Frankie Negron has quite a busy fall ahead of him. Known for his romantic Spanish ballads, the handsome Newark, NJ-born salsa star has branched off to work with an independent label-and with that, is releasing his first English-language album, Independence Day on September 22. The album has a different sound than what Negron has been recognized for, and instead provides fans more pop and rock with a spicy flair. Negron even showcased his new single, “Holding Onto Love,” on ABC’s soap opera, One Life to Live, which is scheduled to air on Wednesday, August 5. In addition, curious listeners can check out Negron’s new sound on Airgo Music’s official site, giving them a taste of his highly anticipated album.
NocheLatina had the chance to ask the 32-year-old Negron a few questions—he talks to us about his upcoming album, how he handles the attention from female fans, as well as what his music means to him.
nocheLatina: I understand your first English-language album Independence Day comes out on September 22. Is there a meaning behind the title?
Frankie Negron: Independence Day is really a play on words more than it is about the real July 4th, obviously. It’s really about working under an independent label for the first time in my career, being able to make decisions, and becoming a partner within this label-it’s completely coming of age for me. I feel like I’m really hands-on and doing this the way I would want to.
nocheLatina: What was the experience like recording an album in English?
Frankie Negron: Well, the differences are pretty apparent-the writing in Spanish versus English, picking songs from submissions. There seems to be a really nice pool of writers in both languages, but you almost have to switch your ears. Spanish is very metaphoric…English is very direct. You have to retrain the ear to look for different things-versus with the Spanish language, you can go off topic a little bit.
nocheLatina: Is this album’s sound different than what you’re used to?
Frankie Negron: Very much so. I mean, I’m not doing your typical crossover. Musically, it’s very different. I don’t want to sound like something Marc or Shakira did…I try to stay away from those kind of comparisons. Independence Day is more Anglo-mainstream, with obviously my way of singing.
nocheLatina: Do you have a favorite song on the album?
Frankie Negron: Oh man, that’s like asking me which is my favorite child. I have songs that are special in different ways…obviously the ones I co-wrote. Each song has something to offer. I would have to say ‘Holding Onto Love,’ a song that I co-wrote with Jimmy Greco and Luis Damon. It’s a single that when people first hear it, they think I’m talking about my wife…really I’m talking about my relationship to music. That was pretty emotional. People have really come to understand what my music means to me. I performed that single for an episode of ABC’s soap opera show, ‘One Life to Live.' We did an acoustic version of that song as sort of the back-story for two of the characters.
nocheLatina: I understand you wrote some of the songs on the album. Where does your inspiration come from?
Frankie Negron: Well yeah, other inspirations are from relationships, whether it’s with my wife or family. Where I get my inspiration from? Love. Basically, love for life, music, and family.
nocheLatina: I understand you grew up in New Jersey listening to different types of music. What’s your favorite genre and why?
Frankie Negron: Well, it depends. Pa’ lo Latinos, it's the rhythmic, salsa, Baracoa, cha-cha music that makes you happy because the arrangement is danceable. When we’re talking about the English language, I'm very much un ‘rockero.’ Growing up in Jersey, I was into Bon Jovi. When it comes to R&B, I'm all for Bryan McKnight and Stevie Wonder. On more going back, it's Sinatra.
nocheLatina: Do you have any children?
Frankie Negron: No children. Unless you count my three dogs as children, then yes.
nocheLatina: How do you feel about all of your success as an artist thus far?
Frankie Negron: I really haven’t had those moments where I kind of look back. I’m not on a reflective kind of mode just yet. I’m sure I will at some point. Don’t get me wrong, but I’m still on work mode.
nocheLatina: As far as salsa, what do you like about it?
Frankie Negron: It makes you move, I love that it’s a fusion of what my heritage is as a Latino, Caribeño. I feel that music reflects everything as far as what we are as a culture. That Caribbean feel is very much a mix… that music is what we are as a culture. It’s like the stew came together and bred that music. It’s basically a mix of everything that I am.
nocheLatina: You’re a good looking guy who has many female fans. How do you handle the attention from them?
Frankie Negron: I don’t know…well, first of all, I handle the attention because I have a wife that always keeps me in check. Really, it’s just trying to get egos in check, being appreciative of the fans, always trying to focus on the music aspect of things, and just working on that. I know image is a part of it, but I always try to focus on my music.
nocheLatina: What are some of your upcoming projects?
Frankie Negron: Aside from releasing Independence Day, it’s promoting the album, trying to put together a tour, just a lot of things that come with a new album.
nocheLatina: Do you have an ultimate goal in life?
Frankie Negron: My ultimate goal is to take over the world-really reaching a pinnacle where I can touch an audience. I feel like I have something to say and interpret, so I want to share that with as many people as I can.
To learn more about Frankie Negron, click here.