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Interview:
Enrique Iglesias happy to be expanding his sound
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

A smooth, polished pop singer like Enrique Iglesias touring with a rapper such as Pitbull seems like an odd match. But Iglesias insists that the combination works well.

"We're both from Miami," explains the 36-year-old son of Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias. "We're both Hispanic. It felt real. It didn't feel forced at all. I love working with him and hanging out with him. He's a great guy, and that's why we've kept on working together, 'cause he's very easy to work with. He's extremely talented and so energetic and he's very down to earth."

Iglesias and Pitbull (nee Armando Perez) have joined forces for songs such as the hit "I Like It" and "I Like How It Feels" from Iglesias' double-platinum 2010 album "Euphoria" and "Euphoria Reloaded," respectively, and "Come N Go" from the Cuban-American MC's latest set, "Planet PIt." They've become "close friends," according to Iglesias, and working with Pitbull is also part of a more concentrated outreach that Iglesias has been trying to make towards other artists.

"I like working with artists that come from completely different musical backgrounds," he says. "There's always a risk, and at times in the past...it didn't quite work." But for "Euphoria" -- which also includes collaborations with Usher, Lil Wayne, Nicole Scherzinger and Latino artists Juan Luis Guerra and Wisin & Yandel -- Iglesias "wrote the song first and then thought, 'OK, who can come in and kind of change the song a little bit? Who would be cool to work with?' and that approach helped me a lot."

"Euphoria" was also Iglesias' first-ever bilingual album. He says that his record company executives "weren't really digging the idea" when he first presented it five years ago, but the set's commercial performance -- including four million copies sold worldwide -- assures that Iglesias will take that approach again, perhaps as soon as hi next album.

"I loved doing this album," Iglesias says. "Doing songs in English and Spanish, together, really made it more interesting for me. I just felt it was the right time to do it in my career, and I think (the results) have proved me right."

Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull and Prince Royce perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $19.50-$89.50. Call 248.377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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