Prince Royce Talks “Stuck On A Feeling”, His English Language Album & Starting Over: Idolator Interview
Prince Royce is hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow Spanish-speaking superstars Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin with the release of his first English-language LP. The 24-year-old, who has dominated Billboard’s Latin Songs chart for the past couple of years with smash hits like “Las Cosas Pequeñas” and “Darte Un Beso”, is kicking off the project with a slick club-banger called “Stuck On A Feeling”. It even has a feature from rap legend Snoop Dogg!
The New York-born heartthrob recently dropped by the Idolator office in Los Angeles to talk about his infectious new single and upcoming album, which has he has been diligently working on for the last three years. Prince revealed that he has already recorded 110 songs for the opus with super-producers like Dr. Luke, RoccStar and Oak, and hinted at some high-profile collaborations with both Latin and English-language artists. Find out more after the jump.
Why did you decide to focus on the English market now? Well I’ve been working on this English album for three years now, and I’ve recorded over 110 songs — without exaggerating. I think it feels right now, it feels organic. I was born and raised in New York, and I was always connected to my culture and the Spanish language and the music. I thought I could bring something new to Latin music. I was always very connected to this rhythm called Bachata, which started in the Dominican Republic.
I saw it as a rhythm that was so young when compared to pop and rock, and I wanted to be a part of the genre. I got into it and saw how mainstream it was within the Latin community. So being a part of that movement and having that vision from back in the day was what drew me to this. After releasing three Spanish albums, I felt more prepared as a musician and a songwriter. I can now connect to many different English-speaking countries that don’t know who Prince Royce is.
I grew up listening to R&B and hip-hop, and now I’m getting into the studio with a lot of producers. It’s funny because a lot of them didn’t know I speak English! Even though it’s my first language, I started with Spanish [language music] first.
After recording all those songs, how did you know “Stuck On A Feeling” was the single? When I heard the rhythm, it took me back to New York and my upbringing. It’s a catchy pop record but with a little urban touch. I wanted something that could be blasted in the car or at the club for the new year. This was that type of record, it has a sexy edge to it and makes you want to bop your head. I pictured Snoop right away when I heard the finished track.
It was impressive to see him jump on the record and complete it in two days, and it was exactly how I pictured it to be. We actually shot the video here in Los Angeles and it’s super cool and fresh. I’m just excited for people to find out who Prince Royce is on the mainstream English-language market.
Jason Evigan produced the song. What was it like to work with him? It was dope to work with Jason who has [written] a lot of hits for Demi Lovato and Maroon 5. It’s a blessing for me to be coming into the English market with a label like RCA. Even though I’m going to be a brand new artist to people, I’m coming with the power of the big top-notch guys. Not too many Latin artists get the opportunity to record in English. You see Shakira, Enrique, Marc Antony, and I have the opportunity to bring in the new generation of what they were able to do.
How many of those 110 songs are you going to use? We brought it down to 20, and all of these songs are great songs. [The process] was more of finding myself as an artist. I love ballads, latin fusion, acoustic songs, R&B, the ones that are turnt up hip-hop for the clubs. So it was a process of finding the sound that I want to come out with first and who am I going to be to these people who don’t know who I am. I’m hoping the label will let me put out a 20-track album! [Laughs].
Who else did you work with on the album? We got in the studio with Dr. Luke, Rocstarr, Oak… just a lot of talented people. I’m not the type of person who requests the top dudes, I’m just getting into the studio with talented people whether they’ve had hits before or not.
You’ve got the Snoop Dogg feature, are there going to be any more collaborations? Of course! There’s going to be huge collaborations with American and Latin artists. I don’t want to say it yet, because I don’t want to jinx things or give away too much. But it’s definitely going to be an exciting album with many collaborations.
I remember the song that you did with Nasri called “Even When You Cry,” will that be on the album? That was three years ago, and I’m excited to see Nasri‘s success now. We’ve written a few joints in the past, and I’m hoping that one of them is on the album. I love that song, and not too many people know songs like that.
Do you look up to artists who have crossed over from the Latin market like Enrique Iglesias? They’ve definitely paved the way for me, that’s for sure. I’ve met Enrique, Marc and Ricky personally. I always look back on how they got successful and how they came into the mainstream market, and think of how I can do it and still make my own imprint. I’m a fan of what they’ve done, and they’ve done a great job.
How will you set yourself apart from them? One aspect that makes me different is this is coming with a New York, Bronx vibe — which I don’t think was explored in their times. I think they were more pop/latin. I still have Latin-influenced tracks, but it’s definitely more of a New York type of rhythmic music. I’m trying to do what’s happening right now and what’s going to be the new sound two years from now. I think with “Stuck On A Feeling,” its a different rhythm and that’s the direction I want to go into.
Do you feel like you’re almost starting over? I think I am starting over. But I’m also mentally prepared for that. Even though I can be huge in other markets, there are people who don’t know who I am. I’m calling it a “brand new artist on steroids.” I’m a new artist but I still have a supportive core fan base that I’m grateful for. There are so many Latin artists who sell out arenas and stadiums around the world who people in America may not know about, so it’s definitely an interesting process for me and I’m learning a lot as I go.
One of the songs that people may know you from is the Selena Gomez duet. How did that come about? I worked a lot with Toby Gad, who is a huge producer. He done a lot of stuff with Selena Gomez and [the song] was actually his idea. We recorded it and she liked it. We never worked for it on radio or even had a video, but it was a little taste of Prince Royce in English for the younger crowd. It was definitely a cool track.
Who are you listening to right now? I’m listening to Chris Brown right now, I’m really liking that record. I don’t have the Taylor Swift album yet but I’m hearing everybody raving about it and I’m hearing the new singles on the radio, and I think she’s done a great job — especially for a female. I think it’s difficult for females nowadays, and I admire women out there who are having mainstream success in the pop and R&B world. I also like Usher‘s new single, I’m a huge fan of him and [he’s] one of my big influences.
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