Luis Fonsi talks about his 11th album "EL Viaje"
Alicia Civita

MIAMI - Puerto Rican artist Luis Fonsi released his eleventh album this May, celebrating 25 years of his career. Titled "VIAJE," the album is his most sincere production yet, and the first to feature a song dedicated especially to his wife, Águeda López. Titled "Andalucía," the song narrates the beginning of their love story.

"The song was an outlet," Fonsi said in an interview with the Latin Times. "I had written songs for her before, but they were a little bit broader. They were love songs for couples, but here I wanted to enter a more personal world because I felt it was time."

The fact that his most personal love song is named after the region of Spain where López was born and that the album is called "VIAJE" is no coincidence. All the songs on the album are named after a place. "It's the first time I started an album with the name. Usually, it's the other way around. You finish the songs and then it's a labor of love to decide what to name it," he confessed.

From Mexico to Buenos Aires via San Juan

The list of songs and collaborations says it all, yet reveals little. This dichotomy arises from the colleagues who joined him in creating the production.

  1. Roma (with Laura Pausini)
  2. Santa Marta (with Carlos Vives)
  3. Andalucía
  4. La Romana
  5. San Juan (with Jay Wheeler)
  6. Mexico
  7. Rio
  8. Marbella (with Omar Montes)
  9. Santiago
  10. Pasa la página "Panamá"
  11. Medellín
  12. Buenos Aires

"Laura is my soul friend, and we talked a lot while we were on 'La Voz España' about collaborating again. When the idea came up, the first thing I did was call her," said Fonsi.

While the video for "Roma" is one of the most elaborate of those he has released from the album. The most fun is "Santa Marta," the focus track of "VIAJE," which he recorded at the last minute.

"The album was ready. We were just putting the finishing touches on it, and suddenly the song came out," recalled Luis Fonsi, mentioning producers Andrés Torres and Mauricio Restrepo (of Cali y El Dandee), with whom he has been working for six years and who were behind the biggest hit of his career, "Despacito." "The song sounded like Charly," he said of Carlos Vives. Fonsi called him, and in three days, they had the song ready.

The pair of Latin music icons went to Colombia to give serenades, and the video is one of the most spontaneous in Latin music. "Our only accomplices were the musicians, the husbands, and one boyfriend who wanted to surprise their ladies, but everything else was unplanned," Fonsi explained.

The biggest surprise is "San Juan," a beautiful ballad in which urban artist Jay Wheeler holds his own with Fonsi's prodigious voice. But that doesn't mean one track is better than the other. All the songs are well-crafted, with exquisite care and a clear intention of not taking the easy route, with rhythms or lyrics directly related to the cities chosen for the titles. "There are hints, but we wanted to avoid the obvious," said the artist.

Fonsi revealed that some songs didn't make it to the album. One of them was "Los Roques," dedicated to the Venezuelan archipielago. "It was ready, but I didn't feel it was meant to be in the album and I am not happy about it, but that's how things are. Maybe, I will play it one day, but for now, 'Venezuela te quiero.'

Twenty Years is Nothing, and Twenty-Five is Nothing Either

Fonsi says that 25 years went by really fast. Sometimes he feels that the beginning of his career seems like it happened a long time ago. The feeling is common among those who have surpassed four decades of life—he turned 46 on April 15—even though it doesn't show.

"It's the cream my wife forces me to put on at night," he recounted with a chuckle. "She nags me and makes me get up if I don't wash my face and put it on." Let's hope that part of the beautiful intention behind "Andalucía" includes gratitude for the care, because Luis Alfonso Rodríguez, his given name, doesn't have a wrinkle. He doesn't seem to have help from injectables either. This reporter has been interviewing him for ten years, and the only change is his haircut.

His graduation was at Florida State University with a Bachelor of Music degree. "I finished my senior year to give the diploma to my parents, and because I'm one of those people who needs to finish what I start," he explained. "But those final two semesters were a struggle because I knew I didn't want to be there. I already had a contract for my first album, and I wanted to dedicate myself to the music I love."

Although he feels he has the same energy and desire to tour, "the stage is my happy place," he confesses, and his children remind him of the passage of time. His eldest, Mikaela, 12, is a Taylor Swift fan and is begging him to introduce her to her. "To make it happen, I'm going to have to call in several favors, but for her sake, I'll do it," he said. Rocco, 7, is a Bruno Mars fan and shares his father's love for cars.


Un día como hoy hace 25 años, lanzamos mi primer disco Comenzaré. Hoy celebro la vida, la música y los celebro a USTEDES! Gracias por crecer conmigo, los amo 🥂 #LuisFonsi #Fonsi #LF25 #25AÑOS

♬ sonido original - Luis Fonsi

Luis Fonsi: More Than Music

The next few months will find the Puerto Rican artist on the road. His tour begins in Spain and will continue through the rest of Europe until the fall, when he returns to the Americas. But he won't just be bringing his songs to his audiences. Luis Fonsi published a book for children called 'Amigos ExtraordiRANArios,' a tribute to Puerto Rico, its traditions, and its most iconic animal, the Coquí. He also announced that next year he will star in his first movie role.

This follows his first adventure as a voice actor in the Dominican animated movie "Capitán Abeja," scored by Juan Luis Guerra, and directed by his son Jean Gabriel Guerra.

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