Romeo Santos is known to many as the king of bachata, but music won't be the only thing on his radar this year.
The 33-year-old, whose two solo albums Formula: Vol. 1 and Formula: Vol. 2 were Top 10 hits on Billboard, is playing alongside his chum Vin Diesel in Furious 7. He's also set to voice a character in the film adaptation of the Angry Birds videogame coming to theaters next year.
During a New York City photo shoot on Jan. 8 for his latest collaboration with Dr. Pepper, the former Aventura singer spoke to us about working with the beverage company, his acting debut and his upcoming music.
How did you get involved with Dr. Pepper?
This was about two years ago, they reached out to my camp and I thought it was just perfect. I was dropping my first solo album and I've always been very picky about what brands I sponsor or I get affiliated with. The timing, everything just went.
What is it about this brand that you like?
They are perfectionists like myself so there are a lot of similarities. I like their slogans ("One of a Kind" and the latest "Dare to Discover"). I don't like being a part of anything that's corny and I definitely like Dr. Pepper.
You also have huge things coming up like the new Fast and the Furious film. How was it working on that?
It was really great. I've always said I would prefer a small participation in a huge project and vice versa. Vin himself reached out - we are good friends - and I was like of course. I think it's just a great introduction for me in Hollywood. I've always loved acting and I've just never had the opportunity before to be part of the proper project. ...It's a really small, minor participation but it's truly an honor for me.
How did you and Vin Diesel become friends?
He was at an awards show and we met in the dressing room. I didn't know he knew my music - he was a fan. I'm definitely a fan of everything he's done. We started kicking it right there. From that point on we kept a good relationship.
Was there any fun or special memories from the set?
I was really, really nervous. It's like a whole different dynamic. I didn't know what to expect. And even though I kept reading the lines and it was a really small participation, it's the first time I was going to experience something like that so I was very, very, very nervous. The gorgeous, beautiful girl, [Jordana Brewster], she made me feel so comfortable. It's great to work with professionals and I walked into a whole different monster and I was able to pull it off more because of the way they made me feel on set along with the directors as well.
So tell me about your character in the movie.
I'm not supposed to say a lot but I can tell you it's a real interesting character because he plays a big role, not in the movie, but in the [storyline]. It's really interesting. You never know, there might be more of that character if the legacy continues.
And you are also in Angry Birds. What was that like for you?
That was a lot of fun. I had never done anything like that in the past. It was real, real emotional. You would think that it's cartoons, but it's great. It was a great experience. I did that at my house in the studio, and I felt very comfortable because I was in the comfort of my home. ...I probably shot for nine hours.
Was it difficult at all for you to voice a character?
Just like Fast and the Furious, when you are walking into something that you're not familiar with, that you've never done before, you feel nervous about it. But once you start doing it and the directors tell you, you are doing a great job, you kind of get more confident. You feel a lot more comfortable.
Were movies something you always wanted to do?
Absolutely! And I think these roles came at a perfect time in my career. I would love to do more acting. It just requires so much of your time and I'm doing so well in the music. You are filming a movie for maybe six, seven months sometimes a lot longer and I'm touring most of the time so it's kind of tough for me.
Speaking of touring, when can we expect new music from you?
I take so long recording my productions - about a year and a half, sometimes two years - that I kind of like to give it a rest and not to saturate or not to sound repetitive musically speaking. So I've been listening to a lot of music, from jazz to traditional bachata, just a little bit of everything so when I begin to create new music it's just like rebirth. But I would probably begin recording my third album maybe in six, seven months.
Is there someone you'd really want to work with that you haven't collaborated with yet?
There are so many artists. I would probably like to work with Shakira; I think that would be interesting. Beyonce, Jay Z and Justin Timberlake.
Can we expect another Aventura reunion?
It's hard to say. I go with moments, if it feels right in the future then it might go down. It's hard to say right now.
Can you recall any crazy tour memories?
One of the worst experiences that I've ever experienced, I can say that I was in Boston about a few months back and I barely get sick. It's really difficult for me to have to cancel a show and I didn't cancel but I lost my voice. I had three shows in Boston and the second night I was just like done. And I took a lot of medication and I was able to pull off and do the show but I was very, very scared.
How did that show go?
The audience just delivers this energy that you're able to pull it off. They were singing most of the time so I was able to rest my voice but it was tough.
What about crazy fan moments?
I've been seeing a lot of girls and even guys tattooing my name in different parts of their body.
Is that weird for you?
It's an honor. I'm excited when I see that. It's crazy because I don't think I would ever get a tattoo, definitely not of myself, or anyone, but it's a beautiful thing.
Finally, what's something that people don't know about you?
That's a good question. I would have to say that I'm a clown. There's a misconception that I'm very serious. ...I think that most of my personality is joking around. I like to play pranks so I think that's something people don't know about me.