Whatever ex-Aventura frontman Romeo Santos’ formula for success as a one-man act is, it’s working.
The self-proclaimed “King of Bachata” wraps up his “Formula, Vol. 2” concert tour with back-to-back shows at Yankee Stadium on July 11 and 12.
“Formula, Vol. 2” was the top-selling Latin album through the first half of 2014, according to Nielsen SoundScan, shipping 193,000 copies since its Feb. 25 release.
Friday’s show will make the Dominican/Puerto Rican-American sex symbol the first Latin music act, solo or otherwise, to headline a concert at the current Yankee Stadium, and the first to do so at any of the New York Yankees’ homes since the legendary Fania All-Stars four decades ago.
The occasion also serves as a homecoming for Santos, who was born in the Bronx and raised on Gerard Ave. between 158th and 157th Sts., a few blocks southeast of where he’ll be the center of attention this weekend.
Could you have ever imagined such a short distance, between where you grew up and where you’re going to be performing on those two nights, meaning so much in terms of how far you’ve come?
For me, this has definitely been an incredible journey. I’ve always done this from day one more for the love of the craft, the art. It just got from one point to another.
I think that’s the reason why I’ve been able to grow as an artist, as a professional, because I do it for the love of the art. To be able to perform here is on a whole new level. It hasn’t hit me yet, but it’s getting there. Like, when I’m rehearsing with the fellas and the group and I’m like, “Wow! I’m about to do two nights at Yankee Stadium.” I don’t take it for granted.
What’s going to set these two concert dates apart from the others on your tour?
I think just being the first Latino to headline (a concert at this) Yankee Stadium is a statement in itself, because I’m representing not only a culture but a genre, todos los Latinos en el mundo.
I would love to tell you what’s gonna make the difference. It’ll be easier to show rather than say it. But I can honestly say I’ve prepared, for both nights, a special, special show. They’re going to be very unalike; each night is going to have special elements.
Speaking of special elements, is there any chance, even if for a few songs, of there being a reunion with your former Aventura band mates?
I’m not gonna tell you no, because, you know, you never know. I’m not gonna tell you yeah, because I’m never gonna really reveal any of my surprises.
You would agree that it would be a nice touch to reunite with them for a few songs in at least one of these two concerts, no?
Any time I bring anyone onstage is always an extra treat for the fans. And if it’s the guys from Aventura, I feel like it’ll be even more special because I think people have been waiting for that moment. It may not be (at these two concerts), but I never close that door. It might definitely be something I do in the near future, you know?
Questioning your viability as a solo artist is at best laughable these days, but just as there are advantages to being on your own, there are disadvantages, I would imagine.
On a positive note, I have to say I was able to show myself what I’m able to do as a solo artist. I never really had that vision, I never really had that desire of being a solo artist. The decisions that were made in the group, mutually – this guy wanted to do that, this guy wanted to do this – it just forced me to (prioritize) my solo career. It showed me that I have the ability, the formula, which is why I named my album, “Formula.”
The negative (is) that, someone like myself who’s so sensitive, I’ve let certain things get to me. I think I’m over that, though. In the beginning when I was gonna do my solo project, “Formula, Vol. 1,” I got a lot of negativity: “Oh, that’s not gonna function. It’s not gonna ever be the same.” And at this point in my career, I’m about to do two nights at Yankee Stadium. It’s a great feeling. But I would say that there’s been more pros (than) cons. I just think that the negativity comes with the territory.
Everyone who reaches your level has something integral to how they approach life, their work, that sets them apart from most people. What drives you, both as a person and an artist?
I don’t want to be that artist that after my fourth, fifth, tenth album, people will say, “He’s not what he used to be.” The day that I lose my creative vibe, my aura to do music – ’cause it can happen – then I would just stop producing music.
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