Latin Pop Superstar Shakes Up The Garden
Enrique Iglesias is one of the top-selling Latin recording artists of all time, and he returns to New York co-headlining with longtime pal and pop music heavyweight Pitbull July 1 at Madison Square Garden. Iglesias retains the record for most #1’s on the Latin chart with 27 and has been honored with awards by the Grammys and Latin Grammys and countless others.
He’s managed the rare crossover with Latin songs like “Bailando” and “El Perdón” and pop songs such as “I Like It” and “Be With You,” and he’s shattered the dance charts with hits like “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You”) and “Messin’ Around.” This year has been a rather momentous one for the music icon, touring the world and reaching 1.3 billion streams and selling over two million copies worldwide of recent single “Duele El Corazon” featuring Wisin. The “Hero” singer has sold over 130 million albums and has recorded with a who’s who of stars from Romeo Santos to Whitney Houston. Enrique is a true entertainer with charisma and vocal chops, and he’s the kind of showman you want to party with and root for. New York City Monthly spoke with Enrique about the Michael Jackson record he recently beat, what it’s like touring again with Pitbull, and why the superstar loves playing in the Big Apple.
You have become a frequent collaborator with another major force in Latin and pop music, Pitbull, recording smash hits “I Like It,” “I’m A Freak,” and “Messin’ Around.” How did you join forces this time?
It seems to make perfect sense! Things happen always at the right time. Timing is very important to accomplish your goal. Pit and I, we are friends and colleagues. Miami boys. The first time I invited Pit on tour was in 2012. We clicked and he even came with us to Australia. We have fun recording together and on the road and now this is the third time he joins me on tour. Our fan base seems to appreciate us on stage. It’s pure adrenaline.
Do you and Pitbull ever hang with one another socially, with one another’s families?
I wish we had the time, but like I said we both have our solo careers and barely bump into each other. When we do we have a blast.
“Duele El Corazon,” your recent single featuring Wisin, has over 1.3 billion streams. It’s kind of a huge feat that very few artists have hit (like Shakira, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Rihanna, and Calvin Harris). Why do you think this song translated so strongly with fans?
There’s an unsolved mystery about songs. You are never certain about what’s going to happen. I consider myself one lucky man. I always pay attention to my gut feeling. “Duele” is that kind of song that makes you feel something from the very first note, exactly like “Bailando,” which has been a worldwide hit. Same thing happened with “El Perdón” and now with “Súbeme La Radio.” I can only say thank you to my fans for making me happy doing what I do for a living.
You have worked with Usher, Romeo Santos, Whitney Houston, Afrojack, Ciara, and so many others; the list is too long. Who else is on your wish list of dream duets or collaborators?
I kind of go with the flow. Not the kind of guy that is after someone with success. On the contrary, it’s about finding the right voice when you have an amazing song that needs a fusion.
Your music really crosses over every genre. “Duele El Corazon” is your 14th #1 Billboard Dance track, beating Michael Jackson for the record. What song was it in your career that made you realize dance songs are a strong suit for you?
They are all special, from “Bailamos” and “Be With You” to “Escape” and “Tonight”. I like it, especially ’cause I don’t dance. Getting these records on the dance charts means a lot to me. You gotta try harder every day to step out of your comfort zone and reinvent yourself – it doesn’t matter what you do – so I’m always looking for new ways of surprising my fans. New urban sounds and genres, from bachata to reggaeton.
Do you write your songs in Spanish or in English, or have you done both?
There’s no formula. Sometimes Spanish, sometimes English. One day the music might come first; it’s like riding on a roller coaster.
You are returning to Madison Square Garden 6/30 and 7/1. After years of playing The Garden, Prudential Center, Nassau Coliseum, Jones Beach, what’s your favorite thing about playing in the New York area?
New York is simply amazing. By far, after playing in so many exotic countries and cities going back to New York always inspires me. Makes me feel at home as an artist. Madison Square Garden is emblematic and the crowd there is from all around the world. That’s why I feel it’s so special. Can’t wait.