Ahead of the release of Jencarlos Canela's new album "Jen" this week, the pop crooner sat down for a video interview behind the scenes at the 2014 Billboard Latin Music Conference about the album, singing in Spanish vs. English, and the collab with PSY and KC of KC and the Sunshine Band.
"It took us almost two years to do it," Canela says of the making of the album. "And that's because I really wanted it to represent who, at least, I am today. You always want to evolve and be a better version of yourself."
Days later, Canela debuted a long list of songs from the album's launch party on May 6 at The Stage, in Miami's Wynwood district. Accompanied by a fine 5-piece acoustic band — and with contestants from reality beauty show "Nuestra Belleza Latina" in attendance (Canela is a judge on the show) -- the singer/songwriter powered through up-tempo dance tracks and ballads, including current bilingual single “Irreparable.” "Jen," so named because it’s Canela’s nickname, brings together his multiple influences as someone born and raised in Miami to Cuban parents.
"I am Hispanic, and Hispanic, with time, has different colors; it has different faces," Canela tells Billboard.
And "Jen" is not limited to the singer's usual Spanish-language approach. "There actually is Korean in this album as well," he says with a smile. "No one sees it coming… I have a feature with Psy, the singer from 'Gangnam Style,' on the album, and it's called 'Give It Up.' The song is a cover of KC and the Sunshine Band. And KC is actually on the song with us as well."
Canela also shares that he plans to begin a tour in support of the album this summer, beginning with dates in Latin America and then move on to the U.S.