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Hotseat - Raulin Rodriguez

792_HotseatRaulín Rodríguez, born on June 16, 1970, is one of the first major bachata artists to have national success and popularise this style of music in the Dominican Republic. Rodríguez, whose full name is Fraulin Antonio Rodriguez Justo, was born in San Fernando de Monte Cristi, Monte Cristi. He is related to the Zapata family of Monte Cristi in the northwest coast of the island. He toured with Antony Santos as a guitar player at age 15 and then went on to own his own band. He has many international hits, including "Nereida," "Medicina de Amor," "Soledad" and many more.

While traditional bachata songs were often risqué and suggestive, Rodríguez's idealised romantic lyrics helped the style achieve general social acceptability and to receive radio play. Rodríguez is known for crying during some performances and he also appears to be crying on photos used for his album covers. In his career, he has released 14 hit albums. In addition, he was very known and popular in the 90s and most of the 2000s and was in the same category as Antony Santos and Luis Vargas. He is one of 10 brothers (four from his mother's side and six from his father's side of the family). He is married and has four children.

Rodriguez will be performing at Sabor Latino II at St. Maarten Festival Village on Tuesday, April 29, alongside Alex Matos and Fernando Villalonas. Tickets cost $40 in advance and $50 at the gate, but Montage Media has several promotions running where patrons can get their tickets for either a significantly reduced rate or for free and can even get a chance to have free dinner with the three artistes slated to perform. He gives a deeper insight into himself in this week's Hot Seat.

How would you describe yourself?

I am a patriot, humanitarian and I like to serve people.

Tell me something interesting about your school days.

I was the singer of my classroom. My teachers and classmates were always asking me to sing, dance and do poems on memorable dates.

How did you end up in the music industry?

Music runs through my veins and in my blood. Folk music dance was one of my hobbies from my school days.

Your favourite music?

I like bachata, merengue, salsa and vallenato, but above all of these, I love romantic and classic music. I also enjoy sports, reading and television, documentaries and my farm, which has lemons planted for export.

Best performance so far in your career and why?

My best performance was for the Soberano Award last month. It was the best because I felt as if I was in another dimension.

How do you occupy yourself when you are not performing?

I spend time with my family and farming lemons.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I will be a more popular artiste on a higher level and with many grandsons.

Happiest moment?

When my children were born.

What artistes do you listen to most?

Fernando Villalona, Wilfrido Vargas, Johnny Ventura and Nino Bravo.

What can St. Maarten expect from you at the Sabor Latino II show?

People can expect a night full of music. I plan to make my fans dance all night and drink Roooomoooo.

Any surprises for the show?

Yes, but I can't tell you what is.

If you could invite three famous people (dead or alive) for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook for them?

I would invite the President Danilo Medina Sanchez, Abel Martinez and Y Fefita La Grande.