Jon Secada interview with ChicagoPride.com
Wed. August 4, 2010 by Grab Magazine
GRAB: At the age of nine, you and your family moved from Cuba to Miami. Were you always a singing child or did Miami bring in out in you??
JS: (Jon Secada) I knew I could sing early on, but I was very shy. I didn't really get into music until my second year in high school. I got involved with the chorus and music classes. I was a late bloomer.
GRAB: Are your musical influences from your early years in Cuba, or when you moved to Miami?
JS: From the time I lived in Miami, I was always interested in pop/R&B – Billy Joel, Elton John, Earth Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye. That was my thing. I wanted to sing like them.
GRAB: How did you first meet Gloria and Emilio Estefan?
JS: I met them from guys in The Miami Sound Machine that I went to college with. We had worked around town with a band that was a Top 40 band, and Emilio was recruiting guys to be part of Miami Sound Machine. He always remembered me because I was a busy singer in Miami doing my thing and working and eventually he called me.
GRAB: As a song writer, I understand how and why you wrote “Coming Out of the Dark” for Gloria Estefan after her accident. But you have also written songs for Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and even Mandy Moore. Do you go into the studio and say I am going to write a song for Ricky Martin??
JS: No the connection with Ricky happened because I was writing a song for one of my CD's and he just fell in love with this one song "She is All I Ever Had " which I intended to put on one of my records.
For me, it all starts from the standpoint of writing a good song. For a long time, I wrote for other people so everything came from the premise of trying to write the best song.
GRAB: I have to go back because I understand you writing “Coming Out of the Dark” for Gloria after her big bus accident and when she could walk again, it was this big empowering song.?
JS: That song in particular I wrote with Gloria and she had an idea about what she wanted to say. And, it was a magical moment. I enjoy writing with other people and most of my songs are collaborations.
GRAB: I did not realize you performed with the legendary Luciano Pavarotti.?
JS: Yes, I did a show with Pavarotti. Every year he would do this benefit concert in his hometown in Italy and every year was for a different cause. One year I was invited to be a part of it and it was amazing. I did a song with him and I did my own thing as well. But singing next to him…
GRAB: How do I say this... it takes balls to go on stage and sing with Pavarotti!?
JS: I have been nervous very few times in my life, but singing next to him on stage was one of those times.
GRAB: But you can also say on your resume that you have recorded a song with Mr. Frank Sinatra on Duets 2.
JS: Yes, that is another highlight of my career.
For me, who is a student of voice, Sinatra historically is one of the most important singers ever! It was just a blessing that came early on for me.
GRAB: I did not know that you are a judge on the Latin American Idol.?
JS: We just ended our 4th season last fall and it was wonderful and I had a great time doing it! It was done by the same production company so everything was the same, but in Spanish.
GRAB: Which type of judge were you?
JS: I was half Randy Jackson, half Paula Abdul... but from the educated angle. I have the musical background and producer angle, but also I am a recording artist. We did auditions in all kinds of countries and we were seen in 30 countries.
GRAB: We have to talk about your new CD "Classics”. I have to tell you, I loved it! It’s just one of those CD's that on a nice warm night you can play this CD, get a bottle of wine and have someone special with you to enjoy!
JS: That is what I intended it to be… it’s a mood record.
GRAB: How did you decide the music for this album??
JS: I handpicked songs that either had a Latin reference or a quirky Latin feel to them. I wanted to record songs that I remember growing up.
GRAB: But the real reason we are talking is because you are making your first appearance at Chicago's Market Days!
JS: Yes, I understand it’s a big show!
GRAB: Yes, it’s one of the street festivals with over 250,000 people.?
GRAB: We have not seen you in Chicago for some time, correct??
JS: I know, I am so looking forward to coming to Chicago. It’s been a long time since I have been there. I am coming with my pop shop.
GRAB: Full band?
JS: Yes, full band! It’s going to be a show that all my fans love me for!
GRAB: Best place to get your music??
JS: Just go to www.jonsecada.com
Jon Secada will be performing during Market Days on Saturday, August 7th at 7:30 p.m. on the Roscoe Stage
Republished with permission from Grab Magazine
Interviewed by Grab Magazine
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