Published : Tuesday, August 20, 2019 | 2:03 PM
Luis Fonsi scored worldwide fame with the 2017 mega-hit “Despacito,” but it took years of hard work to achieve his “overnight” success.
“It’s been a 21-year overnight,” said Puerto-Rican born Fonsi. “My first album was released in 1998.” His latest album is Vida.
Fonsi, who has collaborated with scores of musicians, including Yankee Daddy on his world-famous “Despacito,” has had some remarkable success. But even with a few billion views on his Youtube channel and scoring hits on the Billboard charts, the well-loved Latin pop musician is still striving to grow and learn.
“It’s an evolving musical journey for me,” Fonsi said. “I love the fact that I’ve been able to press the restart button every time I put out a new album. It all started in 1998 when I put out my first album. I’ve been able to grow and learn and I’ve had a taste for understanding what it’s like to have hits. I still feel like I want to learn more every day.”
The music has enabled Fonsi to tour the world. He’s been on tour for a few months and looks forward to coming back to the states.
“I left my house in early June and we’ve been touring throughout Europe and it’s been amazing,” Fonsi said. “It’s been so exciting to travel to different countries and perform in front of different fans, so it’s going to be exciting for me to play in Pasadena, it’s going to be fun.
In Fonsi’s videos there is a lot of activity. How does he stay in shape?
“I don’t have a regimen, I like to eat,” he said. “I don’t have a strict diet. I go to the gym. I love to eat and that’s what I love the most about traveling. I work out so I can eat and still be in shape.”
Collaborations have been one of the keys to Fonsi’s growth.
“Since I have a broad style, I’ve worked with all kinds of artists,” he said. “I’ve been blessed to work with the best of the best and amazing international artists, there’s so much you can learn from working with these amazing artists.
He still has one unrealized hope.
“My dream is to collaborate with Stevie Wonder,” Fonsi said. “Even if it’s his harmonica on one of my tracks.”
Fonsi is known for having a wide range of musical styles and when it comes to trying out a new approach, it’s not deliberate. He just writes and plays the way the spirit moves him.
“Re-inventing the wheel is not my goal,” he said. ” want to keep my music fresh, I like to push the envelope and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m willing to swing for the fences. That was how it was with ‘Despacito’ to do a pop act with an urban act and do it in English and Spanish, that was different. Now it’s done every day. I was not the first to do it, but for me it was a leap from what I had done in the past.”
Fonsi said his innovative music starts out the way all music does: With the basics.
“It’s all about melody and lyric and how we dress up the track,” he said.
How does Fonsi keep his goals on the horizon?
“It’s about making great songs and moving people,” he said. “I would love to write for a musical or a movie, but right now I want to knock the door off and share Latin music with the world. I know how Latinos think and I know how Americans think.”
And in the meantime he’s looking forward to coming back to the states.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the fans in Pasadena,” he said. “I appreciate the fans, and I can’t wait to see them.”
The Rose is located at The Paseo Colorado, 245 E. Green St, Pasadena, (888) 645-5006 or visit wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com/events/luis-fonsi-pasadena-september/ for more information.