Puerto Rican Luis Fonsi Reflects on 25 Years in Music and Future Plans

Luis Fonsi celebrates 25 years in music with his latest album, “El Viaje.” The Puerto Rican artist shares his thoughts on his career, creative process, and plans for the future, including a possible retirement from the stage.

Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi, born Luis Alfonso Rodríguez López-Cepero in San Juan in 1978, has announced the release of his eleventh studio album, “El Viaje,” celebrating his 25-year career. His journey began in his hometown, where he was exposed to a rich musical culture that would later influence his sound. Despite his enduring success, Fonsi admits he hasn’t seen himself on stage for another 25 years. Instead, he imagines a future spent “fishing on his little boat.”

“Right now, I’m not thinking about retiring, but I don’t think I’ll have another 25-year career,” Fonsi shared in an interview with EFE. “I still have a lot of energy and want to keep doing this for many more years, but one must know when to retire with dignity. I don’t see myself at 65 or 70 years old dancing ‘Despacito’ with people,” he added, moving his arms to an imaginary beat. His words are filled with a mix of determination and humility, reflecting his deep love for music and respect for his audience.

Fonsi admires performers like Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen, who plan to stay on stage until the end, but he doesn’t envision a similar path for himself. For Luis Alfonso Rodríguez López-Cepero (San Juan, 1978), these 25 years have been a journey with ups and downs but filled with light and beauty. “And I wouldn’t change a thing,” he says.

“I wouldn’t change anything,” assures the artist. “I’ve learned along the way. When I started my first album, it was about fulfilling a dream, diving into the unknown through songs, and seeing if I could connect with the audience.”

Fonsi reminisces about a different music world 25 years ago, particularly how albums were promoted and consumed. “But I embrace how the world has evolved. Now, I feel more connected to the audience, perhaps due to social media,” he shares. “Despite all the changes, what I love most about my profession is that it all comes down to a song.” This resilience and adaptability are what inspire him to keep creating music that resonates with his audience.

He emphasizes the importance of having a song at the core of his work. “There can be a thousand strategies, managers, and record labels, but if there’s no song, there’s nothing. The biggest challenge as a songwriter is to sit down and write songs that connect with people.”

The Creative Process and Inspirations

From ‘Buenos Aires’ to ‘Pasa la página (Panama),’ ‘Santiago,’ ‘La Romana,’ ‘Marbella’ (with Spanish rapper Omar Montes), ‘Roma’ (with Italian singer Laura Pausini), and ‘Santa Marta’ (with Colombian artist Carlos Vives), Fonsi’s latest album features collaborations inspired by various cities. Each song tells a different story, reflecting the unique culture and spirit of the city it represents. ‘El Viaje’ is a musical journey that invites listeners to explore the diverse landscapes and sounds of Latin America.

However, Fonsi believes the most surprising collaboration for his audience is with fellow Puerto Rican artist Jay Wheeler on the song ‘San Juan.’ “He is better known for his urban genre, and this song is a half-country ballad,” Fonsi notes.

The cities mentioned in the album are not necessarily his favorites but were chosen for different reasons, such as inspiration or rhyme. “Everything was a kiss in ‘Roma’; I liked how it sounded,” he explains.

Fonsi is fascinated by other artists’ creative processes. Early in his career, he asked Dominican composer Juan Luis Guerra about his songwriting approach. “Music is an emotional thing,” he says. “I’ve asked many people, and we all end up saying the same thing: music is not like building something physical; it’s emotional and depends on the place, day, and moment you’re experiencing.”

Fonsi often begins his songwriting process with a melody on the guitar and builds the song from there. “Then, I play and experiment, like a child painting with different colors,” he adds. “Over the years, my process has evolved. I’ve learned to trust my instincts more and to be open to new ideas and collaborations. I think that’s what keeps my music fresh and exciting.”

Balancing Passion and Commercial Success

Fonsi’s passion for his craft is unwavering. He can be stubborn when it comes to defending a song that touches his soul, regardless of the opinions of record labels, producers, managers, or friends. However, he values their input and strives for a balance. “Fortunately, my team and record label trust me, and if there’s something I’m passionate about, they support it,” he says. This dedication and love for music are what drive him to create songs that connect with his audience.

Reflecting on the global success of ‘Despacito,’ Fonsi prefers to analyze it appropriately. “It was just another song I wrote with the same guitar I use for the rest of the album, in the same place, with the same flow, and the same smile,” he recalls. “The only limit is to keep enjoying it.”

Notable collaborations and hits have marked Fonsi’s career, each contributing to his musical journey. But perhaps the most significant aspect of his career is the impact his music has had on his fans. His songs have become anthems, capturing the emotions and experiences of his listeners and creating a sense of shared joy and connection. He values the lessons learned and experiences gained, which have shaped him into the artist he is today. “This journey has been beautiful, and I have no complaints,” he says with a smile, reflecting on the love and support he has received from his fans.

Looking ahead, Fonsi remains focused on creating music that resonates with his audience. While he acknowledges the eventual need to step away from the stage, he remains dedicated to his craft. “I have a lot of energy left and want to continue making music for many years. But I also know when to bow out gracefully. I’m interested in exploring other aspects of the music industry, such as producing and mentoring young artists. I think it’s important to give back and to help shape the future of Latin American music.”

As Fonsi embarks on the next chapter of his career with “El Viaje,” he continues to inspire fans worldwide with his music and passion. The album, filled with heartfelt songs and collaborations, is a testament to his enduring talent and dedication to his art.

Legacy and Future Aspirations

Luis Fonsi’s impact on Latin American music and global pop culture is undeniable. From his early days in San Juan to his international success, he has consistently pushed the boundaries of his craft. His ability to adapt to the changing music landscape while staying true to his roots has not only earned him a lasting place in the hearts of fans worldwide but has also helped to popularize Latin American music on a global scale.

Fonsi celebrates 25 years in the music industry and looks forward to new opportunities and challenges. He remains open to exploring different musical styles and collaborations, always seeking to grow as an artist. “The music industry has changed so much, but the essence of creating a great song remains the same,” he says.

Fonsi’s reflections on his career and plans highlight the importance of passion, resilience, and authenticity in the music industry. His journey inspires aspiring artists and demonstrates that success is built on hard work, dedication, and a genuine connection with one’s audience.

Also read: Jennifer Lopez to Bring Bob the Builder to Puerto Rico in Film Collaboration

Luis Fonsi’s latest album, “El Viaje,” celebrates his 25-year career and offers a glimpse into the future of an artist who continues to evolve and inspire. As he looks forward to the next phase of his journey, Fonsi remains committed to creating music that touches the hearts of his fans and leaves a lasting legacy in the world of music.

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