As a teenager, Sanz performed in various venues in his hometown. He became acquainted with Miguel Ángel Arenas, a music industry executive who had signed several popular Spanish groups such as Mecano. Arenas helped Sanz find work, eventually leading to a record deal with the Spanish label Hispavox. In 1989 Sanz released his debut album, Los Chulos Son Pa' Cuidarlos under the name of Alejandro Magno (Spanish for "Alexander the Great"). The record, which fused techno and flamenco, was met with critical and commercial indifference, and today Sanz views the record to be "insignificant". However, the album is now considered to be a collector's item. In an attempt to promote Los Chulos Son Pa' Cuidarlos, he performed at strip clubs, playing short sets between acts. This proved to be unsuccessful and Sanz took a break from music, choosing to study business administration. He also took a job at a recording studio in which he wrote material for other artists. He persuaded Arenas to send demos of his songs to record companies, which led to being signed by Warner Music Latina. At this time, he began performing under his current name.