Chayanne: Out To Captivate Fans

Excerpted from the magazine for

Chayanne, one of the top performing acts in Latin music, has always followed a new release with a tour. But this time around, the Puerto Rican star reversed that formula.

"Cautivo," his new studio set due Sept. 27 on Sony BMG, follows a massive summer tour that introduced the album to U.S. audiences.

For the past two months, Chayanne has been a part of the MAC tour alongside Marc Anthony and Alejandro Fernandez. The 19-city trek marked the first time Chayanne shared an arena with another artist, let alone two. And, as it turns out, the tour came together as Chayanne was putting the finishing touches on his album.

"I always tour when my singles are hot," Chayanne says. "I worry about singing something and not seeing a reaction. But this is my new song, and that's what I tell audiences before I sing it. This was all very spontaneous."

But perhaps the biggest difference between "Cautivo" and Chayanne's previous 12 studio albums is the music itself.

Long a purveyor of sweeping ballads and uptempo dance tracks imbued with Latin rhythms, Chayanne delivered a more rock-oriented and experimental album this time around. And instead of relying on singer/songwriters Estefano and Franco De Vita, who have long supplied him with hits, Chayanne enlisted Carlos Ponce.

Ponce, an actor/singer/songwriter who has had a successful career as an EMI artist, gave Chayanne a handful of tracks, including "No Te Preocupes Por Mí," written with Freddy Pineiro Jr. The track, which is built on electric guitar riffs, marks the first time in Chayanne's career that his first single to U.S. radio is an uptempo track instead of a ballad.

The track is No. 48 on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart and No. 17 on the Latin Pop Airplay chart.

"I'm very pleased with the sound, the lyrics, the freshness of the album," Chayanne says. "I wasn't looking for standard songs, but for things that would take me by surprise. I definitely wanted to do something different. Something different without going crazy, and without going in a direction that isn't mine."

While many acts tend to make drastic changes in their sound, Chayanne's evolution has been slow but steady. Each album has slightly more edge than the one before. This has ensured that Chayanne's sound remains fresh and, at the same time, accepted at radio.

The artist says "Cautivo" comes at a high moment in his career. "For the first time, I've used an album title that isn't a song title and isn't mentioned in any of the songs either," he says. "And I called it that because of how I feel with life. I'm enthralled with everything. Captivated and happy."

"Cautivo" will be released throughout Latin America and in key international markets, including Japan and Australia -- where Chayanne traveled recently for promotion -- as well as Spain, Italy and Sweden. In the United States, Sony BMG is offering customers who buy the album via iTunes, Target or Wal-Mart an exclusive bonus track.

There are no English tracks on the album. The possibility of Chayanne recording in English has long been discussed -- so much so that he does not want to talk about it anymore.

"The idea has always been to record in English. But in the end, between the promotion, the tour, the video, years have gone by, and it hasn't happened," he says, noting that "Cautivo" was supposed to have been in English.

In fact, he adds, the songs on the album would be ideal for English versions. "But no, I haven't done it," he says. "And when I do, I want to work with different producers, perhaps British or American."

Excerpted from the Oct. 1, 2005, issue of Billboard. The full original text is available to subscribers.

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