Enrique Iglesias: "When I'm Up Onstage, I'm the Happiest Guy in the World"
Photo by Zony Maya
No one knows more about Sex and Love than Spanish panty dropper Enrique Iglesias. In fact, it's the name of his new album.
"I love my fans, and they are allowed to go crazy on me," the Latin heartthrob teases. "Believe me, they keep surprising me with their creativity to get closer and closer."
But a heads up for any wild fanáticas planning to break into the Iglesias compound -- Enrique isn't at home. He's out on the road with the 305's own Armando Christian Pérez, AKA Pitbull, and rising reggaeton star J Balvin. So you'll just have to catch up with him on October 26 when the tour hits the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
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"We have a blast on- and offstage," Iglesias brags about hanging with Pit and driving the ladies loca. "The response has been amazing so far. It's great to work with artists with your same track of mind. Together, we give fans great music, energy, and what they really deserve -- to enjoy life and forget about the rest."
This isn't the first time that Enrique and Pitbull, two of the biggest names in Latin pop music, have toured together. Back in 2011, the Español and Cubanito threw one of the wildest pachangas the AAA has ever seen, which Iglesias then described as the "shit of the shit of the shit of the shit."
And now, with "Bailando," the summer anthem of 2014, under his belt, and Pitbull having become Mr. Worldwide, we can only imagine la locura that's gonna go down this time 'round.
Born in Spain and raised in Miami, Iglesias has surely made a name for himself as the King of Latin Pop. But when your father is Julio Iglesias, one of the best-selling Latin music artists of all time, maybe you're destined for success. Not that his dad helped pull any strings. In fact, Enrique kept his musical aspirations a secret from papá Iglesias.
"I was always very superstitious," he admits. "Even as a young kid, I believed that whenever you spoke about the things you wanted to accomplish, they'd never become a reality."
As for keeping his pop dreams from his father, Enrique adds: "When you're young, you want to make your own path. It's not so much about rebelling, but just a natural attitude at that age. In the end, I trusted my gut feeling. With the support of great people in my life, we took it one step at a time. I just think it's important to be authentic and loyal to your instinct."
While a business student at the University of Miami, Iglesias recorded his first demo cassette, which he sent to his father's former publicist, Fernán Martínez, who promoted the tape under the pseudonym Enrique Martínez.
A success in Central America, he was signed to the Mexican label, Fonovisa. He ended up dropping out of the U and traveling to Canada, where he recorded his self-titled debut album. And the rest is history.
"It probably was easier to get the attention from few people in the industry [having Julio Iglesias as my father]," Enrique says. "However, that does not mean you succeed in the business.
"Ultimately, smart executives find artists based on their music and the potential to sell records. Having grown up close to the music world, I knew that eventually everything would come down to the songs."
From captivating mujeres with his sexy mole and Spanish ballads in the mid-'90s to making megaclub hits in the 2010s, Iglesias' musical style has definitely changed. (Oh, and he's also had that mole removed.)
"I always think of my music in the context of a show," Iglesias explains. "My dream in music was always to have no limits, whether lyrically or musically, and to be able to do any different style of music as long as I loved it.
"I love that in a show, I can sing a song like 'Experiencia Religiosa' and then sing a song like 'Tonight,' a song like 'Loco,' 'Hero,' 'I Like It,' and now 'Bailando.' I guess being born in Spain and raised in Miami has something to do with it," he jokes.
And with a collection of Billboard Latin and Grammy awards sitting on his shelf, his methods seem to be working just fine.
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One of Iglesias' biggest hits to date is also his most recent, "Bailando," the most popular track off his latest album, Sex and Love.
This single, featuring Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona, has earned Enrique the record for most number-one spots on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart. It is his 25th, topping Latin music giants Gloria Estefan and Luis Miguel.
"I love everything about 'Bailando.' I always knew there was something magical about this song, but what I never imagined was the effect that it was going to have. It's insane! It's the kind of song that makes you feel good and happy when you listen to it."
In addition to endlessly turning out chart-toppers, Iglesias has dipped into the writing and acting world too.
He's written songs for Andrea Bocelli and Clay Aiken, among others. And he co-produced the off-Broadway musical Four Guys Named Jose and Una Mujer Named Maria and appeared in the CBS comedy series How I Met Your Mother as Robin Scherbatsky's Argentine flame, Gael.
"I would like to do it again. I would like to do comedy more than drama," Enrique says. "But my priority is the music.
"I've always said when I'm up on stage, I think I'm the happiest guy in the world. There's no better feeling in the world. You could be sick, you could have the worst headache, you could feel horrible -- but once you're up there and in front of your fans, it all goes away."
And when it comes to his Miami gig with Pitbull and J Balvin, prepárate for "party time!" he urges.
"It's always a little more nerve-racking when you perform in your hometown. I played the American Airlines Arena a bunch of times, and it is always exciting to come back with surprises.
"Pitbull and I, we are Miami boys!"
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Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull 2014 North American Fall Tour. Saturday, October 25. Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $75.00 to $145 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. Call 954-797-5531 or visit hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com.
Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull 2014 North American Fall Tour. With J Balvin. Sunday, October 26. American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $29.50 to $179.50 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. Call 786-777-1000, or visit aaarena.com.
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