By John Benson
Fresh off his sold-out Somos Uno Tour through South America, internationally renowned singer Luis Fonsi is now busy appearing as a judge on Telemundos prime-time reality show Yo Soy El Artista.
Its been great fun, I really enjoy it, Fonsi told VOXXI. I dont see it as a job. Im a vocal performance major, so to me I sort of love that vocal lesson and arranging side of music, as well as being the head vocal coach of the show.”
A lot of them are just really starting out, and you can still hear that purity and that young sounding tone that to me is fun to be able to mold. Its a new format for TV. I think people are getting used to it. Hopefully Ill be able to do different shows like this in the near future.
Known for Latin GRAMMY-winning song Aqui Estoy Yo, as well as hits No Me Doy Por Vencido, Abrazar La Vida, Gritar and Respira, the Voice of Pop is currently supporting his latest album 8, which was produced by Swedish singer-songwriter and producer Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, James Blunt, KT Tunstall, Mary J. Blige, James Morrison).
The project took Fonsi, who in 2011 was named Leader of Latin Music’s Generation by Billboard Magazine, out of his comfort zone with unique results.
Apparently Luis Fonsi knew what he was doing with 8 debuting at No. 1 in nine countries, including the U.S.
The lead single, Corazón En La Maleta, has more of a gritty, up-tempo feel that belies his power-ballad pigeonholing. Then theres Llegaste Tú, a duet with Juan Luis Guerra that was nominated for a Latin Grammy 2014 in the Record of the Year category.
I was definitely reaching on this album for something different within the parameters of who I am and what I am as a musician, Fonsi said.
I sort of have my niche, a mixture between pop and ballad with a little bit of the rock sound. But what I did do different was I sort of changed the team I worked with. For this album I said, Im going to go to London.’ That was kind of refreshing to go in there and work with a bunch of guys, all of them European, who didnt know who I was.”
They hadnt worked on Spanish albums a lot. That was kind of fun, to have a clean slate and to be able to do music without really thinking about what Ive done in the past, whether its worked or not. Thats something Ive never done before.
After the successful first leg of the Somos Uno Tour, Fonsi said hes excited about February dates booked in Puerto Rico with a stateside jaunt expected this spring.
Something else on his to-do list is a return to Broadway. In the summer 2013, he appeared in Forever Tango.
I love musical theater, Fonsi said. It might not be next year or the next five years but I definitely want to do another run on Broadway.
If theres one hurdle that remains for Fonsi its entering the stateside mainstream pop world. The singer is well aware the opportunity awaits but he isnt in any rush to dip his toe into the deep waters.
Its one of those things I havent had that last push to say Im going to write an English song, Fonsi said. I listen to pop radio, mainstream radio, in English but from a singer-songwriter point, its not something I do everyday as a singer. When I grab a guitar, for some reason I switch to Spanish mode.”
A lot of people ask if Im going to do the crossover, and I just say its a door Ill never close but right now Im so focused on whats going on in the Latin market. But you never know, its one of those things. Im one of those guys that all of a sudden Ill just go for it. It would be amazing, obviously.
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