Singer and songwriter Rigú, a product of Venezuela, is making headlines all throughout the U.S. with his debut album, Entre Venas (Between Veins). "Contigo Quiero Estar," his first single, appeared in the Top 10 of Billboard's Latin pop category, making him the first new artists to reach a feat.

Rigú is also a producer; he wrote and produced the album by himself.

During a recent phone interview, Rigú talked about his passion for music, musical influences, songwriting, fashion, and hobbies, among other things.

Campus Circle: How did you find your passion for music?

Rigú: I've always felt that music was inside me from when I was very young. Instead of asking for toys I would ask for instruments – small drums, etc. When I was 6, I had my first television appearance for a festival ad I won first place. After that, year after year, I was reassured that this was my calling.

CC: What have been some of your musical influences throughout your career?

R: Ricardo Arjona, Alejandro Sanz, Franco De Vita – romantic singers. Also, groups who played urban and salsa music, but the romantic artists were the basis of my style today.

CC: How did the concept for your debut album, Entre Venas, originate?

R: The concept involved a ballad/pop/rock sound. I wanted to make it a blend –

something a bit different than what's on the market today.  That was always my goal to accomplish that kind of sound with my personal touch.

CC: What can you tell us about the lyrics for your song, “Contigo Quiero Estar”?

R: The song was written based on a past loved that ended, but was always in my mind to the need to see that person again although it would be somewhat painful to see that person with someone else. One day, it just so happened that I did see that person again, and she felt the same way I did. So that's where I got the inspiration for that song. I was still in love with this person and she was still in love with me.

CC: There's also an urban version of the song, in collaboration with Gocho. How did that come to life?

R: We met through our record company, and decided it would be a good idea. This song has subject matter that we felt could reach other parts, and we felt a tropical version would accomplish that. The tropical genre is very popular right now.  So Gocho liked the song, liked the lyrics, and we went to Puerto Rico for a week, and later went to the studio. The result was a popular song that's a big hit at the moment.

CC: The original version is in the Top 10 for Latin Pop on the Billboard charts. What does that mean to you?

R: First of all I want to thank God for allowing me to live through this moment. I'm a new artist who's already placed on this list full of great talent, with years of trajectory. So I feel very honored. I'm also thankful for my fans who've identified with my music. I get letters from people saying that they dedicated one of my songs to someone, and that it helped them get back together. But overall, being on that list serves as motivation to continue working hard and moving forward.

CC: What can you tell us about your song, “Ya No Quiero Estar Solo”?

R: It's one of my favorites. From start to finish, it represents who I am. At the time when I wrote it, I felt that the more you searched for that perfect love, the more alone you would be even when having many options of people to date or people to share with. And that's when I realized that it's up to the person to make love perfect. After that, I felt happy. I was looking for something that was impossible to find, so that realization gave my love life new meaning.

CC: Discuss your experience in the show “Venevision Estrellas de la Musica.”

R: It helped me find a center in terms of concentration and advancing –not being stuck there. After the show, I learned how to play guitar and began to compose. I began to prepare. I knew my journey was just starting, and in order to make it and survive in this industry, you must be prepared. So I focused on becoming a real artist, someone people could actually talk about and not just say, 'he's just a product.’ So in short, the show helped me stay focused on what I wanted, and the songs I began composing at that time now make up most of my repertoire.

CC: What does fashion mean to you?

R: I like feeling good and comfortable with whatever I'm wearing, but I also like for my clothes to reflect who I am. I like using colors, and I like that people get to enjoy my fashion sense.  

CC: What's in your agenda for the next few months?

R: Well, the national promotion for the album will continue – also some radio festivals in Texas, New York and Washington. But more than anything, I will be working on myself, working on making sure people know who I am. There are so many emerging singers and songwriters, and I want to stand out, and for people to know what I have to offer.

CC: What do you do with your spare time?

R: I don't really have any free time. I'm always doing something. I run in the mornings, then head over to guitar lessons. I know instruments by ear, but I'm in the process of getting a more technical education in guitar and piano. I would love to be able to incorporate that in my next album. I also spend time learning English. I'm always using my time. As soon as I finish something, I start something new.

CC: Do you have any advice for youngsters who might want to follow in your footsteps in this industry?

R: I've always been a fighter. I've also always been very consistent. So you not only need to have your goals clear, but you must also invest a lot of dedication and believe in God. That's how your goals go from dreams to reality. My advice would be to never let go of your dreams, but also to always be prepared. I was signed unexpectedly because they caught word of the album I had just finished and liked it. If I hadn't been prepared, perhaps not had a quality album, that would have never happened. So always be prepared for when your chance comes around. 

CC: Where you are in life at this very moment, would you describe it as a dream come true or as a result of a lot of hard work?

R: It's a dream in progress of coming true. I know I still have much to learn and accomplish, so I will continue working hard and continue to climb this incredibly long latter. Eventually, I want to be considered as an established artist – a singer-songwriter. I'm not even done promoting this album, but every night when I go to bed, I'm thinking about the next album I can bring to my fans. I'm living a dream, but I want to go further.