Our Hero Enrique Iglesias chats about his life of music ahead of gig at Birmingham Genting
Enrique Iglesias is undeniably the biggest Latin recording artist in music history.
And he’s back on the road for the first time in four years to perform all the hits live.
Enrique will be at Birmingham’s Genting Arena on October 27 as he continues to be one of the most successful artists in modern music.
This week, he’s been in the news for passionately kissing a fan who joined him on the stage in the Ukraine – can the women of Brum look forward to much of the same when he visits the city? We can only hope.
Aside from his status as an international heartthrob, Enrique’s been celebrated with just about every award an artist can receive including multiple Grammys, Billboard Awards, World Music Awards, American Music Awards, Premios Juventud, ASCAP honours and BMI honours. His trophy cabinet has more than 200 accolades.
Enrique, who has nine-month-old twins Nicholas and Lucy with Russian tennis player Anna Kournikova, sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, released 10 studio albums plus two greatest hits compilations and is a multiplatinum artist in almost every country in the world.
His hits tour will be, well, a celebration of hits – obviously.
“Definitely all the hits,” says the 43-year-old.
“There’s a bunch of them that people will enjoy. I haven’t been to the UK on tour in quite a while now. If I’m not mistaken, 2014. Crazy how time flies. I always say this but I honestly enjoy every time more and more being up on stage. I think a lot of it has to do with the songs and the songs that I am able to pick, the songs that I’ve written over the years. That makes the show a lot more interesting – and, of course, the production. From a production standpoint I want to make sure it’s as good as it can be.”
Enrique, who was born in Madrid, Spain, has a huge back catalogue of fantastic songs and he has to make sure he gives the fans what they want, narrowing down the set list to keep everyone happy.
“In this case obviously it’s called the All The Hits Live tour so we want to play as many songs as possible that were released and that were successful. Really concentrating on that. At the same time still making sure that the set list is something that you enjoy on stage and performing.”
Enrique collaborated with UK X Factor 2016 winner Matt Terry on Subeme La Radio, which was huge. He plans to invite Matt to the London show to get him on stage. And though Matt’s been let go by his record label, Enrique has no plans to follow suit.
“We’re not going to let him go. We’re going to let him come up on stage. It all comes down to the music at the end of the day – it’s pop. Music is not an easy ride. In my career I think it was fundamental to be able to write as many songs as possible. Whether you co-write or write your own music it’s important. Eventually you can’t really rely on other songwriters. If you are, that’s fine. I’m not saying you can’t sing songs from other songwriters but if you can write your own music, your own songs, it’s going to help a lot.”
Enrique, the son of famous Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias and Filipino TV host Isabel Preysler, is a fan of UK pop music and constantly follows different artists. Among his favourites is Dua Lipa.
“I do like Dua Lipa. I didn’t know she was from the UK. I thought she was Dutch. I was in Holland and I heard her first single and that she was doing well in the charts so thought she was from there.
“My favourite song right now is probably Shotgun by George Ezra. I have that song on repeat – and my babies love it.”
His fans are deeply loyal and a number of fan experiences stand out.
“Believe it or not, I know this might sound very normal to a lot of artists out there but fans waiting outside the hotel or in the lobby for hours or days to me that’s crazy. It’s extreme dedication and a lot of patience. Honestly, I still don’t take it for granted. I love seeing them. I love talking to them. I love taking pictures with them. I always try to make time. I know if it wasn’t for them I would never, ever have been able to do this for such a long time. Their support means everything. Even when there’s been moments when I’ve said: ‘After this album, maybe this is it’. Something always happens with a fan that inspires you and motivates you to keep on doing what you do and give it the all. Give it your best.”
And yet it’s not all been a bed of roses. There have been times when Enrique thought he might give up music.
“Yeah, of course. There’s been many of those moments. I still have those moments now once in a while. There’s been moments when I’ve been, not so much touring, but definitely making albums. Making albums is a lot of work. I’m extremely grateful that I’m able to do it but it can be frustrating at times in the studio.
“When you’re stuck and you’re not writing as well as you think you could be writing, and the songs you think are finished and suddenly you realise that you’re not. You have to restart and it’s days, weeks and months of grinding, working on that. It can be frustrating especially when you envisage something and want it a certain way. Then you look around and say: ‘Man, what am I complaining about?’. I talk to my friends. I have friends that have to go to work every day to maintain their families and they do a nine to five job that they absolutely hate.”
It looks like Enrique is living the dream!
l Enrique plays Birmingham’s Genting Arena on October 27. Tickets are still available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk