Bronx-bred Bachata superstar Prince Royce is currently performing with Pitbull on the Miami rapper's Bad Man Tour. The two met when they were both on the road with Enrique Iglesias in 2011.
Their first official collaboration, "Back It Up," the hit single from Royce's English-language debut, "Double Vision," was released last year. And although both men have had individual meteoric rises to success, Royce is navigating a career-defining stretch that could take him in a multitude of new directions.
The 27-year-old singer is following last year's English debut with the release of his fourth all-Spanish album, "La Carretera," and has plans for a second English album in 2017. In addition, he's taking on a recurring role in the Hulu original series, "East Los High," and he will soon reveal a new clothing collection he helped design in partnership with Ecko.
The multiplatinum-selling singer recently spoke with DSD about his plans to stay on top of it all.
Q: You've known Pitbull for a while now, but does it add any pressure to be under the umbrella of something called the "Bad Man Tour?"
A: Bad Man Tour! (laughs) Definitely. But I always try to give it 110 percent in everything I do. It's all about giving the people a great show and having fun. And touring with Pit is always fun. He's a great friend. I've known him for a few years now. It's like family, and going to be a great summer run.
Q: You're doing far more than singing these days. Acting seems like a natural progression. How did you get into the fashion end of things?
A: It's always something that I wanted to do, and I've had conversations with a few clothing lines. Ecko was the one that came in and let me be hands-on with the design and really liked the feel that I was going for. It was something that made sense. And for me, it was so cool to see something that I put the work into and came up with an idea for in real life. It's a whole new thing that I'm learning about. And it's so hard. I think people don't realize how hard it is in the fashion industry. But I'm even impressed with myself (laughs). Not that I doubted it, but I told Ecko, "These (pieces) look so great!" As an artist, you always see people endorse brands or things that you don't believe are things they'd use or wear. These are things I'd wear, things I can't wait to wear! And that's what it's about.
Prince Royce with Pitbull and Farruko
When: 7 p.m. July 16
Where: Sleep Train Amphitheatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista
Q: You released your first English album last year and a new one in Spanish comes out soon. How do you straddle that line and successfully cater to both audiences?
A: It's a conversation I've had with my record label at Sony. I don't want to abandon the market or the language that put me on. Latin music is what literally took me out of the hood. So it's not like, "OK, let's just do English now." My dream and end goal is to be able to do both. And why not? I have the energy and the drive. I want to be able to show people that I can do so many different things, even outside of music, like acting and fashion. I just have a hunger to do so much. I'm always creating and thinking of new things. It's fun for me.
Q: Is it possible to reflect on this amazing run you're on?
A: From growing up in the projects of New York in the Bronx, and having a dream of traveling the world and going out and singing, and it actually happens? It's a blessing. I'm representing my community and I'm representing where I'm from and I'm part of this Latin movement as well. It feels great. And really, I just always try to put out a positive message for the kids: It doesn't matter where you're from or what language you speak - anything is possible with hard work.