The album sales of his latino love songs add up to over 40 million copies worldwide. But the 32-year-old Spanish dreamboat still has to overtake the popularity of his father who was a rage in the 1970s (RD Burman had admitted that the Sholay song 'Mehbooba mehbooba' had been filched from a Julio Iglesias chartbuster).
Born in Madrid , brought up in Miami, right now the son has released a new album intriguingly titled Insomniac. And so, here’s the Grammy award winner Enrique Iglesias in a phone-to-phone conversation with Rachana Dubey.
Hello, hello.Where are you at this very moment?
I’m travelling…for the next six months, I’ll be all over the world. Right now, I’m in Europe. Amsterdam, I guess.
Ha! Because I worked on the album at night and slept during the day. There are three Spanish versions of the English language tracks including Dimelo. The CD drove me nuts, I’d beat myself up. I had to get a mix of bubbly pop, ballads, hip hop, rap, the works.
I wanted Insomniac to have the freshness of my first album. I’d started writing songs when I was 15. I wanted to go back to that. I’ve had a nine-year career and seven albums so far. That means an album practically every year. I guess I wanted to feel born-again.
You have dedicated a song to your girlfriend Anna Kournikova, haven’t you?
I hate saying that. I never write my songs for a special someone. I know it sounds stupid but I’m superstitious about this. Like I would be asked about the song 'Quizas', "Did you write that song for your dad?” I’d turn around and say, “No.” So, if you think there’s a dedication, that’s fine by me. I never take names.
Are you aware of Bombay film music?
Aha! Of course I am. It’s so vibrant, varied and colourful. It makes for great listening. I don’t remember the names of albums and singers.. but once in a while when I listen to your movie songs, I find them very relaxing. I also follow Indi-pop, but your film songs are more entertaining.
It’s said that you’ve been receiving several offers to act in Hollywood movies and TV shows. Are you doing any?
I have been offered a lot of movies lately but I don’t think I can do justice to acting right now. I don’t know if I would do a good job...
Have you ever had personal or professional differences with your father?
Never. There’s never been any need to. I’ve always idolised him. I have discussed my songs with my father. Most would find that strange. They’d think we don’t get along.
We do, we honestly do. When I’m asked, "Why hasn`t your dad been to one of your concerts?" I don’t say much. I guess, part of that has to do with me leaving home as a young man and never turning back. Perhaps because of that he’s hard-headed.
I`ll tell you something funny. When I was a kid, I would go with him to the studio for the song recordings and he would let me listen to the music. Now, when I go into the studio, he stops the music. (Laughs) I wonder if he stops it because he thinks I may criticise him?
Are there any other memories you’d like to share?
I was maybe just seven years old. My mom sent me to school camp. We were a plane full of kids, going from Spain to Camp Kiwanis in Maine. I was in the cabin for the youngest kids. Our counsellor must have been 17 years old. And I remember him smoking weed and listening to the Police during the flight.
What is your idea of good music?
Something that touches you.
Since many of your songs are about love lost and longing, I’d like to ask you if you’re a melancholic guy?
Hey, listen to Bruce Springsteen.. so many of his hits are love songs. Obviously not Born in the USA, but other songs. Listen to the Police, them too.
What is the one thing that everyone connects with?
Love. And if you look up the 30 greatest songs of all time, 90 per cent of them will be about love. So, I’m not melancholic.. I just believe in the power of love.
What do you think about your sex appeal?
(Laughs) I think my sex appeal is in my lips and brown eyes.. and the way I hug and kiss people.. my warmth I share. Women find me sexy for that. I don’t know about the men. You can ask some for sure.
Do you find any Indian woman hot? Oh! I find all Indian women hot. They’re so beautiful and sensuous.
Why you are nicknamed ‘Tripod’?
How do you know that? Well, I was nicknamed Tripod at school because I seemed to have three legs and was always up and about with the girls.Thenamehas stuck. My close friends still call me that.
Are you planning a trip to India?
Yes.We’re going to start a tour in August. I don’t know when I will be in India exactly..but I’ll be there for sure. My last visit, some three years ago, was amazing. I went to Bangalore and Mumbai. The audiences were fantastic. They sang every single song with me, everyone seemed to love me.
Are you still seeing Anna Kournikova? Are you in touch with her?
Rumours about our break-up have sent gossip columnists into a frenzy. We have denied the split. We have been together for five years. Talk of our break-up started when I’d just joked around that we had split. We’re still together. It’s the first serious relationship of my life, it’s precious. I love Anna deeply, so there can never be a question about a break-up.