Even Geoffrey Royce Rojas knows the meaning of hard work and hustle.
Today, todas las mujeres know him as the Latin Grammy-nominated bachata star Prince Royce. But just a few years ago, Rojas was a kid with a dream, juggling a full-time job, college classes, and late-night recording sessions in the studio.
It was the kind of struggle that all aspiring musicians face, but unlike most pop hopefuls, he actually achieved his dreams, becoming a multiplatinum-selling artist and Latin music's fastest rising star.
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On September 9, el principe de la bachata will hit the Fillmore Miami Beach for the Magic City stop of his Soy El Mismo tour.
"Miami is my second home," Rojas says, proudly. "I'm looking forward to just hanging out with my people and having fun and seeing the girls and putting on the best show possible."
Screaming fanáticas are the norm now, but that wasn't always the case. Especially when Rojas was striving for musical greatness as a teenager.
"There was a time when music was more of a hobby," el cantante admits. "I met a friend of mine. He knew of a studio. We started recording songs.
"Then when I was about 17 or 18, I started working full time at a cell phone store, and was able to save up money and work on this music thing," he recalls.
"I was also studying to become an English teacher in Manhattan. I was a full-time student. So I would work all day, leave school at like 10, and head to the studio around midnight."
After many long days and sleepless nights, Rojas released his debut album, the self-titled Prince Royce.
"My first album was like my demo album," he fesses. "That was off of selling cell phones."
Almost an instant hit, the record was nominated for Best Contemporary Tropical Album at the 2010 Latin Grammy Awards. Not too shabby for a "demo."
"I think there was a lot of hunger," he says. "I'm hungry now, but it's a different type of hunger. Back then, I would think about it every day. I did everything possible to really try to make it the best it could be. It was really made from the heart."
But Rojas' appetite for success wasn't satiated by the fame and recognition that he gained from Prince Royce -- that was just the beginning. Shortly after his debut release, Rojas toured with Latin music reyes Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull in 2011.
"It was a great experience," he says. "Right off the bat, I was at arenas, yet I didn't have the pressure. It was kinda just about going out and having fun while people were discovering my music.
"At the same time, I got to hang out with Enrique and Pitbull. Having that first interaction with fame, I really learned a lot from these guys. Till this day, I keep in mind the things that I learned from them."
Using the exposure of an Enrique and Pitbull tour to his advantage, Rojas soon released his second studio album, 2012's Phase II, which achieved platinum status in the U.S. and Puerto Rico within six months of its release.
"The second album is always the hardest," he concedes. "There's pressure between doing the publicity and finding time to write. But I think by my second album, people already knew more about me and were curious to get the album and see what was in it."
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In 2013, Rojas signed a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment to release his third studio album, Soy El Mismo, on Sony Music Latin, as well as his first English-language album on RCA Records.
However, the world will have to wait till next year to hear Prince Royce cantar en inglés. And for now, he's quite content to be touring the country and making corazones melt with Spanish hits like "Darte Un Beso."
"Soy el Mismo was an album that to me was perfect in every way," Rojas says. "I took a lot of time with it. It wasn't rushed or anything. I think it's the most different when compared to the others, mainly because of the different instruments like the accordion, violin, trumpets, saxophones, the ukulele."
Meanwhile, aside from the music, Rojas is also famous for being a heartthrob, a certified papi. He's got that voz romantica and those dark brown eyes. He was even named one of the 50 most beautiful people of 2011 by People en Español, and then featured in the magazine's 2012 "Sexy Edition."
"There's no secret," he laughs. "I don't really pay attention. I try to be myself. I don't put no lotion on my skin. I'm not the type of dude to get my nails done."
"I think it's about being yourself," Prince Royce insists. "I think when you try too hard, girls notice. I think they wanna be with somebody who's respectful and a gentleman. I don't think guys have to be so insecure. You just gotta have that game on point."
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Prince Royce's Soy el Mismo Tour. Sunday, September 7. Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $65.50 to $131.50 via livenation.com. All ages. Call 305-673-7300 or visit fillmoremb.com.
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