Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bilingual Album Reinforces Music’s Universality

In the mid-1990s, a Latin/Pop singer by the name of Enrique Iglesias burst on to the scene and soon became one of the most memorable artists of the decade. Known for his hits like “Hero” and “Bailamos,” Iglesias has spent his career alternating releases of English and Spanish albums. However, Iglesias’ upcoming album has taken an imaginative turn: it will be bilingual.

The album already shows signs of promise – in addition to Iglesias’ own talent, collaborators include well-known artists Pitbull, Lionel Richie, and Juan Luis Guerra – but its most admirable quality is the diversity of its languages. With this new release, Iglesias has created a record truer to himself than ever before by mixing different parts of his own culture and upbringing.

Using both English and Spanish in the new album seemed natural to the Latin singer. “I was raised speaking ‘Spanglish,’” he says. “I have always written in English and in Spanish, I think in English and in Spanish, I dream in English and in Spanish.”

Not only has Iglesias pushed himself creatively with this new venture, he has found a way to unite his English-speaking and Spanish-speaking fan bases, thereby expanding his market for the upcoming album. Though Iglesias is not the first artist to record a bilingual album and will not be the last – Shakira announced plans in April 2010 to combine both languages in her upcoming album – his latest creative endeavor certainly speaks to the universality of music. By using multiple languages in the same album, Iglesias shows that the meaning of a song can carry through no matter the language in which it was recorded, and that is an accomplishment that should be lauded.


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