Puerto Rican crooner Luis Fonsi debuted the first single, “Gritar,” from his upcoming album Tierra Firme, kicking off what is shaping up to be the Summer of Fonsi. Next up for the singer—who has more than five million followers between Twitter and Facebook combined—is a live performance at the 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards on April 28, followed by the release of Tierra Firme in July.
We got the super-busy Fonsi on the phone to find out about “Gritar,” his upcoming album, and where the recently divorced balladeer (he split from long-time love Adamari Lopez this past November) stands these days when it comes to women:
What was your inspiration for the song?
When you’re a songwriter part of your life is your music. So everything I live, every beautiful thing that happens to me, every mistake I make, all of the ups and downs are always going to be part of my lyrics. Maybe six years ago I went through something that really changed my life, and it’s part of my song. Some of it is a little bit fictional in the sense that I might have gotten it from what my brother is going through – or from my neighbor, my friends, my manager, my hairdresser. You sort of become a little bit of a psychologist and whatever they say inspires you and takes you to places.
What can we look forward to on this new album?
It’s a combination of songs that I’ve written in the past two years. There are some fun up-tempo songs with an 80s backbone. I’m a huge dorky fan of the 80s. There is one cover – there is one remake – which is something I haven’t done in a quite a while. This is completely different from what you would expect me to do as a remake. That will be a surprise that I’ll talk about later, once the album is out.
Lyrically I think it’s two steps up from the last album, musically also. It’s a growth and it’s a process. We all change. From the last record to this record I said, ‘I want to try new things. I want to work with new people. I want to try new sounds.’ I think people will find an evolution.
What is the most romantic thing a woman can do?
I think that guys love just complete creativity and being very spontaneous.
Do you think certain types of girls are the “marrying kind”?
You’re asking the wrong person! I don’t want to be negative. I believe in love. We’re not supposed to know all of the answers. I think we are just supposed to be good people; love like it’s the last day of your life, and just live life. And that’s sort of where I am at on the personal level. I do believe in love and I don’t know what the heck we would do without love. I just feel like we shouldn’t overanalyze, because if not we are just going to go crazy.
What would you say to a girl who is going through terrible heartbreak?
I think time heals everything. I think we sometimes try to solve our problems overnight, and unfortunately that is impossible. We all have to go through pain. Just ride it out, be strong, and believe in yourself, and everything will fall back into place.
What’s the first thing that you notice in a woman?
I’m not going to lie to you. The reality is – and for a woman also – the first thing you see is the external shell. So, obviously that would be the first thing I notice. But I think that the first thing that will really capture me is just her perspective on life and the way she talks and the way she sees everything. And her humor. There are beautiful girls everywhere, but once you find that person that you really connect to… you just sort of know it when you talk.
What would be the one physical characteristic that attracts you?
Smile, in general.
Special message to your Latina magazine fans?
When you’re a Latino in the U.S., you become even more proud to yell it – para gritarlo. I love that about the magazine, and I just want to send all my love to all of my fans who are always very supportive in every little thing that happens in my life – on a personal level and on a professional level. Now that I’m about to embark on this journey for this new album and this new single “Gritar,” it’s great to know that they got my back.
Listen to "Gritar" below!