Del Choli Pa’ Brooklyn: RaiNao Reflects on Music Journey After Performing With Bad Bunny

Photo by Kristian Luis.

These last few months, RaiNao has caused a “Who is that?” phenomenon. Everyone wants to know who RaiNao is and what she’s about since she killed her performance at Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti concert in Puerto Rico back in Aug. The No. 1 Artist in the World brought out his fellow boricua singer on stage and performed her song “LUV” with her. The crowd roared with disbelief and excitement when they saw both artists performing together. Puerto Ricans who had been listening to her music prior to that night felt that her performance with the hottest artist in the game was a big win. 

Not everyone gets to perform in Puerto Rico’s Choliseo let alone alongside Bad Bunny. After that night, she thanked Bad Bunny for the invitation, singing with her, and being an agent of change in the music industry. RaiNao, real name Naomi Ramírez, understood the impact of her performance when her following and streams increased rapidly. Her song “LUV” currently has over 1.1 million streams on Spotify with listeners worldwide. Her performance that night created thousands of fans across the world. Days after that legendary concert, Bad Bunny posted her latest single, “Limbo,” on his Instagram story. Clearly, Bad Bunny is a fan, as we all should be! RaiNao is all about making statements, and that is what she did that night. People got to see her that night. The woman who is dominating that sexy, alt-reggaeton scene. 

Similar to Bad Bunny, RaiNao captures the attention of a diverse group of people. One thing is certain, once you listen to RaiNao, it’s hard to not become a fan. Ahead of her performance at the Monarch in Brooklyn on Sep. 22, we caught up with RaiNao to talk about her musical journey after the performance with Bad Bunny, her music’s impact, and what’s to come.

“Limbo” is your latest single since your performance at the Bad Bunny concert. Have you noticed any changes in the streams of that single compared to the others?

When I performed that night, I gained many new followers and listeners. My notifications were off the hook! When Bad Bunny shared my single on his Instagram story? Forget it! The streams increased. While “LUV” is still popular, “Limbo”’s streams came at a faster pace in comparison to the other songs I’ve released.  When I saw my song on Bad Bunny’s story, it was definitely a big  moment for me. But what I need people to understand is that that’s what the music industry is supposed to be — artists supporting artists. That is one thing I have appreciated about the people I have met on my journey. Sometimes it takes other artists to share and be a part of the process for our streams and our messages as musicians to get across.

You have always been vocal about reggaeton as a tool of sexual freedom for women. What does it mean to be a woman in this music genre? Not simply being a woman, but being a sexually liberated woman on an island that still has difficulty accepting that there are women who like sexual pleasure.

To be a woman is to change the world and to challenge machismo. Women in reggaeton are not validated the same way as men are. It is easier for men to talk about pleasure and sex, and no one bats an eye. But when I do it or another woman does it, we are viewed differently. I grew up listening to La Sista and Ivy Queen, two badass women that changed the genre themselves. Because of them, I can be the artist I am today. A lot of people don’t realize that it’s a powerful thing to be a woman. We are killing the game in reggaeton right now. You have Villano Antillano trailblazing a whole new journey for other artists to come. I hope that the future of reggaeton contains double the female representation. 

I needed a RaiNao when I was growing up. I would not have felt so alone while discovering my own femininity. Now, tell me: What’s next for you?

A lot of concerts, but most importantly, concerts outside of Puerto Rico. There are so many Puerto Ricans living stateside who many times consume and support reggaeton more than those who might live on the island. The diaspora is a piece of Puerto Rico and I need to get to them.