Although born in New York, Víctor was raised primarily in Añasco and Isabela, Puerto Rico. Growing up in Puerto Rico had a great impact on his youth as he enjoyed salsa music (which was immensely popular in Puerto Rico at the time). His singing career began by chance, during a concert at his high school’s graduation party by salsa superstar Gilberto Santa Rosa. At the instigation of classmates, who were going on about their friend the sonero, Santa Rosa invited Víctor to jump up on stage and sing a song with him. To Santa Rosa’s surprise, not only could Victor sing, but he “free-styled” the improvisational soneo lyrics in the song, and traded soneos with Santa Rosa. Shortly thereafter, on Santa Rosa’s recommendation, Puerto Rican bandleader Don Periñon hired teenage Victor as a backup singer. During these years of apprenticeship he performed with numerous salsa greats.
Thanks again to Santa Rosa, Manuelle was eventually signed as a solo artist to Sony Tropical. His debut album, Justo A Tiempo (“Just in Time”), which Santa Rosa produced, was released in 1993.
Edited by rosaliemary on 30 May 2009, 16:58
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