Rafael Leao has dazzled Italian football fans with his array of skills and lightning pace on the pitch for AC Milan since his arrival in Italy in 2019. Away from the football ground, the Portuguese forward is deeply interested in music and does some rapping on the side.
The 23-year-old was influential in the Rossoneri’s 2021/22 Serie A title triumph, scoring 11 goals and supplying 10 assists in 34 matches, as well winning the Serie A MVP Award for that season.
However, he could have a future outside of football as a rapper under the pseudonym of Way 45. In an interview with RDP Africa, Leao opened up about his relatives and their passion for music.
Leao and his family background in music
Leao’s father and uncle were involved in music, but it was during the COVID-19 pandemic when the AC Milan forward decided to pursue it as more than a hobby on the side.
“My dad was a singer, he got to do a few things, but nothing relevant,” he said.
“My uncle was a DJ. So I always had music in the house, in the family. I started singing during quarantine. I live alone, and every now and then, I visit my family.
“During those days I had nothing to do and I write a lot, I am not a person who talks a lot. I started writing and writing, and then experimenting on instrumentals. It all started by chance with friends.”
AC Milan star not the only Serie A player involved in music
Serie A players taking on music projects is not a first in the world of football in recent times. Atalanta-owned goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, who is currently on loan at Fiorentina, released a song called “Rapper coi guanti” – “Rapper with Gloves” in English – under the moniker Gollorius in 2018, and the proceeds for the song were donated to charity.
While Gollini’s foray might seem like a one-off thing, it seems that Leao’s might be something continuous and lead to a career away from football one day. His latest song “Layah” already has over half a million views on YouTube.