Singer Pepe Aguilar will begin recording two simultaneous projects this month. The first, a predominantly mariachi album, is geared for release in the United States and Mexico possibly next year.

Singer Pepe Aguilar will begin recording two simultaneous projects this month. The first, a predominantly mariachi album, is geared for release in the United States and Mexico possibly next year.

The second project, however, is the real surprise. Aguilar is planning an all-Italian pop album, for release in Argentina, Chile, Spain, Italy and other markets. He hopes the disc will be ready by year's end.

"It's going to be a turning point," says Aguilar, who is best known for his stylized blend of pop and ranchera and his velvety tenor voice. "Whether it's good or bad, it's going to be a turning point."

The notion of an Italian album stemmed from a duet Aguilar recorded with Italian star Tiziano Ferro for Mexican reality show "Big Brother 2005." The track, "Mi Credo," was written by songwriter Fato and produced and arranged by Aguilar.

"This is the first duet I have made in my life," Aguilar says. "And it's the first song Tiziano performs that he hasn't written. So I'm very, very happy."

In Mexico, "Mi Credo" will appear on the "Big Brother" soundtrack on EMI Mexico. In the United States, EMI Latin USA will include it in a compilation, "Big Hits," due April 5.

"I'm not into duets," Aguilar admits. "I don't like them very much. But [with] Tiziano, it's something different. And, of course, I have my other exceptions. If Joaquin Sabina suddenly came and said he wanted to record a duet, of course I'd do it."