Enrique Iglesias returns his eagerly-anticipated new album, Euphoria. With its seductive pop, driving hip hop beats and heart of pure passion, Euphoria is set to bring a rush of blood to the dancefloor, with VIP guests including Akon, Nicole Scherzinger, Usher, Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Wisin and Yandel, Juan Luis Guerra and the legendary Lionel Richie.
His most diverse, eclectic collection to date, Euphoria is also Enrique’s first album to feature songs sung in both Spanish and English. “This territory is so exciting for me,” says Enrique. “It taps into so many different styles of music. It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before.”
‘I Like It’ is the first international single from the forthcoming album, produced by Red One, it features a vocal cameo from Lionel Richie, reprising the chorus of his timeless hit ‘All Night Long’. The track is an upbeat floor-filler and comes backed with a crazy hot remix from #1 selling US rapper Pitbull (‘I Know You Want Me’). Enrique was thrilled to work with his friend Lionel Richie, but it was Pitbull who really took it out of him. “Man, working with Pitbull, it’s like he’s got everybody in the world’s mojo, his energy is so intense. And shooting the video together was just insane… ”
Other tracks on Euphoria include Enrique’s Spanish-language smash ‘Cuando Me Enamoro’, featuring Latin superstar Juan Luis Guerra, which crash landed in top 10s across Latin America and Spain on its release. Then there’s the sizzling ‘Heartbeat’, a duet with Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls. It’s utterly pop but emotionally naked. Says Enrique, “If you can create an upbeat song and still put sentiment in it like that… man, that song is raw.”
‘One Day At A Time’, is a departure into mellow calypso, the melody coming to Enrique after he had spent so long battling on the song that he was driving home from the studio in despair. “I turned straight round and went back to record it,” explains the perfectionist. “It was one of those special songs that make you fight for it.” ‘Dirty Dancer’ is a party piece, thick with slamming synthesisers and featuring vocals from Usher, who announces that this is a song “for the dirty girls, all around the world.”
Born in Spain, raised in Miami, and now an international superstar, Enrique discovered his musical talent young, but got his first record deal from a small Mexican label while using a fake name. In 1995 he won a Grammy for his first ever Spanish release (Enrique Iglesias) and in 1999 his eponymous English language debut went on to sell six million albums, go double-platinum in the US, and achieve gold or platinum status in 32 countries. Since then he has had a string of successful albums, from Escape (2001), 7 (2003) and Insomniac (2007) to his Greatest Hits album (2008), while his sold-out world tours have established him as a captivating live performer.
In the US he is one of the biggest-selling Spanish artists of all time, with over 12 million albums sold and 19 #1 Billboard Latin hits across the Americas. Meanwhile, in the UK Enrique has sold 2.2 million albums and 1.6 million singles, the biggest of which – the inimitable ‘Hero’ – spent four weeks at #1 and is now a staple of teary X Factor scenes. Enrique has had 12 top 20 singles, and six Top 10 singles in the UK, including ‘Bailamos’, ‘Could I Have This Kiss Forever’, ‘Escape’, ‘Not In Love’ (ft Kelis), and ‘Do You Know’.
Traditionally, Latin artists release Spanish and English versions of the same songs. “But I always wanted to combine completely different songs, rather than translate them,” Enrique explains. “I’d write one I liked in Spanish, but then I’d write one I liked even more in English, so then there’d be this internal competition to write an even better one in Spanish, and vice versa. The US is now the biggest market for Spanish songs, so this is an experiment.”
“I know people always believe their new record is the best thing they’ve ever done, but truly, this record is my most diverse, my most exciting and the most surprising album I’ve made in my career,” he says, grinning wildly. The anticipation is tangible.