Listen to Prince Royce's Title Track From His New All-Star Album 'Double Vision': Exclusive Premiere
Prince Royce started working on Double Vision, his upcoming first English-language album (which will be released on Friday, July 24), a good three years ago. But after establishing a foothold in the Latin market with three No. 1 Latin albums, he wanted to be careful about making the crossover.
"It's been kind of a long creative process, and I think now is kind of when it feels right," Royce, who was born Geoffrey Royce Rojas in the Bronx, N.Y., tells Billboard. "It was something that was always kind of brewing inside me. 'Man, I wish one day I could do an album in English and kind of show this other side of me.' I think back then maybe I wouldn't have been ready. I think that now, as far as the creative, the sound, I'm much more solid in my head as far as what direction I want to go. and I got the opportunity with the record label and the team to kind of go for it. So that's what we're doing now, and we'll see what happens."
Billboard has the exclusive premiere of Royce's title track, featuring Tyga. Listen to it below.
The transition isn't that much of a stretch, however. Though Royce says there's "a whole different kind of swag" in writing English pop songs, he's well-grounded from a lifetime familiar with music from both sides of the cultural divide."The reason I called the album Double Vision is because it's an album that comes from two different perspectives," Royce explains. "All my life I saw in double vision -- in English in school with my friends and at house parties, and then in Spanish at home and when I went on vacation with my family. So I kind of lived this dual vision -- Latin music, English music. And I think that's what this album represents. It's everything I grew up listening to; we got urban, we got pop, we got ballads, we got Latin-influenced type of rhythms. It's something that's not forced, which is what I love the most. It's not like the label told me, 'You need to learn English.' It was completely organic and natural."
Royce had help with that mission with some all-star contributions. In addition to Tyga, Double Vision features collaborations with Jennifer Lopezand Pitbull on "Back It Up" (and its very sexy video), Snoop Dogg for "Stuck on a Feeling" and Kid Ink on "Dangerous." The album's release is sending him out on the road, primarily opening for Ariana Grande with some headlining dates mixed in.
"I think it's great," Royce says of playing arenas with Grande. "There's going to be a new audience there that's going to find out about Prince Royce for the first time. I think my fan base is also gonna be there, and I'm gonna play some of my Spanish stuff and also play some of my English stuff. It should be something different, and that's what I look forward do."
Royce also assures us that he's not abandoning his bachata roots. He's planning a Spanish album for his next release, hopefully in 2016, with another English album slotted after that. And for the future he expects to keep the two styles separate rather than trying to mix them into the same album.
"It's not impossible, but I think it's unfair sometimes when you see an album that has five songs in English, five songs in Spanish," Royce says. "I think that I prefer to do separate albums for each. Definitely my intention is never to leave Latin music; I have a core audience there. But this English album is something brand new, like getting a new toy for Christmas. I'm getting the same feeling I got when I released my very first album, so I'm kinda just looking forward to having fun and doing both from here on out."