El Alfa

Emmanuel Herrera Batista (born December 18, 1990), known professionally as El Alfa El Jefe, is a Dominican Dembow recording artist and composer.[1][2] Batista was born in Bajos de Haina, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. He is known for his high-pitched, sensual voice and initial afro hairstyle which led him to popularity in the early 2010s through songs like "Tarzan", "Coche Bomba" and "Muevete Jevi". He went on to form good relationships with many artists from Puerto Rico, such as Nicky Jam, Farruko, and Myke Towers amongst others. This resulted in one of the biggest collaborations in Dembow history led by El Alfa, when he released "Suave (Remix)" in December 2018 alongside Chencho Corleone, Bryant Myers, Miky Woodz, Jon Z and Noriel. El Alfa's reach continued to grow in the coming years, where he collaborated with international stars like Cardi B, J Balvin, Pitbull, Tyga and Black Eyed Peas. "Singapur" on to surpass the 200 million mark in February 2021.[3]

El Alfa El Jefe
El Alfa El Jefe.png
Background information
Birth nameEmmanuel Herrera Batista
Born (1990-12-18) December 18, 1990 (age 30)
Bajos de Haina, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Genres
Occupation(s)Recording artist
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2008–present
Associated acts

Boasting more than 18,000,000 monthly listeners to his music on Spotify and ranked #164 in the world,[4] El Alfa is considered the leader of the Dominican Dembow genre.

CareerEdit

2008-2013: Career Beginnings and Dembow ExitosEdit

Batista became independent from his family at the age of 17 after a childhood where he dreamed of becoming a barber.[5]

Instead, once he became independent, his musical career started in 2008, when he went on to form a duo with Eddy Wilson, another Dominican Dembow artist looking to make his name on the scene. In their short stint together, they released street-style dembow songs such as "El Fogon"[6] and "Conmigo No".[7] The duo broke up in 2009 as they opted to continue their careers as solo artists.

Batista's first release as a solo artist was "Coche Bomba"[8] in 2009, a song which made waves in the Dominican Urban scene at the time, cementing himself as an upcoming artist in the Dominican Republic known as El Alfa El Jefe. He followed the success of that with "Coco Mordan" in 2010, another song that showed the capabilities of his high-pitched voice with a hard-hitting beat. In 2011, he found relative success with two songs released in the final couple of months of the year, "No Wiri Wiri" and "Agarrate Que Te Solté". But the first time El Alfa truly entered the regional scene as an up-and-coming superstar was in 2012, when he released "Cacao", "Con To' Lo' Cascabeles" and "Muevete Jevi". The latter would continue to be one of his most popular songs, as it amassed more than 3 million streams on Spotify in recent years. He then managed to group those songs onto Dembow Exitos in 2013, a 10-song album which was an example of what the El Alfa character represented: hard-hitting, fast beats coupled with his rare, high-pitched voice that was backed by the productions of Nico Clinico, Bubloy, El Kable and fellow Dominican artist Chimbala.

El Alfa's popularity continued to rise when he released "Fuin Fuan" in April 2013, continuing his style of high-paced dembow with a touch of DJ Patio's productions. He managed to secure important collaborations in that year too, performing "Humo Excúsame (Remix)" with Musicologo The Libro and "Tú Me Gusta Pila" with Puerto Rican artist Farruko. The latter collaboration would be an important one for years to come in the career of El Alfa El Jefe.

2014-2016: Regional Growth, National Controversy and Dembow Exitos 2.0Edit

The success of his music in the early 2010s launched him into regional stardom, as he began to record with the likes of Jowell & Randy, Nicky Jam, Tempo and Arcángel from Puerto Rico's Reggaeton industry. His success on the local scene however was threatened by a number of rivals, most notably El Mayor Clasico, who he was embroiled in a fierce rivalry with. After both succeeded in controlling a large portion of the street dembow genre in 2014 and began to compete at parties and clubs, they battled against each other with diss tracks. In a twist to his usual humorous side, El Alfa sent out a strong message to the dembow community that he is here to stay when El Mayor was on the receiving end of "No Te Panike", a dembow style diss track that was aggressive yet catchy. El Mayor would reply with his own diss track "Ratrero" a week later, heating up the rivalry between them as the genre began to grow externally.

El Alfa, who had no intention of stopping at the point, went on to release his biggest track to date, "Tarzan". The song, which describes his sexual relations with a woman who 'screams like Tarzan', saw him quickly rise in popularity and catch the eye of some of Puerto Rico's biggest artists, namely Nicky Jam. Tarzan formed part of Dembow Exitos 2.0, El Alfa's second album which mainly followed the same format as the first. Once again, the likes of Bubloy produced on the album alongside DJ Plano, but it was the exploits of Nico Clinico that really helped El Alfa shine and rise through the ranks.[9]

In 2015, after receiving criticism for insulting the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic in a music video, El Alfa was sentenced to 15 days of community service. The President of El Instituto Duartino, Cesar Romero called for the boycott and destruction of El Alfa's albums for having disrespected the founding fathers. Part of El Alfa's sentencing was to clean the Plaza de la Bandera and to sing the national anthem for two hours for fifteen consecutive days. Additionally, El Alfa was ordered to hand out educational pamphlets about the founding fathers at traffic lights in Santo Domingo.[10] He considered the situation a misunderstanding.[11] This didn't stop El Alfa from succeeding on the musical scene however, as collaborations with a number of Dominican artists - Don Miguelo, Shelow Shaq, Quimico Ultra Mega, El Mega, Nfasis, and El Super Nuevo - in the same year allowed him to continue pushing towards the highest ranks of the genre. The biggest success of that year would be "Pal de Velitas" with Mark B, a song produced by Chael Produciendo that surpassed 20 million views on Youtube.[12] This up-and-coming producer would continue to form a part of El Alfa's team for the coming years.

Chael produced two songs for El Alfa in 2016, "No Hay Forma" and "Segueta (Remix)" ft. Nicky Jam. Alongside him, El Alfa began to excel in a sub-genre of Dembow called "TrapBow", which is a mix between American trap and Dembow.[13] It first emerged in "Banda De Camion", one of El Alfa's most successful solo songs to date. El Alfa's first verse was made up of 24 bars, a level he wasn't accustomed to hitting. This song caught the eyes of fans across Latin America and would go on to open the doors for more potential collaborations between the Puerto Rican and Dominican urban music industries. He went on to record "Nadie Como Tú" with Nicky Jam and "Una Papi Que La Mima" with Tempo and Farruko before the end of the year. The duo of El Alfa and Chael had started to create a new level of success for urban Dominican artists, as El Alfa toured Europe[14] for the first time in 2016 after a promising 2015 in the United States.[15]

2017-2018: DisciplinaEdit

In 2018, he celebrated his 10-year career with a concert at Palacio de los Deportes Virgilio Travieso Soto, being the first Latin urban artist to headline that venue.[16] He has released collaborations with Anuel AA,[17] Bad Bunny and Nicky Jam.[18]

In November 2018, he released the single "Mi Mami" featuring Cardi B.[19]

ArtistryEdit

El Alfa is known for his great dembows hits.[20]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

Year Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
Latin

[21]
US
Latin Rhythm

[22]
2017 Disciplina 45 11
2018 El Hombre
  • Released: November 2, 2018
  • Label: El Jefe
  • Formats: CD, digital download, streaming
7 6
2020 El Androide
  • Released: May 15, 2020
  • Label: El Jefe
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
9 6

SinglesEdit

ChartsEdit

List of El Alfa's charted tracks as a lead artist and as a featured artist:

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
ARG
[24]
BEL
[25]
NL
[26]
SPA
[27]
US
Latin
[22]
US
Latin Digital
[28]
US
Dance

[29]
2018 "Mi Mami" (featuring Cardi B)
42 9 El Hombre
"La Romana" (Bad Bunny featuring El Alfa) 80 13 5 X 100pre
2019 "Que Calor" (Major Lazer featuring J Balvin and El Alfa)
70 [A] 91 18 13 1 6 Music Is the Weapon
"Imaginate" (Tito el Bambino, Pitbull and El Alfa) 24
"Coronao Now" (featuring Lil Pump) 82[30] 31 19 El Androide
2020 "4K" (with Darell and Noriel) 13 66
[31]
"Mera Woo" 18
"Pam" (Justin Quiles featuring Daddy Yankee and El Alfa) 26 1
[32]
33
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

NotesEdit

  • A ^ "Que Calor" did not chart on the Ultratop chart, but peaked at number 11 on the Flemish Ultratip chart.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jiménez, Karina (2018-08-24). "El Alfa: "Soy una persona que me gusta el riesgo del éxito"". El Caribe (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  2. ^ "Biografía de El Alfa El Jefe". www.buenamusica.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  3. ^ "El Alfa "El Jefe" - Singapur (El Androide) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  4. ^ "El Alfa". Spotify. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  5. ^ Montoya, Leydy (2020-07-17). "El Alfa". Historia y Biografía (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  6. ^ "Alfa y Eddy W - el fogon - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  7. ^ "El Alfa y Eddy Wilson - Con Migo no (Puello Ent) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  8. ^ "El Alfa Coche Bomba Video Official (mp3alfa.com) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  9. ^ "Te presentamos a Alfa: El jefe de movimiento urbano dominicano". Heabbi.com (in Spanish). 2018-02-07. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  10. ^ Ramírez, Dixa. Colonial Phantoms : Belonging and Refusal in the Dominican Americas, From the 19th Century to the Present. NYU Press, 2018. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1612028&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
  11. ^ "Dominican Musician 'El Alfa' Punished for YouTube Video". PanAm Post. 2015-05-07. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  12. ^ "Mark B ft El Alfa El Jefe - Pal de Velitas (Video Oficial) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  13. ^ "Líderes, éxitos y el futuro del trapbow dominicano". Heabbi.com (in Spanish). 2018-08-15. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  14. ^ "Exitoso primer fin de semana de "El Alfa" en su mas reciente gira por Europa!!! - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  15. ^ Nacimientodiciembre 18, Información personalNombre CompletoEmanuel Herrera Batista; Alfa, 1990Edad30 añosOcupación Rapero y compositor Apodo/PseudónimoEl; Dembow, El Alfa El Jefe NacionalidadDominicanoGéneros; Urbano; reggaeton; trap (2020-07-17). "El Alfa". Historia y biografía de (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  16. ^ "El Alfa triunfa al cumplir su sueño de llenar el Palacio de los Deportes". Diario Libre. September 3, 2018. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  17. ^ "Con Silenciador, de El Alfa El Jefe y Anuel AA: letra y vídeo". El Mundo (in Spanish). October 9, 2018. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  18. ^ "El Alfa nos cuenta sobre su reciente colaboración con Nicky Jam". Telemundo 47 (in Spanish). Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  19. ^ a b c d Herrera, Isabelia (2018-11-02). "Cardi B Responds to Backlash on El Alfa Collab, Says Not Making a Dembow Song Was Strategic". Remezcla. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  20. ^ a b c Infante, Victor D. (2018-08-09). "El Alfa to perform at Palladium". Telegram. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  21. ^ "El Alfa". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  22. ^ a b "El Alfa Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  23. ^ "Moviéndolo (Remix) – Single by Pitbull". Mr. 305 Inc. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  24. ^ "El Alfa Chart History (Argentina Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  25. ^ "Major Lazer – Belgium (Flanders) Charts". ultratop.be/nl/ Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "Major Lazer – Dutch Charts". dutchcharts.nl/ Hung Medien.
  27. ^ "spanishcharts.com - Spanish charts portal". spanishcharts.com. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  28. ^ "El Alfa Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  29. ^ "Major Lazer Chart History: Dance/Electronic Songs". Billboard. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  30. ^ "El portal de Música". www.elportaldemusica.es. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  31. ^ "Top 100 Canciones: Semana 16". Productores de Música de España. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  32. ^ "Top 100 Canciones: Semana 22". Productores de Música de España. Retrieved June 2, 2020.