Jencarlos Canela discusses his music at Latin Billboards
Actor-singer Jencarlos Canela was not kidding when he said his live performance at the Billboard Latin Music Awards was “gonna be crazy.”
It was. On Thursday night, the Miami native and “Telenovela” star hit the stage at the BankUnited Center, along with reggaeton singer Lennox, leaving the audience wanting more of his newest single, Baby.
The hunky performer — who recently started going by just his first name professionally — talked to us before the Telemundo show.
With your song ‘Baby,’ why did you decide to get into reggae style?
What I love about reggae’s rhythm is that it crosses over very well to what we’re doing in English, which is a little bit of that Miami Sound Machine, Lionel Richie type of vibe. You can also hear the these patterns in some of Sting or Michael Jackson’s stuff. They’re all a huge influence on what I’m doing. I just love that rhythm that gets you going, that gets you started. Reggae puts you in a good mood.
You seem to tap into a sensual side with your music, and your video for ‘Baby’ is pretty sexy.
I feel there is a big taboo in society with everything that has to do with sex and the female or male body. It’s pretty crazy and if we were made this way, then why be ashamed of it? If we feel this attraction for each other, and we want to be together? Of course, you have to protect yourself and you have to protect your emotions and feelings and know who you’re dealing with, but there shouldn’t be so much shame associated with [sex]. I’m against all that censored bull crap. I enjoy singing about things that might shock some people, but I think it’s more about the positives and feeling happiness and love.
How did you like collaborating with Lennox, from the reggaeton duo Zion y Lennox?
He’s a very distinct character and he’s got a heart of gold, a humble guy. He believes in the project, believes in the music we’re doing, believes in the song, so it’s been amazing working with him. We are very grateful for the support and the love people are showing.
How do you define being a Latino?
The world is changing and we have to change with it, or if not we just stay behind. The way I see it is that it’s no longer two separate worlds. I don’t feel 50 percent American and 50 percent Hispanic. I feel 100 percent American and 100 percent Hispanic. I was born and raised in the States, with the Latin culture, with my Latin family. I don’t see that division. I know it’s real. I know it exists, but it’s not real to me. I just am what I am. I was born and raise a bilingual, bicultural, Latin-American and I feel like I can never leave either world.