Latin pop star Ricky Martin struggles to find ‘his’ music - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Latin pop star Ricky Martin struggles to find ‘his’ music

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Posted: Sunday, May 25, 2003 8:26 am | Updated: 2:21 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Ricky Martin is back. He still wants your love, but he’s not going to dance for it.

Forget his white-hot moment as the most famous pop star on the planet, the screaming hordes of females, the supernova glare of publicity.

Forget too, those hypnotic she-bang hips, the eye-popping dance machine moves. Now Martin wants to make it real. He wants to feel. He wants to tone down the speed of his life just like he’s toned down the speed of the songs on his new album, ‘‘Almas del Silencio’’ (‘‘Souls of Silence’’).

‘‘I just want to be me,’’ says one of the supreme objects of pop desire. But who Martin is can be a little hard to discern.

Now 31, he’s been burnished bright by a lifetime under the lights, having been an onstage pro since he was 12, when was a singer in the popular Puerto Rican boy group, Menudo. Even dressed down in jeans, sleeveless T-shirt and boots, he seems to glow.

‘‘I’m definitely not the same as I was three years ago. I’m more into my emotions and feelings. I’m not so afraid of judgment,’’ Martin says.

He’s emerging from two years out of the public eye, after the nonstop work and global attention that started with his breakthrough Grammy performance in 1999 and exploded with the success of his self-titled English language debut, and the single ‘‘Livin La Vida Loca,’’ later that year. Which was immediately followed by 2000’s ‘‘Sound Loaded.’’

‘‘I just needed to breathe,’’ he says. ‘‘To go back to the beginning and feel a little more in touch with my emotions, and not be so obsessed with trying to be accepted.’’

Martin says his English album, due out in March, is influenced by 1970s and ’80s American and British rock artists like Journey, Queen and David Bowie that he loved before he learned to speak English.

As different as that sounds from going back to his Latin roots, Martin says it’s just another side of his still growing persona.

‘‘It’s like positive and negative, black and white,’’ he says. ‘‘And still it’s my sound. If you listen (to the English album) you’ll be like ‘it’s Ricky Martin,’ and if you play the Spanish album, you’ll still be like ‘this is Ricky Martin.’ It’s being attached to the basis of what really moves you and from that root go in any direction you like.’’

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