Interview: "'Livin' la Vida Loca' was perfect"
Since waking up in New York City "in a funky cheap hotel" back in '99, Puerto Rican-born Ricky Martin - or Enrique Martin Morales to his mates - has kept the Latin-pop fever alive for over 15 years with countless international chart-toppers to his name. Bringing together all of his hip-shaking hits for the first time for a UK audience, we caught up with Ricky to chat about his upcoming one-off show in London and what he plans to do next.
What can we expect from your UK show in July?
"It's a very international show musically speaking - it's influenced by every culture. It is provocative and it's erotic, but very beautifully done. Giogio Armani has been a very important part of the tour and he's not going to put his name to something that is not well done. It's very theatrical. It's deep, profound and it'll make you think."
What has the reaction been like from the crowds so far?
"It's like they're rediscovering me. I'm even rediscovering me! I'm still the same entertainer with the same passion and the same hunger for an audience to have a good time. It's a really cool frequency between the audience and the stage right now - the audience really want to be a part of the show."
Have you re-swizzled any of your hits for the show?
"There are some songs that must not be touched because the audience really appreciates hearing them the way they were born. I just want to discover and rediscover a sound - it's not changing a melody, it would be just trying a new arrangement. 'Livin' la Vida Loca' has gone from heavy hardcore rock to being exclusively influenced by ska and it's been urban as well! Right now it's back to the beginning."
Why do you think 'Livin' la Vida Loca' was a worldwide hit?
"Well, musically speaking it's rich. It has a fantastic fusion of cultures from rock to ska to Latin, with the horns. During my sabbatical I spent two years not listening to my songs at all. Then one day I walked into my studio and I just pressed play and 'Livin la Vida Loca' came on and I was like, 'What the f**k is up with this track?' - I don't want to sound arrogant, but I thought, 'This is perfect'. The multi-cultural influence, the harmonies, the story - it's a really fun track. The timing of it all was really good too - Latin sounds at the turn of the year 2000 were of the moment. The cosmos was manifesting in a very powerful way for that track to be a success."
When working on new music do you strive for another 'Livin' la Vida Loca'?
"Oh man, that is too painful! Yeah, of course you jump into that mode every once and while, but you can't get too caught up with it because you start to limit yourself. My goal is to think of nothing when I'm writing a song because too many influences could sabotage a potentially amazing song. When I'm working I think, 'If something like that comes, fantastic - hopefully something better will show up - but most importantly let's just do music in the moment when the keys and the melodies are blending'."
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/interviews/a328386/ricky-martin-interview-livin-la-vida-loca-was-perfect.html