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Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin on the cover of this magazine, has the apocalypse arrived? Regardless of your personal feelings towards him, you have to admit that he's accomplished more over this decade than most singers do in their entire lifetime or maybe even two or three at that. For pop star is not the term to begin to describe Ricky Martin. Where once he was a young, squeaky clean, boy band member with a suburban and female demographic appeal, he now seems to be on the precipice of a collective and complete societal explosion.

An exaggeration? We know otherwise. He's become one of the world's biggest entertainers, and part of the Latin flavored pop explosion seen over the last few years that practically rules the music charts these days. And the truth be told ~ the man is so hot, that everyone is out to get a piece of him. From even Pamela Anderson to Carmen Elektra, he has a firm grip on the libido of the most desirable women in the world. And the man can dance, his voice is above par for a boy band alumnus, and his charisma is pure gold to savvy Madison Avenue executives. You do the math. The guy is an explosion of energy. Someone should try finding out if he can power a small country with all that voltage.

Why Is He Famous Again?
Though Ricky Martin was already known worldwide before his famous break-out performance at the 1999 Grammy's for the World Cup theme song La Copa De La Vida (that hit #1 in 30 countries), it was that song that made him the cat's whiskers. Alongside Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias, he helped fuel what's referred to by music historians now as the Latin Explosion. His self-titled debut album reached the #1 position in 10 countries, and from then on there's been no looking back. In fact, all his albums combined including singles have sold an impressive 55 million copies worldwide.
And he seems poised to continue his success. In the last few years he's been in the news constantly and on the covers of Time, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, TV Guide and even Entertainment Weekly, where he was chosen as Entertainer Of The Year. He's easily one of the most recognized faces in the world. For the man is talented. He can dance, he has killer rhythm and he knows how to win over a crowd. Heck, he could even win over a room of the toughest chainsaw wheeling, motorcycle gang in the world ~ but mind you, that room is probably only in a prison somewhere.

Life with Ricky Martin: The New Album
The man who lived La Vida Loca was pretty much inescapable at that point and then promptly disappeared. Needing a break late in 2001, he stepped out of the spotlight for a couple of years, taking time for himself after having worked almost non stop for over two decades. While his fans missed him during his retreat from the public, they were delighted with the release of a Greatest Hits compilation and the award winning Spanish Almas del Silencio album.
And now he's back. Simply titled Life; it's the most eclectic cross-cultural work to date, and of course his first English language album since 2000's release of Sound Loaded. I Don't Care is his first single for over two years and it's nothing like you would ever expect from Ricky Martin. For he's undergone something of an image change ~ gone is the grinning, tanned clean cut Ricky Martin, and in his place is a moody, bestubbled, tattooed evolution. The music ~ it's darker as well. He's mixed his signature Latin backbeat with a soul/hip-hop atmosphere that works surprisingly well. As usual only one music magazine in India was granted all access to an exclusive transcript with the man, and it doesn't get any bigger than this! We managed to catch up with Ricky Martin himself ~ courtesy his company Sony BMG, and here's what the world's biggest Latin pop star had to say…

You made the cover of Time magazine, became the figurehead of Latin pop music and had the world at your fingertips. Suddenly you just disappeared. What happened?
Ricky: Something was wrong. I needed to stop. I was so tired, so burnt out. I don't know if it was a breakdown, but I probably would have had one if I hadn't stopped. Suddenly, I was on tour and wasn't happy. It got worse and worse. I needed to stop. A lot of people told me, 'This is your moment. You've sold 50 million records around the world. If you stop now, this is the end of your career. If you stop now you're insane.' I thought, 'I probably am insane, which is why I need to stop.' The crazy thing is nobody else could tell that I was bored. Everybody thought I was having a great time.

So what did you do?
Ricky: I spent six months alone in my house relaxing. I grew a beard, I bleached my hair, then I shaved my head. In a moment of silence in my house I thought, 'Are you missing it all?' I wasn't ~ I wasn't missing being on stage. I wanted to go back to basics to see what was bothering me. I started working really young, and it was very important for me to step out of the limelight for a little while so I could really analyze where I've been and where I wanted to go. I analyzed my emotions then and wrote about them. (Laughs)

So what's the new album all about?
Ricky: I wanted to start from zero, as if it were the first album that I was recording, so I could present a new sound. When I began to create for this album, the one thing I wanted was to not even attempt to do what I had already done. That's why I played with many genres I hadn't visited before, and I made them mine. Being influenced by all these cultures in a creative process, I've learned how connected we all are.

What should the average Ricky Martin fan expect from Life? Are there songs which people can party to or go clubbing with?
Ricky: I think there should be a balance. (Laughs) In the new album you'll find the party song…but I've seen some things while I was in the creative process, which inspired me to talk about things we all should be concerned about. That's why the album is called Life…


You can read the rest of our cover story on Ricky Martin in the October 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

Santana
Darren Hayes
James Blunt
Sheryl Crow
Westlife
T.A.T.U
The Cardigans
Rahul Vaidya
Starsailor
Bappi Lahiri
Queen
DJ Rainer Klang
Getting Started: The Guitar
Goldfrapp
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