Despite his young age – he’s only 28 – Ruben Cuesta Palomo, aka CandyMan, has become a pioneer. Born in Santiago de Cuba, “the balcony of the Caribbean”, he was exposed to the sounds of Jamaican radio at an early age, and therefore was among the first to use dancehall and ragga in his music, creating the original Cubaton, the Cuban version of the Regueton, in the early 2000’s.
Now considered as one of the leaders of the scene, he is internationally renowned through his numerous hits: “La Cosita”, “Ponte La Moda” or “Bayu Baye”. Thanks to his long-time collaboration with Sweden-based Cubaton label Topaz records, his music has conquered Europe and North-America due to his many appearances on compilations distributed all over the world.
A kung-fu fan and accomplished athlete, Ruben considers hip hop and Regueton as “a war”, and sees himself as “a warrior”. But he also describes his music as being “fundamentally sweet” and cheerful. As he says:
“Latin women love to shake their hips, so I like to give them something to dance for”.
But, even if he wishes to maintain the most joyful aspects of his music, Ruben doesn’t intend to forget the social realities that have always been a part of his life. Coming from a humble neighborhood, he remains deeply connected to his roots and still considers himself part of the “marginal world, its arts, its particularities, its culture that gave birth to Rumba and Trova”.
Ruben has built a real support team that includes KIKI PRO of Manicomio Records, in charge of production and musical arrangements, as well as DJ Frank and backup vocalist and composer Yoanis Star for live presentations. He considers the stage his main field of expression and his performances are now widely praised.