Enrique Iglesias gives the lowdown on upcoming tour
While other artists are only providing the best view to fans up front, pop star Enrique Iglesias finds it important to work the entire arena, especially on his forthcoming "Euphoria Tour."
"The cool thing about the stage is [it's] very interactive with the audience," Iglesias said during a recent teleconference. "I always like getting as close as possible to a crowd and even to the people that are all the way in the back, we ... sometimes like to set up a B stage.
"[Arenas] are my favorite venues to play because they're big. You know, they can be up to 15,000 people or more, but still you can make it very intimate. That all comes down to the design of the stage. We always have that in mind."
Starting Sept. 22 in Boston, the "Euphoria Tour" will travel to nearly 20 cities, culminating in an Oct. 22 show in Iglesias' hometown of Miami. The shows will feature hits from his recent chart-topping album "Euphoria," such as "I Like It" and "Tonight," along with fan favorites from his many platinum-selling albums. The singer said he's looking forward to the jaunt, which includes special guests Pitbull and Prince Royce.
"I love being on the road," he said. "For me, that's the funnest part of my job. Actually, [it] doesn't feel like a job. When it comes down 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 just 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."
It also doesn't feel like a job during the recording sessions, he said. "Euphoria" is Iglesias' first bilingual album, something he said he's always wanted to do.
"I even brought it up to the record company, like, five years ago, but they didn't think it was [a good idea]," he said. "They weren't really digging the idea, and as time went on, I remember telling the record company that unfortunately the days of making albums were kind of, like, 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, and it would help me artistically to make this type of album.
"Whenever I would get stuck writing songs in English, I would move on to Spanish and vice-versa, and that for me made it a lot more interesting. It was a spin off of what I usually do."
For "Euphoria," Iglesias delved into the hip-hop world, collaborating with the likes of Ludacris, Pitbull, Usher and Akon. Iglesias explained this says a lot about how his music is evolving.
"I like working with artists that come from completely different musical backgrounds," he said. "There's always a risk and, at times in the past and 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 kind of approached it a little bit different. What I did is I actually wrote the songs first and then I thought about, 'OK, who can give the song like a different [feel]? Who can kind of change this song up a little bit and who would it be cool to work with and do this with, and that approach helped me a lot on this album.'"
It would seem that Iglesias has little in common with some of the guests that appear on "Euphoria.". But take Pitbull, for example. Iglesias learned they had a lot in common.
"He's a little bit of a music encyclopedia," Iglesias said. "He loves all types of music ,and 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.' And we're both from Miami. We're both Hispanic, and it felt real. It didn't feel forced at all, and 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 and, yes, we're definitely going to do something on the stage together."
Fans and critics alike consider Iglesias a trendsetter for knocking down walls for bilingual artists, such as Prince Royce. Iglesias finds this flattering.
"I think Prince Royce is a perfect example of an artist that I think would be embraced by an English-speaking audience," he said. "First of all, he speaks better English than me. He grew up in the U.S. If you talk to him, he probably speaks more English than Spanish. It's the new generation. It's the kids that have Hispanic influence and their parents are Hispanic, but they grew up in America and the parents still listen to Spanish music and still watch TV in Spanish, but the kids are able to [speak] both even more English than Spanish at times. I think this whole new generation of Hispanic artists that have grown up in the U.S. 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 than probably I did."
22 - Boston, MA - TD Garden
23 - Atlantic City, NJ - Mark G. Etess Arena
24 - Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
27 - Fairfax, VA - Patriot Center
29 - Toronto, Ontario - Air Canada Centre
30 - Auburn Hills, MI - The Palace of Auburn Hills
1 - Rosemont, IL - Allstate Arena
3 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center
6 - Los Angeles, CA - Staples Center
7 - San Jose, CA - HP Pavilion at San Jose
8 - Las Vegas, NV - Red Rock Casino Resort
12 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
13 - San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center
15 - El Paso, TX- UTEP Don Haskins Center
16 - Laredo, TX - Laredo Energy Arena
18 - Grand Prairie, TX - Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
20 - Duluth, GA - The Arena at Gwinnett Center
21 - Orlando, FL - Amway Center
22 - Miami, FL - American Airlines Arena