Rolf Sanchez is a charting Latin pop and tropical singer from Amsterdam based in Miami, Florida. Possessed of a striking, fluid tenor equally translatable in salsa or urban styles, he made his debut as a finalist on Holland's X Factor — and finished third. Taking Simon Cowell's advice to sing exclusively in Spanish, he signed a deal with Sony. In June 2015, he delivered the single "Por No Te Vuelvo a Ver" that topped the Tropical Songs chart and repeated the achievement six months later with the song "Que Se Siente." Two years later, after becoming a video and touring sensation, he three-peated on the charts with "Vas a Entender." In 2018 he hit the Top 20 with "Te Va a Doler" (feat. Farruko) and later issued a salsa version of the same track.
Sanchez was born in Amsterdam in 1991 to a Dutch father and a Dominican mother. He has been tri-lingual — Dutch, Spanish, and English — since beginning to talk. Obsessed with music from the time he could walk, Sanchez was exposed to everything from classical to reggaeton in his youth, falling in love with urban and salsa music; his earliest idol (and to date, his greatest influence) is Marc Anthony. He engaged in many local and regional competitions throughout his teen years and in 2011, at 19, entered the X Factor competition in Holland. The grand prize was a major-label recording contract. Looking to stand out, he sang Luis Enrique's classic "Yo No Se Mañana," and the judges and audience were left pleasantly surprised. Though salsa and Latin pop are hardly the preferred genres of Dutch audiences, he nonetheless exited the competition in third place. His popularity within the competition opened the doors to other opportunities, including singing for the Queen of Amsterdam in Museumplein; becoming the face of Holland Heineken; selling out tours across Holland, and opening for Juan Luis Guerra at the biggest music festival in Holland. That same year he issued his debut single, a reading of the sacred song "Ave Maria" in Spanish.
Over the next two years, Sanchez grabbed any chance he could to build an audience through social media and online videos, first succeeding in the Caribbean. He was invited to the Dominican Republic to participate in a tribute performance honoring composer Rafael Solano during the Premios Soberano awards. In early 2015, Sanchez signed a recording contract with the independent Latin Pulse Group and in March made his cross-continental chart debut in the U.S. with the single "Por Si No Te Vuelvo a Ver," which achieved heavy rotation on radio stations across the U.S and Puerto Rico, and ultimately reached number one on the Tropical Airplay and Tropical Songs charts. He received a nomination to Univision's Premios Juventud Awards as a Breakout Artist. In December, Sanchez delivered a second number one single with "Que Se Siente," co-composed by Sánchez, Guianko Gómez, and Efraín Dávila. Simultaneously he celebrated his nomination to Univision's 2016 Premio Lo Nuestro for Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
His hits and award nominations brought attention from major record labels in the U.S., and Sanchez signed with Sony Music Latin in February 2016. His fourth single "Vas a Entender" — again co-composed with Gómez, and Dávila — was released in October of 2016 and quickly climbed the charts, garnering the artist his third consecutive chart topper at Tropical Airplay; it landed inside the Top 20 on the Tropical Songs list as well. The following year, the single "Paso a Paso" also climbed into the Top 20, while his duet with Farruko on "Te Va a Doler" grabbed a place in the Top 20 at Latin Pop. The following year, a salsa version of the same tune also placed inside the Top 20. ~ Thom Jurek