A royal career: Prince Royce, 30, celebrates a decade of success on his new ‘Alter Ego Tour’
By Don Chareunsy
If you go
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.
More: $32.50-$76.50; (509) 624-1200 and foxtheaterspokane.org
Singer-songwriter Prince Royce broke out in 2010 with his No. 1 self-titled album and two No. 1 hits, “Corazon Sin Cara” and his Spanish cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.” Since that initial success, more top albums and singles have followed, and Royce is celebrating his career with the new “Alter Ego Tour.”
The tour is so new, in fact, that the first show was in Seattle on Wednesday, the second is in Portland tonight, and the third is here at Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox on Friday.
The New York-born Geoffrey Royce Rojas, now 30 and of Dominican descent, talked with The Spokesman-Review on Tuesday afternoon ahead of his show in town and discussed touring, getting married, the milestone birthday, the coronavirus and more:
What can your fans expect at the Fox Theater here in Spokane on Friday night?
I’m really excited to be there. I think it’s been a long time since I’ve been in Spokane. The goal of this new “Alter Ego Tour” – there are so many places that I haven’t been to in a long time or never visited. That’s why we’re doing 40 shows. I’m out here in Seattle to begin the tour, then I’m in Portland, then I head over to see you guys on Friday.
I’m really excited to see my fans with this double album. I have so many surprises coming. I’ve switched up the whole vibe of my show, so it’s very new and different. I’m celebrating the 10 years that I’ve had in my career and celebrating with the fans. I’m all about being up close and personal with the fans.
So Seattle is your first show on this new tour, correct?
Yep, yep. I’m a little nervous because with the switched-up show and new setlist, you always want to make sure everything runs smoothly and that the audience will vibe with the new things. I’m excited to start, and the first week is always important in general for me.
What do you enjoy most about touring and performing?
I get to see so many places. Everywhere I go, I try to take something in from the culture of that city. I google to see what is there to do, to eat, is there a signature drink, is there a signature dish. I always try to go out even if it’s just for a few hours.
With your tour beginning in Seattle and this area, are you concerned about the coronavirus?
It’s funny because my little sister was talking about that – she just got here in Seattle. It’s obviously something that you think about. I’m not as concerned. Growing up, you heard about things like Ebola and the flu. Obviously we should always take precautions in general, but I’m not the type of person who stops doing things because I’m afraid. You should still live your life.
If we were to listen to everything that we’re told in life and in the news, we would be trapped in a bubble at home. Be safe and take the necessary precautions, but this wouldn’t stop me from going out in a city or doing a show and saying hi to fans. I hope that it hasn’t gotten there yet.
You broke out in 2010 with a No. 1 album and singles, and you have had many more since then. How has that early success influenced your career?
It has been a blessing. Growing up and early in your career, when you get your first hit or success, you wonder how long is it going to last. How long will it stick? For me and maybe a lot of other artists, that’s our biggest fear. What is the longevity going to be? Looking back, I’ve realized how much I’ve accomplished and how much I’ve done.
It gets me really excited to be just like, “Man, I proved to myself that I could do it for 10 years. I’m ready to do 10 years more, and I hope I can do another 10 years more after that.” I’ve kind of entered into this world of veterans. I wouldn’t call myself a veteran, but I don’t feel like a new artist anymore. When I talk to young artists, they’re like, “Man, you’re a young legend.” I’ve never thought of it that way. I’m just hoping to continue to sing and have fun with it, and I’m still growing and learning and continue to challenge myself.
You’ve worked with Snoop Dogg, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Shakira, as well as many others. Has there been a favorite collaboration?
Every collaboration is different, and all of them have been very positive. Daddy Yankee was my first collaboration, so it will always be a special one. Singing with Ben E. King at the Latin Grammys is another one. It was such a memorable moment to be singing with the original guy who wrote and sang “Stand by Me.” For me it was his approval of my Spanglish version of his hit. Every artist has been different, each one has had a different vibe, and I’ve enjoyed learning from them and seeing how they work.
What advice would you give a Latin artist breaking into the industry in 2020?
Right now is the time, it’s a great time for any artist to join music, to do Latin music. For the youth in general, there’s social media, YouTube, the internet, things that weren’t as prevalent when I started 15 years ago, maybe even 10 years ago.
It’s so accessible. Now we’re seeing more and more kids becoming millionaires and making money. Now is the time when the hustle has to get stronger. They should go to school, they should to the side jobs, they should use their time wisely because there are so many opportunities right now.
You turned 30 last May. Has anything stood out in this milestone birthday year?
I’m enjoying things more since I turned 30. I’m realizing how fast time passes and how valuable time is, as well. I really want to take my time with things and enjoy things, like I said earlier about cities. I remember being in Europe and just doing the shows and never leaving my hotel room.
Those were things I took for granted, and now I really want to go out and see the world. In the last few years, I’ve gotten my scuba diving license. I got my skydiving license. I got a cocktail certification. I want to learn new things and try new things and really push myself and see the world from a different perspective.
I would say you’re still a newlywed since you married in 2018. How has married life treated you?
It’s been good. Not much has changed, which is a good thing. You always have that fear, “When you get married, what’s going to change?” For us, we try to keep things the same. It’s a cool celebration to have with your family, but then you keep things the same. You’re together for a reason, and that hasn’t changed.
What are you working on now besides touring? What is in store for you the rest of the year?
I’m really focused on this tour – it’s the longest one I’ve done in the U.S. I’m trying to stay healthy throughout it. Maybe halfway, I’ll start planning a Latin American tour. I’m not trying to record music this month.