Noriel Discusses Latin Trap and His 'Indescribable' Rise to Fame (Exclusive)

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Noriel
Sony Music

Noriel is making his mark in Latin trap.

After joining Maluma on his hit track, "Cuatro Babys," in 2016, the 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Puerto Rico has been slaying the game. In addition to Maluma, he's collaborated with successful artists such as Bad Bunny, Farruko, Prince Royce, Leslie Grace and Manuel Turizo.

Noriel has already been referred to as one of the most influential artists of the genre and was also the lead artist on the Latin trap compilation album Trap Capos: Season 1, which became the first "Latin trap" LP to reach  No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Rhythm Albums chart.

ET exclusively spoke with Noriel earlier this month about his rise to fame. Here are seven things to know about the artist: 

1. He's proud of his roots.

The rapper, whose real name is Luis Emmanuel Oses Noel Santos, was born in Hato Rey, San Juan. He began rapping when he was just 14 years old, and always had high hopes of becoming a worldwide star.

"I would describe Puerto Rico as the most beautiful tropical paradise, with amazing food and people," Noriel tells ET.

"[When I first started,] I had no knowledge of how to make it in the industry," he adds. "I worked very hard for people to hear my music, to give me a chance and they did."

2.  He's introduced trap music around the world.

Noriel, one of the first artists to take trap into Latin American markets, including Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador and Peru, proved that trap has no borders. He describes his sound as a combination of reggaeton and trap.

"Reggaetón is meant to be danced, it’s a slower tempo," he explains. "Trap is not danced, [it] is a deeper sound [and evokes] that feeling of 'just chilling.' I think I am in between."

3. He's got nothing but love for the Turizo brothers.

Earlier this year, Noriel collaborated with Manuel Turizo and Julián Turizo on "No Te Hagas la Loca," which has over 13 million views on YouTube.

"I loved working with them," Noriel says. "Colombians are very talented and disciplined. The Turizo brothers are bringing this new fresh sound, and I wanted to be a part of that."

4. He thinks the world of Bad Bunny and Ozuna.

Bad Bunny, who recently released a joint album with J Balvin titled Oasis, rose to fame in 2017 and 2018 after two solid years of collaborations with some of the biggest Latinx artists, including Becky G, Cardi B, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Karol G and a dozen more. "He does what he feels in his heart," Noriel says of the "Callaíta" singer.

Another Puerto Rican artist who is having a big year is Ozuna. The 27-year-singer made TIME magazine's 2019 list of the 100 Most Influential People. "Ozuna is another artist I look up too," Noriel explains. "He's done a remarkable job bringing diversity to the music in Puerto Rico."

"Those are my brothers," he adds of Bad Bunny and Ozuna. "They have opened a whole new world of opportunities for all of us."

5. He's eternally grateful to his loyal fans.

Without his fans, Noriel says he never could have made it this far in the biz. "I was recently at the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile, and the feeling that I got was overwhelming and indescribable," he recalls. "It's beautiful to see the unconditional support from fans. I have no words to express how grateful I am for that. It pushes me to come back and deliver more music!"

6. Family is his driving force.

Noriel says that growing up, his family went through some very difficult times. He was one of four brothers, and one of his younger brothers died when Noriel was 22 years old. His dad struggled with alcohol abuse, and his mother was frequently sick. Once Noriel made it in music, he used the money to achieve his goal of buying his family a stable home where they could all live together comfortably.

"I work harder every day for them. I promise everything that I've done has had a purpose and that was to unite my family and provide a better future for them."

"They are the motor in my life," Noriel tells ET, while also praising God for his blessings.

7. He's all about breaking down barriers.

"I have learned that opportunities don't show up at your door, you have to look for them. I am proud to say that I didn’t settle, I had a big dream and I did not give up," he says. "Looking back, I see that I made my dream a reality, and if I was able to, anybody can do it. I have learned to never quit!"

Reporting by Elisa Osegueda.

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