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Mexican Star El Dasa Makes TV Debut Starring in NBC Universo’s ‘El Vato’

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Cast of 'El Vato' [from left to right]: Gustavo Egelhaaf, El Dasa, Cristina Rodlo, and Ricardo Polanco. Courtesy of NBC Universo

At just 23 years old, he has shared the stage with musical legends like Vicente Fernández. Now, Mexican musical sensation El Dasa, whose name is Dasahev López Saavedra, is making his TV debut as the protagonist in NBC Universo’s first scripted series ‘El Vato,’ premiering simultaneously on NBC Universo and Telemundo Sunday April 17th at 10pm/9c.

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El Dasa as 'El Vato'. Courtesy of NBC Universo

The 10-episode series will be the acting debut for El Dasa and follows the life of an aspiring singer, El Vato, and his life in Los Angeles after he landed a life-changing record deal. The audience will follow El Vato’s journey when leaving his home in Mexico and arriving to Hollywood with his friends.

El Dasa’s story began in 2011 when he was discovered by Vicente Fernández, whose band asked him to listen to his chauffeur singing. Fernández then invited him to join him on stage to sing a duet at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles and asked attendees to support El Dasa’s career. Since then, El Dasa has released two albums titled ‘Alegre y Enamorado’ and ‘Pá La Raza’, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Banda Album in 2013.

NBC Latino spoke exclusively to El Dasa about the series and what this TV debut means for his career:

Your story is like a fairy tale, like Cinderella. Tell us what it has been like to go from a chauffeur, to being discovered, followed by a successful musical career and now, with this series, and actor. What is it like to go from almost nothing to where you are today?

There have been so many things happening to me that sometimes I don’t even believe it myself.

But I can tell you that everything that I’ve done has been with a lot of love, with a great responsibility, always trying to be the best without hurting anyone else or trying to take someone else’s job, I’m simply doing my thing and the opportunities have been coming to me. I decided to nickname myself “The King of Opportunities” because I think I’ve done a lot of things that perhaps others have passed on and I just simply could not say ‘no.’ I’ve never said ‘no’ to anything, I’m not afraid of anything.

What has been your favorite experience in your journey towards stardom?

If I had to pick one experience that I enjoyed the most it would have to be when I finally had my mother attend one of my concerts in a huge stadium here in the U.S., that I will never forget. It’s one of the most important things to me, that my mother sees me happy and that her son is loved by his fans.

Tell us about the series and what the experience has been like.

Well, I was very scared. More than scared, I felt dread because for the first time in my life I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I felt dread because I greatly respect this project. Everyone has made me feel so comfortable, the producers and the network have made me feel comfortable because since this is my first time acting.

It was natural to be scared by the responsibility - I’m sitting here, being the protagonist, never having done anything like this; the weight on my shoulders is pretty great. But now that the project is officially going and now that we are filming, I feel comfortable because all my costars have made me feel good and have taught me so many things and the director is very patient. If I’m good in this role, it will be because of all of them, because they really took me in and made me feel at home.

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[Left to right] Ricardo Polanco, Cristina Rodlo, El Dasa, and Gustavo Egelhaaf. Courtesy of NBC Universo

What are some similarities and differences between you and ‘El Vato’?

Similarities between ‘El Vato’ and El Dasa, I think it’s everything. Everything because ‘El Vato’ doesn’t back down and neither does El Dasa. ‘El Vato’ is a perpetual dreamer, so is El Dasa. ‘El Vato’ is romantic, moved by women, by dreams. He values and defends his friendships, puts his friends first, regardless of what he needs - his friends are their priority. And I do the same. I have my real friendships, with my friends who are always by my side.

And the differences? Well, there are many because I don’t have the vices that ‘El Vato’ has, because he is is a little bit feeble-minded because that is where his past has taken him to with the things that he’s lived through. And he has a demon that is in his subconscious which is his father, which he has in his blood. His dad was not a good person. ‘El Vato’ has a fallout and forgets where he comes from. We are like two water-bottles, basically the same but also very different.

If I had to pick one experience that I enjoyed the most it would have to be when I finally had my mother attend one of my concerts in a huge stadium here in the U.S., that I will never forget.

What can the audience expect from this series?

I can tell you this series will make you laugh with the situations the characters are living through and the messes we get ourselves in, not because we throw a random joke in the middle of a scene.

It will make you cry not because we want you to but because you’ll sympathize with ‘El Vato’, it's like a what people in the U.S. call a 'dramedy,' it has everything.

Every episode is different, every episode will surprise you, every episode has something new. It’s like an emotional rollercoaster that takes you up and down, hopefully we’ll have a second, third, and fourth season.

People are smart and they know when people are doing things for pleasure and when they are doing them for money. With this project, we’ve had fun every single day, whether it’s 12 or 14 hours on set, we enjoy every day together. I’m very excited and hopefully people will let us into their home.

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