of music, including an EP, “1807,” that was released in February, as well as “Hasta El Sol de Hoy,” and the rest of the songs for my forthcoming album, “Canciones del Alma.”

PW: Has being a Philly native influenced your music? Are there any local artists who have either influenced your sound or you’d like to collaborate with in the future? 

LF: Absolutely, everything I do is for Philly! The Stylistics from Philadelphia and the R&B soul music from the city, as well as my Latin roots, have greatly influenced me. 

PW: What’s ahead for you? More studio work? Live shows? 

LF: Definitely more music. I am preparing the release of my first studio album with Sony Music Latin, “Canciones del Alma,” for the end of May. We also filmed 10 videos and created a really cool visual album for this project. I am hoping to be able to perform live again soon. Can’t wait to see everyone! 

PW: What are the best ways for your fans to stay current with what you’re doing? 

LF: You can stay in touch with me via social media! I love to hear from you all! All love. 

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  • Eugene Zenyatta was raised on old-time Memphis 'rasslin' and strongly prefers the company of dogs to people. His greatest heartbreak came in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.

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