Tell us a bit about CARAMELO.
My real name is Rafael Ramos. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY to parents of Puerto Rican descent. My stage name is “Caramelo”. I retained the name Caramelo from my days transmitting over CB radio. “Caramelo” was my CB handle. I used to say, “Breaker, breaker! You’ve got me, Caramelo..how sweet it is!” I also used to sing over the CB radio waves.
What gave you the idea for your business and how did it start?
My love for music led me to keep the stage name “Caramelo”. I fell in love with a music genre called Latin Freestyle. With such great artists such as TKA, Coro and Judy Torres leading the way, I knew that this was my musical calling. I started singing latin freestyle in the late 90s and appeared on several latin freestyle compilations.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I would have to say that my favorite thing about being a singer/songwriter/performer is giving the fans a great show that they will remember. The fans are what keep an artist going. So, if you are an artist and you don’t have a fanbase, then it becomes an uphill battle.
What are your keys to making yourself productive?
Always stay on top of today’s musical trends. As time changes, so does the music trends. I try to stay current with todays music and incoporate it into my own music, all while staying true to myself and fans.
Tell us one long-term goal in your career.
A long-term goal that I want to accomplish is performing in a large venue in front of a crowd of thousands. Just to hear the roar of the crowd would be so fulfilling.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
The most valuable lesson that I have learned is to stay humble. Always remember where you came from and the struggles that you went through to get there.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
For those up and coming artists, I would have to say to prepare yourselves for rejection. There will be people who try to put you down and say that you can’t sing and so forth. But, keep your head up and always try to improve yourself. Remember that every day is a learning lesson. No one is perfect.
What are your favorite things to do outside of work+
Outside of singing and performing, I am a proud husband and father. I also work with patients at a NYC Hospital and help them in resolving their medical bill issues.
Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.
A great website or business that I find very useful is www.CDBaby.com where they give great advice for the independent artists. From home studio solutions to marketing your music, they have it all. They also feature new, great independent music of all genres. The other website is mine’s- www.caramelofreestyle.com, where fans can learn more about me and my music. My videos are there as well.
Official site: www.caramelofreestyle.com
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