Just play Elvis Crespo's multi-platinum merengue album Suavemente ("Slowly") on your stereo and in a matter of seconds your entire body will be dancing. The 27-year-old Puerto Rican sensation has taken his music to the Billboard Pop Charts, the David Letterman Show, the soap opera "All My Children" and to English-language radio stations. This success, of course, came after conquering the Latin market, where his album and single of the same name not only topped the charts but also received Billboard Latin Music Awards for Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Group or Duet of the Year, and Song of the Year. He also received four Premios Lo Nuestro for Album of the Year/Male, Album of the Year, New Artist, Hot Latin Track of the Year, and Latin Dance Mix Single of the Year. "Suavemente" was also nominated for a 1999 Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Performance.
A self-taught musician, Elvis's approach to songwriting is direct and from the heart. He travels with a small tape recorder, and when inspiration strikes, he immediately turns it on. At age 15, he was singing in neighborhood groups, and later, as a backup singer with different tropical bands in Puerto Rico. In his early 20s, Elvis landed a spot as lead singer in acclaimed merengue band Grupo Mania. At the age of 26, he went solo and is considered the king of "bomba" style merengue.
"Right now," he notes, "I am working hard promoting my new album, Pintame, internationally, in order to visit those arenas with my orchestra. I'll be doing personal presentations, in-stores. . . . I still have a lot to accomplish."