Anthony Ramos And Jacob Collier, Changing The Landscapes Of Film And Music Respectively
Harper's BAZAAR Singapore|January 2022
We shine the spotlight on Anthony Ramos and Jacob Collier, who are changing the landscapes of film and music respectively. What they both share is a commitment to their craft and the unconventional routes they’ve taken to get where they are.

ANTHONY RAMOS

The 30-year-old star of Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights brings his lived experience to the big-screen adaptation of the Tony Award–winning musical that changed Broadway

The two men taking centre stage here are poised to be the next big things, but they are no overnight sensations. The careers of Anthony Ramos, actor, and Jacob Collier, musician, have been slow burns that recently culminated in major breakthroughs and mainstream attention. For Ramos, that meant making the jump from Broadway to the big screen with his star turn in Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights. Rave reviews aside, Ramos more importantly broke through barriers to score a milestone for Latin representation in Hollywood. Collier, meanwhile, has been making music for years and though he has multiple Grammy Awards under his belt, he isn’t exactly what you’d call a household name. And that’s completely fine with him. The musician, who not only sings but also plays a multitude of instruments, has always been more interested in pushing the art of his musicality instead of chasing pop hits. Though Ramos and Collier work in different mediums, both are about making work that is resonant on a deeper level—the fame they now enjoy is a by-‘product of that drive, not the end goal. Our profiles dive into the psyche behind that work and offer a glimpse of where they are headed next.

The first time he saw Lin-‘Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed musical In the Heights on Broadway, it was 2010, and his college, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), had bought a block of tickets for its students. Ramos identified straightaway with the show’s protagonist. Beyond their Latin roots (Ramos is of Puerto Rican descent, while the fictional Usnavi’s family is Dominican), they were both New Yorkers and dreamers immersed in the struggle for a better life. “I left that theatre with electricity going through my body,” he recalls. “In the context of Broadway, for the first time, I felt seen.”

After a year’s delay due to the pandemic, director Jon M. Chu’s highly anticipated film adaptation of In the Heights was released in 2021. In the same way that Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians shone a light on the Asian community, still so woefully under-‘represented in Hollywood, In the Heights is revelatory in its celebration of Latin culture.

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