Diego Boneta record deal
Diego Boneta

Diego Boneta may soon be known as the Latin Jared Leto: After making a name for himself in TV and film, Boneta has inked a recording deal with Sony Music U.S. Latin.

The Mexican heartthrob is a rising star who has become somewhat of a fixture on U.S. TV with roles in MTV's Underemployed, CW's 90210 and ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars. He's also done a string of films, most notably Rock of Ages, where he starred as Drew Boley and performed nine tracks from the film's acclaimed soundtrack.

Now, Boneta is looking to mine his music side even further thanks to his newly inked deal with Sony Music U.S. Latin. The label plans to release material in both English and Spanish, beginning with an EP that could be out in early 2015.

"Diego is a brand and music is an integral part of his artistic identity," says Sony Music U.S. Latin president Nir Seroussi, who plans to find Boneta opportunities in multiple media, including opportunities for Boneta's music in the many films he acts in. Upcoming projects include horror flick Summer Camp and Pelé, the biopic about the legendary Brazilian soccer player in which Boneta plays archrival Pedro alongside Vincent D'onofrio and Rodrigo Santoro.

"The idea is not to simply release an album but create a strategy that's congruent with my career," Boneta said in an exclusive interview with Billboard from his vacation in CancĂșn. However, Boneta points out, "Diego the actor and Diego the singer are managed completely separate from one another."

As it turns out, Boneta started as a singer, taking voice lessons when he was only 8 years old and becoming a finalist on music reality show Codigo F.A.M.A. when he was 12. At 15, Boneta landed a role in the popular soap opera Rebelde and went on to release two successful solo albums with EMI.

By 2010, at 20 years old, Boneta was already making a mark in Hollywood with his roles in Pretty Little Liars and 90210, plus a role in Mean Girls 2. He was signed briefly to Adam Levine's label but finally went to Sony, where he'll work in both languages and across many mediums.

Now, Boneta is writing new tracks even as he prepares to begin shooting the miniseries The Dovekeepers, from Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (The Bible).

The trick to the balancing act, he says, is "finding the time. I'd like to be doing what Justin Timberlake does."

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