PUERTO RICO – After a seven-year battle with cancer, singer-songwriter Draco Rosa is preparing to launch “Monte Sagrado,” his first studio album in nine years, which he dedicates to his native Puerto Rico, a country he said helped him heal.
“I came here to get well,” the 49-year-old singer told EFE in his farm in Utuado, a municipality in the island’s mountainous interior, where he held a press conference to announce the upcoming album, to be released Oct. 26.
Rosa – who wrote some of superstar Ricky Martin’s greatest hit singles, including “Maria” and the 1998 Soccer World Cup anthem “The Cup of Life” – said that he had originally presented Sony Music with a proposal for an album, which, following a batch of “rejuvenating” cancer medication, he revised in favor of a more rock-and-roll-oriented record.
“Monte Sagrado” includes the singles “2nite 2nite” and “333,” which already have their own videos, the latter being animated.
In April 2011, the artist told media that he had a non-Hodgkin lymphoma, near his liver, which prompted him to seek specialized treatment at Houston’s Burzynski Clinic.
A year later, a visibly ailing Rosa made an appearance alongside his two friends Juan Luis Guerra and Ruben Blades for a concert at Puerto Rico’s Coliseo Arena that looked to many like a farewell.
In March 2013, the artist released “Vida,” featuring his greatest hits performed by the likes of Ricky Martin, Juan Luis Guerra, Ruben Blades, Alejandro Sanz, Marc Anthony, Shakira, Jose Feliciano and Residente.
Seven years since his diagnosis, Rosa announced that he was cancer free in August.
“The fact that I’m alive is a miracle,” he told EFE.