About The Artist
The Set List
Wal-Mart Soundcheck recently caught up with Spanish heartthrob Enrique Iglesias at Center Staging in Burbank, California. Performing selections from his fourth English-language album, 'Insomniac,' Enrique delivered a vibrant set of old hits and new tracks.
In the fickle world of showbiz, Enrique Iglesias had the odds stacked against him: a famous father (Spanish legend Julio Iglesias) and movie star looks that have often detracted from his talent. Few people know that he is also an accomplished songwriter who's sold more than 40 million records worldwide. With the release of his first album in four years, this self-proclaimed insomniac looks set to continue that hard-won success.
On Restless Nights
Those familiar with the torment of lying awake at 3 a.m. understand the challenges of sleep deprivation. For Enrique, late nights of insomnia gave birth to an inspiration that fueled the concept and production of his accomplished new album: "I named it 'Insomniac' because I am an insomniac. I worked with everybody on this album and I wanted to change a little bit from what I typically did. That wasn't an easy process. When you make an album, it changes the way you live. You never know when inspiration is going to kick in. Most of the time - at least with me - when it kicks in, it's late at night. That's when you write the lyrics and you're in the studio. You think you're going to stay there only till midnight and you end up leaving at 7 in the morning."
On Music Psychology
Moving to America at a young age uprooted Enrique, who arrived speaking only his native Spanish tongue. Feeling displaced in a foreign land with few friends, the 8-year-old turned to music. Says Enrique: "Making music was totally therapeutic. I always said that it was like going to a psychologist. It helped me express myself. Whenever I felt sad, I would pick up a pen and paper and just write songs. Whenever I was happy, I would pick up a pen and paper and write songs."
On '80s Greaties
Who are Enrique's heroes? We asked the Latin superstar about his musical inspirations and discovered that his rock 'n' roll heroes hark back to the glorious '80s. Explains Enrique: "My first musical memories would have to be live shows. When I moved to America, there were two that changed the way I listened to music. One had to be Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. The other was Bruce Springsteen and the 'Born in the USA' tour. Those two shows just blew me away. The big superstars of the '80s. I felt like there were these huge stars bigger than life."
Although he's the best-selling Spanish-language artist of the last decade, Enrique remains a humble guy both on and off the stage. With his trademark sense of humor and down-to-earth persona, Mr. Iglesias Junior is a regular guy with an extraordinary amount of talent. Besides writing and performing his own hits, Enrique is also an established industry songwriter (he recently co-wrote a tune for Andrea Bocelli's debut pop album and has written tunes for UK band The Hollies). His brand-new disc is a diverse album that incorporates a number of influences from hip-hop to Spanish salsa. Take a listen to 'Insomnia' - it's worth staying awake for.
-The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck
- Enrique Miguel Iglesias y Preysler was born in Madrid, Spain on May 8, 1975
- Enrique comes from music royalty. He is the son of international superstar Julio Iglesias and Filipina musician / socialite Isabel Preysler.
- Enrique spent his first eight years in Madrid. After his grandfather's kidnapping - a scandal that rocked his native Spain - he moved to Miami to live with his father.
- He's been in some high-profile relationships. Some of the beauties who have dated Enrique include Jennifer Love Hewitt, Christina Aguilera, former Miss Universe Alicia Macado, model / actress Sofia Vergara and tennis star Anna Kournikova.
Enrique launches into the up-tempo first single from 'Insomniac. "Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)" is a contagious piece of pop confectionary produced by veteran hip-hop songwriter Sean Garret. Already a smash hit (the video recently landed at No. 1 on MTV), the song is an ode to love gone awry: "Do you know what it feels like to love someone that's in a rush to throw you away? Do you know what it feels like to be the last one to know the lock on the door has changed?"
Enrique took the longest hiatus of his 10-year career in order to deliver the disc of his dreams. Teaming up with veteran producers John Shanks, Kristian Lundin, Maratone (and even rapper Lil' Wayne who guests on "Insomniac"), the record shifts from hi-energy dance to atmospheric ballads. "Somebody's Me" is a beautiful ballad that showcases Enrique's vulnerable side. The singer / songwriter also performs this tune en espanol ("Alguien Soy Yo") on the new record.
Tired of Being Sorry
The next song in his energetic set is a selection from the new album, 'Insomniac,' Enrique sings an upbeat anthem about forgoing fighting for love. The song is actually a cover of a tune from Scott Thomas and Balthazar Getty's Hollywood band, Ringside. Enrique's arrangement stays true to the original; it contains the signature chords and infectious chorus about a lonely LA life. Against the backdrop of Burbank, Iglesias sings: "Chandler and Van Nuys with all the vampires and their brides. We're all bloodless and blind... and longing for a life beyond the silver moon."
Be With You
"I can't sleep, I'm up all night," sings Enrique in this bittersweet ballad from his debut English-language album, 'Enrique.' Produced by Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling (the hit-making team responsible for Cher's 'Believe'), "Be With You" was Enrique's second U.S. No. 1 hit and signaled a successful crossover to English pop. Croons Enrique in this tune, (one which he also co-wrote): "Through these tears, I try to smile. I know the touch of your hand can save my life."
Enrique saves his biggest musical moment for last. Released in late 2001 after the tragic events of 9/11, "Hero" became a defining moment in American pop music. The song was played heavily on New York radio during the days following the attacks, and Enrique was asked to perform the heartfelt tune at the benefit concert 'America: A Tribute to Heroes.' Today, Enrique stages a poignant rendition of the song that's both affecting and nostalgic. It's a fitting way to end his enigmatic set.