Enrique Iglesias is back on the
road and he’s determined that tonight he’s gonna move you.
A star now since the late 90s,
Iglesias has ridden his unique mixture of Latin rhythms and hip-hop
beats to the top of the charts. Though he had been recording in
Spanish for years before, he first took the crossover music world by
storm with the 1999 smash hits “Bailamos” and “Rhythm Divine.”
Since then he has continued taking trips to the top of the charts
with songs like “Don’t Turn Off the Lights,” “Hero,” “Be With You”
and the Whitney Houston duet “Could I Have This Kiss Forever.”
However, long after his fellow
Latin hitmakers like Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony have disappeared
from the charts, Iglesias is still going strong. His latest CD,Euphoria – his first collection which was truly bilingual –
contained two of his biggest hits yet, “I Like It” and “Tonight (I’m
Gonna Love You).”
We were recently one of several
outlets who were invited to talk with Iglesias about his upcoming
leg of the Euphoria tour, which stops at the Wells Fargo
Center in Philadelphia on September 23.
What are you looking forward to
most when you hit the road for your upcoming tour?
I love being on the road. For me
that’s the most fun part of my job. Actually, it doesn’t feel like a
job. When it comes to the promotion, that’s a different story: the
waking up early, doing all the interviews. But when it comes down to
touring, I try to keep my schedule as free as possible in the
morning, so at least I can rest up and try to put on the best show
possible. But that’s the part of my job that doesn’t really feel
like a job – that I love doing.
What can you tell us about the
production aspects of this tour?
We’re actually finalizing it now.
It’s going to be very similar to [earlier shows on the tour]. It’s
part of the Euphoria tour, but I’m going to alter a few
things and change up a few little things. I’m still actually in the
process of doing that right now as we speak, but it should be good.
Visually, I think this tour has been one of my favorites.
What was your most memorable
experience from any of your recent tours?
For some reason, the UK was very
special to me this time around. It felt like one of the best tours
that I’ve ever done there, in the UK. Also, there was one show in
the US that for me was very, very special which was Madison Square
Garden. The crowd was so good. It felt like… I played it before a
bunch of times, but this one to me was the most special out of all
the times I’ve done Madison Square Garden.
You’re touring with fellow
Miami artist Pitbull. What is it going to be like to play your
hometown in Miami?
It should be great. It’s always a
little more nerve-racking when you play your hometown. You know so
many people, so you just get a little more nervous. It’s a little
bit like playing Madrid, Spain – where I was born. It feels the same
way. You’re also going nuts because everybody is asking you for
tickets (laughs) and it’s crazy and chaotic and you’re trying
to just satisfy everyone, but I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of
fun. I played the American Airlines Arena a bunch of times. This
time having Prince Royce and Pitbull opening up the show it should
be a great experience – especially Pitbull being from Miami and
myself also growing up in Miami.
What do you do in your spare
time on the road and do you plan to have any special guests this
tour aside from Pitbull?
There should be. I should have a
few surprises in the show, hopefully. Obviously, it comes down also
to the scheduling of the other artists – but we should. We don’t
exactly [know] what cities, but definitely there should be a few
surprises. What I like to do, I just like to take it easy the whole
day and rest up and talk the least amount possible.
What are you planning to bring
to the stage for this tour? What should fans expect?
The cool thing about the stage,
it’s very interactive with the audience. I always like getting as
close as possible to a crowd. Even to the people that are all the
way in the back. We like to set up a B stage because I feel that an
arena is that perfect size. I know for some people it might be a
little big, but I actually think they’re my favorite venues to play
– because they’re big. They can be up to 15,000 people or more, but
still you can make it very intimate. I think you can do that by
creating… that all comes down to the design of the stage. When we
design the stage, we always have that in mind. Obviously the people
in the front can see you very close up, but how can you also get to
the people in the sides and all the way to the people in the back to
see you up close? We always have that in mind.
Euphoria was your first
bilingual album. Do you think you’ll work that way in the future and
are you at all planning your next album yet?
I love doing this album, making it
bilingual. I always wanted to make this type of album, where I was
able to combine English and Spanish. I even brought it up to the
record company like five years ago, but they weren’t really digging
the idea. As time went by, I remember telling the record company
that unfortunately the days of making the full-length CD were fading
away. I told them I think it had become a single-driven market and
at the end of the day, people can pick and choose whatever songs
they want. It would help me, artistically, to make this type of
album because whenever I would get stuck writing songs in English, I
would move on to Spanish and vice versa. That for me made it a lot
more interesting. It was a spin of what I usually do. In the past, I
used to just concentrate in English and make an English album and
then concentrate in Spanish and just make a Spanish album. I just
thought it was the right thing to do at this point in my career.
Also explaining to them that a lot of the Hispanic people in the US,
they listen to English music and vice versa. So, I just felt it was
right, the right time to do it.
You’ve collaborated with
various artists over the years. Do you have any favorites? Who would
you still like to work with in the future?
Who would I like to work with in
the future? I don’t know. I’m going to have to think about that one.
I’m sure I would go back to the artists that I grew up with back
when I was a kid. I could probably set up a pretty big list, my own
wish list. Then people that I’ve worked with that I’ve enjoyed, it’d
be hard to say which ones the one I’ve enjoyed working with the
most. I’ve been lucky enough to work with from Whitney Houston to
Lionel Ritchie which were artists that I grew up with which were
amazing. Lionel, I think, to their friend, luckily, and I learned so
much from him. Then in this album, I worked with such an eclectic
bunch of artists – from Pitbull to Juan Luis Guerra to Usher to Akon
to Nicole [Scherzinger] to Wisin y Yandel to
Ludacris. They’re all so different musically. The great thing
about it is that I got to work with them in the studio, actually,
with almost all of them. Just watching them work and what their
influence is musically and how they work, I learned a lot. The one
that I’ve been working with the most constantly would have to be
Pitbull. We’ve become close friends. We’ve actually done a bunch of
songs together and we toured in a lot of places around the world.
We’ve become friends. He’s a great guy. I love working with them and
I love hanging out with him. He’s a good guy.
On the Euphoria CD, you
collaborated with more artists than ever from the hip-hop realm such
a Ludacris, Pitbull, Usher and Akon. What does this say if anything
about how you see your music evolving going forward?
I like working with artists that
come from completely different musical backgrounds. There’s always a
risk and at times in the past throughout my career, I’ve actually
worked with other artists that come from different musical styles
and it didn’t quite work. In this one, I approached it a little bit
differently. What I did is I actually wrote the songs first and then
I thought about, okay, who can change this song up a little bit? Who
would it be cool to work with and do this with? That approach helped
me a lot on this album. Instead of just going with a person and
saying, “Okay. Let’s start from scratch,” it was more me starting
again, making sure that you had that safety net there and then them
changing it up with their style. But you realize that in order to
push yourself or to be able to change or get out of your comfort
zone, you got to work with people that come from completely
different musical backgrounds. It’s the same thing with songwriting.
I was used to writing a type of song… or I had a certain style.
Sometimes the only way you can truly change that style is by
co-writing and working with people that come up with completely
different style of melodies and have different lyrical approach to a
song. I realize that’s really what works – if you really want to
change it up and get out of your comfort zone. Again, sometimes it
might work, sometimes it might not, but when it works it’s
definitely worth it.
How long have you known Pitbull
and what inspired your decision to work together and will you do any
songs together specifically in this show?
What inspired me to work with
Pitbull is that although it might seem like we both come from very
different musical backgrounds, when I sat down and started talking
to him, we both listened to a lot of the [same] music. He’s
influenced by all types of music. Kind of like me. He’s a little bit
of a music encyclopedia. He loves all types of music. We have the
same tendency to always sit down in the studio and listen to a song
and say, “Oh, well, that guy was inspired by this song” and “he got
this melody, he obviously was listening to this song when he wrote
this and he wrote that song.” We’re both from Miami. We’re both
Hispanic. And it just felt real. It didn’t feel forced at all.
That’s why we’ve kept on working together, because he’s easy to work
with. He’s extremely talented and so energetic and he’s very down to
earth. Andyes, we’re definitely going to do something on stage
What should audiences expect
that it would be different on this tour from someone who has seen an
Enrique show previously?
Well, the thing is that this one,
there’s a much larger combination of songs. That’s due a lot to this
album. It’s more eclectic musically than any other tour I’ve ever
done. At the same time, too, I also get to create a set list where I
can cover songs from, even Spanish songs, from 1995 to now – to
2011. So, when you think of a set list, being able to do a song
like “Experiencia Religiosa,” which a song that I first sang on my
first album in Spanish to songs like “I Like It” or “Dirty Dancer”
or “Tonight” – they’re very, very different. Also, I’m doing a
repack with new songs and I’m going to incorporate those songs in
With the visual elements of the
show, what people can expect to see?
Visually, I’ve been working with a
friend of mine that I’ve worked with for the past five years. I
really trust him visually – when it comes down to the lighting
aspects and to the video aspects. I like shows when they look
simple, but when you truly analyze them, you could tell there was a
lot of intricacy when it came down to designing the show. But it’s
more about being able to create certain moods and songs so you make
sure that when the audience leaves, each song has a different mood
and a different color and a different style. You can actually
remember the songs by what colors we used or how we used the
lighting or how we used the video. That for me is extremely
important, but at the same time, making it look very simple. So, the
energy is focused a lot on the band and myself more than having
1,000 dancers up on stage.
Do you find yourself altering
your performance at all for the different audiences for say, an
American audience versus you were recently touring in Australia and
No, actually I feel like I alter
more of my set list maybe in places like Australia that are more
just strictly English speaking countries and barely anybody speaks
Spanish. In America, I don’t feel like I have to alter my set list
that much. I feel it is a combination of both audiences. I’m never
going to stop singing in Spanish and even if I’m in the UK or in
Australia, I always try to speak a little bit of Spanish in there if
possible. But in America definitely not, I go between one and the
other. Sometimes depending on the city – maybe if I’m in Kansas,
I’ll sing a little more English than Spanish, but it all depends.
I’ll change that like five minutes before I go on stage what I do.
(laughs) A lot of times, I’ll just look through and check out
the audience and see how they react to Spanish. Do they look like
they’d react well to more Spanish speaking songs or not? Based on
that I’ll do the set list. This time luckily enough I have Prince
Royce and Pitbull opening up, so I’ll be able to really tell the
audience – what they react to – before I go onstage, easier than
just by looking at the audience.
Is there anything interesting
on your rider? Anything you have to have in your dressing room?
Not really, believe it or not. No.
I don’t really ask for anything in particular. Maybe… I do sometimes
a bottle of rum because I’ll have one or two shots of rum because it
will help me with the nerves a bit before I go on stage.
Aside from Miami, your
hometown, what other city or state are you looking forward to
visiting on your tour?
All the places that I’m going to,
I’ve visited before in the past and they’re all great. I love
touring in America because I would say that it’s one of the best
crowds that I’ve seen around the world. Each city is not such a huge
difference, but some crowds are better than others or they just
react differently. I’m looking forward to Kansas City because
actually that’s one place that I’ve never done a show. I have done
one, but it was a radio show. It wasn’t really my concert. So,
Kansas City I’m looking forward to that.
How does it feel to be one of
the Latin artists who have knocked down walls for bilingual artists?
What advice would you have for younger artists following in your
footsteps including artists like Prince Royce?
Prince Royce is a perfect example
of an artist that I think would be embraced by an English speaking
audience. First of all, he speaks better English than me. He grew up
in the US. If you talk to him, he probably speaks more English than
Spanish. That’s what it is becoming now. It’s the new generation.
It’s the kids that had that Hispanic influence and their parents are
Hispanic, but they grew up in America. Their parents still listen to
Spanish music and still watch TV in Spanish, but the kids are able
to both even more English than Spanish at times. I think this whole
new generation of Hispanic artists that have grown up in the US that
are coming up and want to cross over to doing songs in English, I
think they’re going to have an easy time with it. An easier time
probably than I did.
When you were writing and
recording “I Like It,” did you have any idea that it was going to be
such a big hit?
I wrote “I Like It” three years
ago in my house. This doesn’t happen to me with every song, but I
remember writing that song and at the time I was with Interscope
Records and I remember picking up the phone and calling the
president of the record company and telling him, “I think we have a
big one. I think this is the one.” I remember sending it to the
record company and they were like, “What? What is this? This is
strange. This is weird.” It happens sometimes. Not always are things
perfect and the artist on the same page as the record company, or
vice versa. This was the perfect taste of that. I had this song for
two years before it came out. I just felt it my heart that it was
different. I loved it and I loved the energy of it. I remember
listening to it for two years and not getting sick of it. I was
thinking, “Man, if I don’t get sick of this song, there’s something
in this song.” There was even times they told me, “Oh, why don’t you
change the verse? Why don’t you take this away? Why don’t you do
that?” Every time I did it, it just didn’t feel right. It felt good
the way it was originally. Eventually I ended up changing record
companies and playing it for Universal Republic and Monte Lipman,
the president of the record company. When I played it for him, I
actually had no faith because I already so many people had told me
that that song was way out there and strange and they didn’t like.
But in my heart I always believed in it so I never thought he was
going to pick it. He said, “That’s your first single.” When he said
that I was like, “Man, this is the label I’m going to go with. They
totally get it.” They thought what I thought. So, I thought that was
How does it feel to be in the
same realm as Michael Jackson with just as many number one dance
great. It’s amazing. Just be mentioned in the same sentence with
names like that – with Michael Jackson or Prince… because actually
Prince is up there, too – in the dance charts. It’s great. That
means the record company has done a great job. I’ve always given so
much influence to the dance department in record companies and the
dance charts because I think a lot of the music starts in the clubs
– especially in the dance clubs. A lot of people at some point used
to say, especially four or five years ago, “Oh, no. Dance. There’s
no way a dance song can be a hit in the US. Nobody cares about dance
music in the US.” I never saw it that way. It was always there. It
always maintained. Maybe it wasn’t mainstream, but now you know it
is. You listen to hip-hop, you listen to so many different styles of
music and it is so influenced by dance music. As long as good songs
keep on coming out, I don’t think it’s going to go away. And if goes
away, it will it come back after. It’s a cycle. It will come back
ENRIQUE IGLESIA'S HIT VIDEO "TONIGHT (I'M LOVING YOU)"