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Prince Royce busts an English move, finally
"Double Vision," Prince Royce's first-ever English album, just appeared in July. But it's been something the Bronx-born Latin pop singer has been planning for some time, even as he was scored three No. 1 releases on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart.
"I've been working on this album for three years now," Royce, 26 -- real name Geoffrey Royce Rojas -- says by phone from New York. "It's been kind of a long creative process, and I think now is kind of when it feels right. It was something that was always kind of brewing inside me, 'Man, I wish one day I could do an album in English and kind of show this other side of me.'
"I think back then maybe I wouldn't have been ready. I think that now, as far as the creative, the sound, I'm much more solid in my head as far as what direction I want to go. and I got the opportunity with the record label and the team to kind of go for it. So that's what we're doing now, and we'll see what happens."
Royce says there's "a whole different kind of swag" in writing English pop songs, but the transition wasn't much of a stretch as some might expect since he grew up familiar with both sides of the cultural divide.
"The reason I called the album 'Double Vision' is because it's an album that comes from two different perspectives," Royce explains. "All my life I saw in double vision -- in English in school with my friends and at house parties, and then in Spanish at home and when I went on vacation with my family. So I kind of lived this dual vision -- Latin music, English music.
"And I think that's what this album represents. It's everything I grew up listening to; we got urban, we got pop, we got ballads, we got Latin-influenced type of rhythms. It's something that's not forced, which is what I love the most. It's not like the label told me, 'You need to learn English.' It was completely organic and natural."
"Double Vision" -- which features guest appearances by Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Snoop Dogg -- debuted at No. 21 on the Billboard 200. He hasn't scored a pop hit yet, either, but Royce says he knows he has to be patient to break into the mainstream pop market.
"This English album is something brand new, like getting a new toy for Christmas," he notes. "I'm getting the same feeling I got when I released my very first album, so I'm kinda just looking forward to having fun and doing both from here on out. Definitely my intention is never to leave Latin music; I have a core audience there."
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