Enrique Iglesias doesn't waste any time getting to the point on his tenth full-length album, SEX AND LOVE [Republic Records].
Instead, he reaches right for the heart of what's on everyone's mind with the provocative title. The Grammy Award-winning international icon knows how to satisfy those universal, unanimous urges we all have, and he does so with his boldest offering yet.
"I wanted to be straightforward," he declares. "The title describes exactly what the album is about. From day one, I knew that I was going to call it SEX AND LOVE. You're going to find songs that mix the two sides, and you're going to find songs that focus on one or the other. Some of it is fun and obviously sexual, while some of it is more introspective and nostalgic. The words go together, but they can be separate and inspire different feelings and thoughts. It's all-encompassing."
In late 2012, Enrique wrapped up a two-year whirlwind supporting the double-platinum Euphoria, which itself yielded the inescapable quadruple-platinum smash "I Like It" featuring Pitbull. Instead of taking an extended break, he got right back in the studio and began working on ideas for what would eventually become his next effort. The titular ideas remained pervasive for him throughout the entire process though.
"When you turn on the radio, what are the themes that everybody relates to?" he asks. "We all relate to SEX AND LOVE. That's why when you hear music—ninety-percent of the time—it derives from those two feelings. Let's face it. No matter what race, nationality, or religion you are, you have experience with both and you like them!"
Capturing that sexual energy, the 2014 single "I'm a Freak" proved to be a major catalyst for him. Produced by The Cataracs, the song shimmies from a slippery beat into one of Enrique's wildest refrains ever. The chorus's confession, "I'm a Freak", immediately seduces before Pitbull enters with a rapid, raw, and raucous verse.
"To me, 'I'm a Freak' got the whole thing started," says Enrique. "It's got a retro feel, yet it's obviously up-tempo and danceable. It put me in a good mood, and it's fun. We didn't overthink it. From there, the rest of the album kept evolving."
His own artistic evolution becomes clear on the likes of "Let Me Be Your Lover". With a funky swagger, the track sees the singer's dynamic voice take the spotlight as he coyly admits, "Cuz I've been spending all my money on these pretty girls and alcohol, but honey, they got nothing on you". Meanwhile, on "Loco", Enrique and longtime friend Romeo Santos get crazy, churning out another Latin massive anthem in the process. Kylie Minogue makes a stunning turn on "Beautiful", as the melody lives up to the song's name. "It happened really organically," he goes on. "Kylie heard it in the studio, and she ended up loving it. She sang her parts, and everything fit so well." SEX AND LOVE also brings a dream to life for the artist as he finally gets the chance to collaborate with the legendary Marco Antonio Solis. Together, their voices entwine for one of the album's most powerful, passionate, and poignant moments.
"That guy is someone I look up to and admire so much," smiles Enrique. "I've wanted to do something with him forever, but it was just never the right time or moment. I sent him the song, and I was so nervous. He called me up an hour later, and he laid down the vocals the same night. When you're making an album, it's moments like this one that bring so much satisfaction." However, he himself never fails to satisfy. His overall sales surpass 100 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling Spanish artists ever. His legacy includes five Top 5 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 with two landing at #1. He also boasts 13 number ones on the Billboard Dance Chart, which is the most for any male performer in the chart's history. In total, he's enjoyed seventy number ones across all Billboard charts. Plus, he holds the record for "Most #1 Spanish Language Singles" on the Hot Latin Tracks Chart with 23. He's not slowing down or stopping any time soon though.
SEX AND LOVE is something that his audience wants—and even needs. "When people listen to the album, I hope they can forget whatever's going on and just enjoy it," concludes Enrique. "Maybe, it will bring them back to good times or memories. I want everybody to be entertained and have a good time. It's meant to be an experience and an escape."