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"Puerto Rico Se Levanta"

This is the CD cover for my new single, "Puerto Rico Se Levanta" (Puerto Rico will rise again). As promised, I will tell you a little about the photo and why I chose it as the cover...

With the passing of Hurricane María over Puerto Rico came many photos across social media of the devastation that Maria left in her path on the island. Like many on the 'outside' I was in a state of shock looking at photos of total devastation, but it was not until I saw a small series of photos that I was deeply affected. These were pictures of places I knew well in my town where damages would change the landscape forever ... it will never be the same. This photo on the cover of my new single was one of them.

This photo was taken high in the mountains of Utuado, our hometown, just days after the hurricane. Utuado was one of the most affected areas. Looking at this photo I noticed something very special and different from the others. The photos I had seen of devastation also brought anguish, pain, and hopelessness. It was precisely that (hope), which struck me as different in this photo, the Flamboyán still standing, leafless, humiliated, and practically left for dead, but still at attention in position just as a good soldier would watching over his town ... with hope of rising again. This is how I see my Puerto Rico. That's how I see my people. Although we were knocked down, we're going to get up.

This image was not captured by a journalist or professional camera. It was captured by my aunt (Wilma Rodríguez de Orama) with her cell phone in front of her house in her front yard. She took advantage of a moment where she managed to connect with her cell phone to let me know she was okay, then she sent me the photo because she knows what it means to me. The day that the photo came in I was already in the studio recording "Puerto Rico Se Levanta." As I showed the photo to my colleagues we all knew, that was the photo that represented our song and HAD to go on the cover.

That Flamboyán you see in the photo is the same one my children came to admire, climb, and take ‘selfies’ in. They even slid down that hill it overlooks on homemade slides (yagua). Imagine the pride I felt when I saw that the Flamboyán, although completely whooped, was still standing. Someday soon it will again flourish. The Flamboyán will return like good soldier with a new uniform and with medals on his proud chest representing the scars of what it survived. It will return more great than ever. Our people will do the same ... Puerto Rico Se Levanta! Puerto Rico will rise again!

Note: Soon, I will give you information about the launch, where 100% of the profits will be sent, and and our humble campaign to raise funds. Thank you and God bless us all.

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