Luis Vargas – Bachata Singer

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Luis Vargas

Luis Vargas


Known for his double-entendres within the lyrics of his songs usually sexually charged, and macho driven content, Luis vargas is one of the most known artists in the genre of bachata in the Dominican Republic.

When he first started, Anthony Santos (now known as the top bachatero of the country) was part of his band, and together were among the first artists in the Bachata genre to use the electric guitar, something that changed the sound of bachata in the late 80’s. Started by Blas Duran in 1987, (who is credited by introducing multi-track recordings and electric guitar use in the music) the style that was developed and from then on followed by artists in the Northern Dominican frontier, gave new life to the bachata music that was at the point considered the poor mans music due to its simplicity.

In 1990 Anthony Santos left the band of Luis Vargas to go on to make his own.

The two developed a feud that was on and off, and spoken about both on stage by the artists, and later on the internet by the fans. Luis Vargas used this as a way to call attention to his music not unlike some of todays artists in the rap genre do, even making songs to make fun of his rival such as “El envidioso”, a song that became a major hit for Vargas. Antony Santos, would only take little jabs in his songs at Vargas, but in general was not known for fueling the problems between them.

In the documentary “Dominican Blues” (a film about the starts of Bachata), Luis is shown in a festival where he was crowned as the symbolic King, a moniker that he uses until this day “El Rey Supremo” (The supreme King).  In this Documentary they also speak on the rumors of Luis Vargas demise, the response and love he got from the fans touched Luis so much he wrote a song about it, he speaks of what happened the night he had a car accident and that while the rumors of his death were wrong, he appreciated the love that his country gave him.

Luis Vargas

Luis Vargas

From what it is known, Luis Vargas had been recording Bachata as early as 1982, but not until he started using the new style of doing music in the late 1980s did his talent become widespread.

In Dominican Blues, he says to his switch of style that bachata is bachata, and it does not matter what you add to it, take away, how you mix it up, the music bachata can’t be changed from what it is.   However, once his style switched, tracks like “El machetazo” and “El tomate” were seen as pilars to the changing sound of the genre. In 1989 the single “La traicionera” helped Vargas accomplish his first large-scale commercial hit with his album “La maravilla” (The wonder).

As the years went on, his rival Antony Santos, and by then Raulin Rodriguez as well as others had started to switch their styles, from sexually charged lyrics to more romantic toned music.  This switch in focus was getting them success, as well as helped bachata transition from what was then known as “poor peoples music” or music for the lower class into music that everyone could be heard enjoying without fear of being judged.  While Luis Vargas has kept some of his raunchy content in some of his songs since, he also trended towards the more romantic side of the genre and with this came his greatest commercial success to date, the semi-romantic tune “Loco de amor”, a bachata released in 1992.

Luis Vargas, while not as sought after now as he once was, is still considered one of the great bachata artists of Dominican Republic and continues to make new music and perform. His last CD (as of 2011) entitled “Urbano” was released in 2007. One of his sons (Luisito Vargas) also aspires to become a great Bachata singer and beloved by his country by following his fathers footsteps, will the torch will be passed on? Only time will tell.


Luis Vargas Sends ThatsDominican.com a shout-out


Here is a Video of Luis Vargas “Soy Asi”

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ThatsDominican en el Festival del Boulevard (Washington Heights) Fotos

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7 Responses to Luis Vargas – Bachata Singer

  1. soy un muchacho de 15 anos, de la republica dominicana i me encanta cantar bachata & segun dice la jente dique me escucho como prince royce, mucha jente me a intentado grabar pero tengo miedo que me graben y me roben la musica, me acabo de mudar a telford pennsylvania desde norte carolina, i know you guys probably get comment like this everyday but i know i can do it, i just need a shot at this, people say the music industry is a hard world and stuff but im not gonna be there along im gonna have you guys by my side every step i take, i just need a shot at this to prove every kid out there that if you wanna do something not to give up because you never know if one day it might become true, this is what i wanna be and this is what i want to do, you can contact me at this number if you guys wanna talk about my reasons to be a bachata singer or anything (919-840-8647)

    oliver rodriguez hernandez
    April 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

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