We live in a world where we are constantly discouraged from pursuing our dreams – we are taught that it is better to let them go in order to pursue more practical ambitions. Sometimes these voices come from our parents; sometimes they come from other parents, friends, and even teachers and mentors. Eventually they start coming from us. It wasn’t until Puerto Rican singer and songwriter Paopao, born Paola Nicole Marrero Rodríguez, finally stopped listening to those voices – putting aside her fears and excuses – that she was able to fulfill her dream of being an entertainer. musical.
In less than two years, the reggaeton star has released three EPs: the 100% feminine “Hembrismo”; “Relaciones Tóxicas”, in collaboration with iZaak; and his first solo EP, “Diamantes y Espinas”. Not only did Bad Bunny call her one of his favorite up-and-coming musical artists, but she was recently selected to perform on the closing night of his tour in Mexico City. Tidal, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music also picked her as one of their artists to watch in 2023, and on Friday, January 20, she released the deluxe version of “Diamantes y Espinas.” There’s no way to stop it now!
Paopao knew from an early age that she wanted to be a musical artist. But for years, she says, she allowed the opinions of others to discourage her from embracing her calling. The 26-year-old grew up between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and initially chose to pursue a career behind the scenes. Paopao studied media writing and production at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and earned a master’s degree in music business. She did a few internships at music studios while pursuing songwriting on the side, which eventually led to her first job as an A&R for RichMusic.
“I feel like people put artists in music on these pedestals – like it’s impossible to do that, but it’s really a job like anything else. engage. It’s not easy, but we can do it.”
“My mom was really supportive throughout my career, but a lot of my family and friends who were around were like, ‘No, that’s not a possibility’,” he said. she told POPSUGAR “I feel like people put music artists on these pedestals – like it’s impossible to do that, but it’s really a job like anything. other. You have to commit. It’s not easy, but we can do it.”
After two years of working in the industry and developing other talents, Paopao began to feel lost. After her mother passed away in 2021, she realized it was time for a change. “I remember when I was working in the company, she was like, ‘Why are you doing this? You’re not happy. Why can’t you be an artist?'” Paopao recalls. “I used to say to him, ‘Look, it’s not that easy, I have to go through this stage to get there.’ I would always give her an excuse why I wasn’t where I wanted to be… And she’d be like, ‘No, you don’t think you’re an artist.'”
Paopao says his mother started teaching him the power of manifestation at a young age, and it’s easy to see why it’s become so appealing to people in recent years: we’re finally starting to understand that we’re only capable of than what we believe. “She wasn’t wrong, and she taught me a lot about manifesting and the spirituality of things,” Paopao says. “When she died, it’s crazy, but I heard her voice say, ‘If you’re not going to do it, I’m going to do it for you.’ And everything started to change.”
It was then that Paopao finally began to make the transition from A&R to music artist. In October 2021, Rich Music signed her as its first musical artist after finally sharing with the founders her true dreams. In March 2022, she released the EP “Hembrismo”, an all-female collaborative project she led with La Gabi, Villano Antillano, Aria Vega and Cami Da Baby. Paopao was in charge of finding the artists and bringing them together to write and record, and she had the final say on which songs were approved. It was the first EP she released – and the whole experience was a whirlwind
“I had La Gabi and Villano in mind and Cami and Aria were recommendations from friends and they all said yes, one way or another,” Paopao said. “We didn’t know each other. We all went to Colombia together [to record]. It was crazy, but it was one of those things where we all had to meet and we had to do it. We did the songs in about a week, and a week later we did the music video. It was a lot.”
A month later, Paopao released their second EP, “Relaciones Tóxicas”, with iZaak, led by producer Dímelo Flow. It all started to buzz. In August 2022, Bad Bunny shared on Instagram that he rehearsed Paopao’s single “Algo Así”, a song she collaborated on with Mora. The shout resulted in more recognition and exposure; then, last fall, she released another single with Mora called “Cositas”, along with some remixes. And that brings us to today: the deluxe version of his EP “diamentes + y espinas” has just been released with two new singles, titled “n la disco” and “gatax”.
Paopao’s career taking off so quickly is no coincidence, she says. It all happened once she believed in herself and started doing the work. When she decided to become a music artist, not only did she start rocking the industry, but she also started doing manifestation exercises – from constant journaling to visualization meditations. In other words, she finally started to believe that all her dreams were already heading her way.
“Yes, this industry is a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of mental work. I feel like it’s more mental than anything else.”
“Yeah, this industry is a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of mental work. I feel like it’s more mental than anything else,” she says. “You don’t have to suffer and put 50 hours into it. Sometimes they don’t believe they’re going to make it, so it just doesn’t happen… The more it happens the more you start to see it happen, the more addicted you become.”
It is during these career heights and moments of success that Paopao finds himself thanking his mother for all the words of wisdom she bestowed upon him. “I wouldn’t make music if it wasn’t for her because I wasn’t supported… Every time I journal or even after Bad Bunny shared my songs, I get really strong microseconds of what I call just being present,” says Paopao.
For her, it takes the form of a form of gratitude: “No one knows, but I always thank her. I have random moments when I’m on stage and I’m just like, ‘Thank you, mom. is dope. We did it. And that will continue to be a thing throughout my career.”
Image source: Luis de la Luz