Puerto Rican Kevin Fret, hailed as a pioneer as Latin Trap’s first openly gay artist, was killed last week in Rio Piedras. According to El Vocero, the 24-year-old was allegedly shot and killed by an unknown assailant while he was riding his motorcycle. He was found with wounds to his head and the hip. He was declared dead at Centro Médico in Río Piedras.
His manager, Eduardo Rodríguez, released the following statement: “Kevin was an artistic soul, a dreamer with a big heart. His passion was music, and he still had a lot left to do. This violence should stop. There are no words to describe our emotions and the pain that it causes us to know that a person with so many dreams has to go. We should all unite in these difficult times, and ask for lots of peace for our beloved Puerto Rico.”
Fret was just beginning his career in the music industry and was widely popular for his debut single “Soy Asi” that came out last year and garnered more than 163,000 views in less than a month.
“I’m a person that doesn’t care what anybody has to say,” Fret said in an interview with Paper magazine. “[Now I see] young gay guys or young lesbians that are looking at me now like a role model, like wow, if he did it, and he don’t care what anybody else has to say, I can do it.”
Puerto Rican writer and activist Samy Nemir Olivares told The New York Times that in his short time as an artist, Fret had already accomplished so much, which by some was seen as a threat.
“Kevin Fret represented a refreshing view in a music genre that is very homophobic and very machista,” Olivares said to the publication. “In Puerto Rico, that’s an act of resistance.”