Prince Royce on How Music and Soccer Bring the 'Passion' Out in People (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
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Prince Royce is ready to bring his soulful sound to soccer fans around the country!
The 30-year-old crooner is set to headline the 2019 Major League Soccer All-Star Weekend, kicking off the week-long festivities with a free concert presented by Target on Saturday, July 27 at Wall Street Plaza in Orlando, Florida.
Shortly after the news of his special show was announced, ET hopped on the phone with the Latin heartthrob, who couldn't help but express his excitement about being a part of the MLS All-Star events, as well as shared what fans can expect, not only from his performance, but his forthcoming album as well.
ET: How did you get involved and start working with MLS?
Prince Royce: I have a manager who I never see him be a fanboy or groupie for anything, until we start talking about soccer. He loves soccer, any opportunity, soccer-related he's like, "Oh my god, you must do this!" So we started working with MLS a while back. I sang the national anthem at a Real Madrid v. Barcelona game, which was a very emotional moment. Those games are great. That was when we started to get into soccer. I got into soccer just in the last two, three years, following the games because of my manager. Little by little, we started working more with them and did a commercial recently. I think it's great. I'm honored to be the first headliner in this great MLS All-Star Weekend. Orlando has shown me so much love. I do so many concerts there, the people have great energy and they have a big Latin community there.
What about soccer do you love and how has it impacted your life?
I think it's great to see soccer mixed with music because they have one similar thing: passion. Growing up, I would watch people watch the World Cups, for example, you see the bar trashed up, people are drinking, they have their jerseys on and I always wondered what is it that drives these people to be so passionate. And you can see that it's just a great sport, family-oriented and music is the same way. You see people in concerts crying, you see them singing, and for me, it's great to go to Orlando and have a great weekend. I'm going to the game as well, so I'm excited for that, to get to kick back and chill.
[As far as how soccer impacted my life], I grew up in New York, where it's very Dominican, very baseball, basketball-based, so I started getting into soccer about two, three years ago and it's a great sport. I've met greats from Cristiano Ronaldo to David Beckham. It's always great to meet these guys who are these legends in soccer. I can't say that soccer has directly inspired me in music, but it's definitely something that inspires me to continue to do music and continue working with sports. I think sports and music drive people, it's entertainment. It's such a difficult thing to do, just the physical aspects of it. These guys are running miles and miles and they're like machines. It's very inspiring to me to see how soccer players stay in shape and it's a lifestyle.
For many people, soccer is a way to de-stress and relax. What helps you get in the right state of mind?
The right state of mind, listening to music. Sometimes before a concert, I take a shot or a drink -- I don't know if soccer players do that [laughs]. But with so much going on in the world, when I think about concerts and sports and entertainment in general, I think it's a place where people go to forget about things. To forget about work, to forget about whatever problems they are going through. They take their families, they take their kids and I think that is the great thing about this. It's just an All-Star Weekend to have fun, enjoy Orlando. There's going to be people flying in from all over the country. For me, it's a pleasure to bring happiness to people. That's what music brings to people, that's what soccer brings to people. So I am here to bring more joy to people.
What can fans expect from your show?
Fans can expect a lot of interaction with the audience. It's going to be fun. It's going to be hot and humid and I am ready! I am ready to go out to Orlando, have some fun, enjoy the city. My fans can always expect a great show from my part. I am excited to meet new fans and hang with the old fans who have supported me for so long.
You have an album, Alter Ego, coming out soon. You've described it as ambitious. What else can you tell us about it?
Yes, it's a very ambitious album. I am calling it Alter Ego and it's going to come with a different vibe. I have been working on it for a while. I released three songs so far, "El Clavo" with Maluma, "Adicto" with Marc Anthony and just recently, today, "Cúrame" with Manuel Turizo. He's an up-and-coming kid who is very talented. He actually reminds me a lot of myself when I met him. Very cool kid. So we got a lot of cool collaborations with this album that will probably come out in the fall. So I am excited to put it out. With every album, you want to do new things and that's what it is with this one. I'm just opening up and doing new things and surprising the audience.
What about it will surprise your fans the most? Is this a new Prince Royce?
Not a new Prince Royce, but another side of Prince Royce, another approach to Prince Royce. I think we all have different faces and I think that this album will be the many faces of Prince Royce. That is what the concept of the album is. I'm still working on a lot of it. I'm definitely excited to put out new music. It's always fun when you're releasing new music, for me at least.
Now, as a married man [he wedShadowhuntersactress Emeraude Toubia], how has that new chapter in your life impacted your career and music?
I was writing love songs when I was 16 and wild! Nothing has changed, I think marriage is a beautiful thing and it's something that is part of growing up. Not much has changed, which I think is pretty good. I'm sure it'll influence the music, why not?
Tying it back, soccer has a long history with a slew of greats and legends. What legacy do you hope to leave behind for your family and fans?
I hope to leave a positive influence with my community, with my peers and with my fans. I want people to remember me in this world, like, "Man, what a cool dude Royce was." Coming from the Bronx, I grew up in the projects [in a] low-income family, I know what a lot of people go through -- I think I at least know what people go through. I just want to leave a positive impact and hope people remember me as someone who chases dreams.
Fans wishing to attend the MLS All-Star Concert must register for tickets online by visiting MLSsoccer.com/AllStar. Tickets are required for entry.
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