Pitbull is in the middle of an incredible run. Last year, his sixth studio album, "Planet Pit" (Polo Grounds/Mr. 305/Sony/J), bowed at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, marking his highest-charting album to date. It gave rise to his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Give Me Everything," just one of 10 Hot 100 songs he appeared on in 2011-five of them from "Planet Pit." "Give Me Everything" has moved 4.2 million copies while the album has sold 392,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In February, he performed with Chris Brown and Ne-Yo during the NBA All-Star Game, and he just released the theme song ("Back in Time") to "Men in Black 3," in addition to appearing on Jennifer Lopez's "Dance Again," which bows this week at No. 27 on the Hot 100. Pitbull is also working on a new album, due this summer, whose first single "Get It Started" features Shakira. But first, on April 25, he'll sit for a Q&A at the Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami.
l1 You have so many records that are released simultaneously. How do you not repeat yourself?
The fact that I travel the world, that I'm in so many places, always getting more information and seeing all these different things. There was a movie called "Short Circuit" with a robot called Johnny , and all he would say was, "More input, more input, more input." And the more I see the world, the more I want to do different things, continuously. It's ADD at its finest.
l2 In addition to your vodka brand, Voli (see story, page 5), you've been adding to your business portfolio in other arenas. How's that going?
We completed a year of launching [Voli] in March, and we already sold 100,000 cases. For any startup company, that's a growth of leaps and bounds. And Sheets -the energy strips -those are doing amazing numbers as well. You see them in Walgreens, CVS. And we're going to be doing deals with Mexico and Brazil. I'm learning how to integrate products into the record and the videos in a creative and smart way.
l3 What can you say about the new album?
We're at the beginning stages. The title is going to be "Global Warming." The first single is "Get It Started." I'll be able to work with some of the same producers I've been working with -Afrojack, RedOne -and a lot of it will be done in-house. [Global warming is] something people are speaking about and are passionate about. There's all this talk of going green, but it's been happening for years. Only now are people paying attention and really listening. It's the same thing with my music. We've been here for a long [time], but now, people are really listening.
l4 How did "Get It Started" and "Dance Again" come about?
Originally, Shakira was going to be on "Give Me Everything," but then she couldn't do it at the time. And with this one, she said, "Can I take a crack at this?" She recorded in Barcelona and I recorded in the Dominican Republic. She sang the hook and she did the breakdown and she knocked it out the park. As far as J.Lo is concerned, working with her is always an honor. "On the Floor" was one of the biggest records last year and "Dance Again," as far as what she's been through, it's a big record for her. As far as the verses, I was thinking about fun things to say, things to make women feel good.
l5 How did you get involved in "Men in Black 3"?
That came from [Sony/ATV Music Publishing co-president Jody Gerson]. They told me that the movie went back to 1969, so they wanted to flip an old-school record, and who doesn't know [Mickey & Sylvia's "Love Is Strange"]? As soon as I heard that one, I said, "This is it."
l6 Do you always hear records that quickly, or do you weigh your options?
I make my decisions right away. If it calls to me, it does it right away. I don't second-guess myself. Have I made mistakes? Sure, I have. But I feel failure is the mother of all success. I'm not afraid of failure.