Arcángel Talks Leaving Pina Records and Releasing New Single ‘Te Esperaré’: ‘I Have One Hundred Percent Control’


Puerto Rican singer Arcángel (born Austin Agustin Santos) has gone through many transitions in his career. The most recent? He left Pina Records to take control of it.

On Friday, August 16, returned with his first official single "Te Esperaré," released under his own label, Flow Music. The song, produced by Oneil, shows a new side of the singer, as he's left behind explicit lyrics and added even more emotion.

“I recorded the song four years ago,” Arcangel says. “All this time it has been among my favorites for me to release. I just was being very selective with the material I gave my old label.”

Arcángel chatted with Billboard about his career transitions, future plans and why leaving Pina Records was the right move.

You’re back with “Te Esperaré” which is different for your style. Why did you decide to make such a change with your sound?

God's time is perfect, but sometimes it is also my business. I have a bad habit of recording and saving the songs for a long time. The original song was born in 2015. In order to make [this release] happen, we changed its speed — originally the song was very slow. It is a romantic song, as you could notice.

How does releasing music now feel different than when you were putting music out four years ago?

This question is simple, but very complex at the same time, because it has many aspects involved. I would tell you that I am very jealous with my music, meaning that I am selective with the material that I gave to my old label. [There's] nobody better than me to appreciate my own art, and to work my art as it deserves to be worked to take it to the next level. Thanks to the bad habit I have of storing the items, I was waiting for this moment in which I could have a hundred percent control of my career and I could give the time that my art deserves.

Why did you decide to part ways with Pina Records?

I literally returned to what Arcangel has been all the time. I joined Pina Records in 2013, and I feel comfortable returning to my own label [now]. I do not know if it was that I trusted a lot and decided to pass the ball, for me to have less pressure, but it didn't work out. I feel very comfortable having more control over my own destiny and my own art. All these platforms that exist today help in so many different ways so the artist can monetize his talent and his art, which is much easier today — the business is much broader, more extensive.

Before this song, you were collaborating with several newer acts. What do you think about the new generation?

I’ve supported many artists. This genre, reggaeton, urban music, as you want to call it, is one of the genres that has more life and that it will have because every year a new voice comes out that promises to continue extending the life of this music. That is why it is very important to continue supporting new talent because if they extend the life of our genre, we're still in the game. 

Do you have a favorite female urban singer right now?

Difficult question. I had the opportunity — and in fact, nobody knows this — I spent two weeks in an extensive musical camp with Farina. Farina's talent is out of this world. I never saw her take a notebook, I never saw her take a pencil, a pen. I have seven songs with Farina. We have an EP together. I have never done a collaboration album with any other artist and it came out of me to make a record with this woman.

Now that you've released "Te Esperaré," are you planning to release a full album?

I have changed my name so much for my next album that I don't know how to call it anymore. But, so far, I’m going to release another single, and maybe a month or a month and a half later the album. I would like to at least heat up the engines, as we say, with two or three singles, and then include them in what would be my album, which would be my fifth studio album.