Well, I always wanted to be educated and be prepared.
I might be a Cuban American, but I'm also an Afro-Cuban American.
There's always something about the Tonight Show that makes me a little bit anxious, nervous, excited. But it's good. It's good. It's been real good for me. It always has helped my career and Jay and all the people here have always been great.
Oh, yeah, I've always thought of covering some of my influences like Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder.
I just lived it and did my own thing without looking over my shoulder. I think I'm very lucky, considering when I started everything, and the fact that I have a masters in music, and I've always worked in music, and that's what I wanted to do.
If there was any other place I would live, other than Miami, it would be California. It's beautiful. The weather is just gorgeous, I love being here, too.
For me, I can only do that from my own experience with people I've known and things that I've lived and experienced. That's what good pop music is all about, pop music that does reach out to people. It's very personalized and very real, honest and sincere.
I grew up speaking both languages, and for me that's really important.
And for me, it's been, not only where I learned, but the people that I met there. Most of the people that I work with are guys that, one way or another, have been associated with the university.
I was a teacher for a long time. I taught at a community college: voice, theory, humanities. And nowadays, music education is a dying thing. Funding is being cut more and more and more.
That's where I recorded the first album. All the people I work with are out of Miami. The whole chemistry and atmosphere there has worked for me.
There's something about prime time television and the way the song is going to come off on the air. I'm very concerned, very self-conscious about that.
And my career, the things that have happened have happened because of my music education background.
My intention when I came into this industry was to be a musician, not necessarily a recording artist, just a musician in general. And that's the reason I went to college and got my degree, which has been great for me. It's helped me a lot with my career.
If you write songs and if you write music that's very sincere and very honest, it's pop music, but it is pop music with a lot of honesty and a lot of heart.
Even before I became a recording artist, I did other things in music. I was a teacher, I did studio work, and I was an arranger and a producer.
So, when I got the contract for my album, even though it was an English record, my manager insisted on making sure we would record in Spanish as well, and it worked out really well for me.
Having a college degree gave me the opportunity to be... well-rounded. Also, the people I met at the university, most of them are still my colleagues now. People I've known for years are all in the industry together.
I write in English first, and then I translate to Spanish. I've always felt more comfortable with the English side of things first.
I have a bachelor's and a master's in jazz.
A real active music set, based and really concentrated on what the music's all about. That's what I'm all about - singing and a really good strong music set.
It happened in Miami, in Coral Gables, a great big ol' Cuban wedding. It was pretty intense.
With this new album, I prepared for it a long time, and I was happy with the songs and the production. I felt that I proved myself with the first album, and with this new album, I just want to share some of my music. And that was always my feeling and my intention.
I had been writing songs all along, and then as soon as the show ended, I really put the song-writing into gear, to really kind of finish the record.
For me, there's still a lot of room to grow; I'm just happy that I have so much more to give.
I'm a big believer in education, period.
My style is a very universal sound, which is very close to where I grew up.
This record has a lot of influences that I'd love to cover, like Marvin Gaye and Earth, Wind and Fire. Maybe I'll do some covers of my major influences during my live show.
I started in high school to be interested in music and from there, I decided to study in college. Yeah, you're right, I did start late, but luckily, because of my schooling, I picked up a lot of ground pretty quick.
I grew up in a community that was bilingual. I've done it for a while, singing in both languages.
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