Get to know Residente, performing LIVE Aug. 25th at the Wynwood Marketplace
You may know him as the frontman and founder of the Grammy award-winning alternative rap group, Calle 13, but René Pérez Joglar, who goes by the stage name Residente, is a star in his own right. With more Latin Grammy’s than any other Latin artist under his belt (25)! it’s safe to say he’s mastered his craft. But why are we writing this, you ask? Well, the musical mastermind is heading to Wynwood on August 25th on the North American leg of his self-titled tour, and we’re taking you with us on the journey.
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 23rd, 1978, the 40-year-old singer, rapper, writer, filmmaker, and producer, began his musical career in a rather unlikely manner — he got a degree in Fine Arts from one of the most prestigious art and design colleges in the United States.
After graduating from high school in Puerto Rico, he studied Fine Arts at Escuela de Artes Plásticas. Upon completing his Bachelor’s degree, he won a prestigious scholarship to the renown Savannah College of Arts & Design (SCAD) for post-graduate work. According to allmusic.com, to relieve the pressure of school, he began writing poems and rap songs, choosing his stage name, “Residente Calle 13,” during those years. Why the name? According to ThoughtCo.com, Joglar and Eduardo Cabra, who are stepbrothers and co-founders of Calle 13, go way back. Joglar’s mother, actress Flor Joglar de Gracia, married Cabra’s father, a lawyer and ex-musician. The couple eventually divorced, however, the stepbrothers remained close. When they were young, Joglar lived in a gated community on Calle 13, so, when Cabra would come to visit, the guard at the gate would ask, “Residente o Visitante?” Thus, Joglar took the name Residente (resident) and Cabra became Visitante (visitor).
(You can think us for this trivia night winning-info later).
After receiving his Master’s degree from SCAD, and studying fine art for a total of 8 years, Joglar moved to Barcelona, where he studied and made films before returning to Puerto Rico. He earned his living for a time doing illustrations, however, he grew restless. With reggaeton exploding in Puerto Rico, he eventually found his way into the music business by editing and directing videos. He soon launched an independent career as a lyricist, performer, and director of many his own music videos.
Now, he is most recognized for his commitment to social justice, championing educational and native rights across Latin America. In November 2015, Residente received the Nobel Peace Summit Award for his commitment to social awareness and promoting peace. He has also served as the spokesperson for several UNICEF and Amnesty International campaigns. However, his commitment to social justice and activism hasn’t gone without criticism and controversy. Despite his success, in 2009, his work was notably censored for three years after he called the governor of Puerto Rico a derogatory word for laying off more than 30,000 public employees.
Now, the Grammy award-winning artist is on his self-titled tour for his new album, “Residente,” which he wrote and produced himself. According to an interview with Rolling Stone, although people still recognize Joglar as “Calle 13,” he hopes “Residente” sticks. He said in the interview, “People still know me by Calle 13, and you know, they stop me on the street. It’s nice, but I just want to start using Residente all the time. I decided to put everything under the name of Residente. The documentary: Residente. The album: Residente. I’m writing a book about the travels and the pictures and all of the creative process, and it’s going to be Residente also.”
And we have a feeling Residente will get exactly what he hopes for.