By Jay Cridlin
Times Staff Writer
Jon Secada has no problem playing the role of the Latin lover onstage.
"It comes with the territory of the music," said the Cuban-American singer-songwriter. "It's natural sometimes to get into a passionate thing, to want to sing to somebody. And it's part of the culture, too. Everything gets all married up, between the music, the personality, the artist and the passion of the culture."
The two-time Grammy winner knows a thing or two about cross-cultural passion, selling more than 20 million albums in two languages, and penning hits like If You Go, Just Another Day and Angel. This week Secada released Otra Vez, his first Spanish-language pop album in eight years. And on Saturday, he'll swing through Pinellas County for an intimate Valentine's Day weekend concert at the Club at Treasure Island.
What better time, we thought, to pick Secada's mind on love, marriage and the art of seduction?
I read that you were in negotiations to perform at the royal wedding in April. Any truth to that?
Yes, there is some truth to that. We're in the process of being considered, along with a tremendous orchestra made up of autistic (and developmentally challenged) kids out of Austria called the No Problem Orchestra. They just happen to know my music, and I was told they were being considered to perform at the royal wedding, and then I think it just snowballed from that point forward. So at this point, it would be a joint thing, maybe, between me and the No Problem Orchestra. We'll see where the cards fall.
I would imagine that at your concerts, a lot of people get onstage and propose. How many times has that happened?
Oh my. At least a half a dozen times. (laughs) I guess my music entices a very romantic evening. And anytime I get asked to lend a hand, to put the ball in the guy's court, I'm always game to do that.
What's your most romantic song?
I would say Angel. It was on my first CD, in English and Spanish, and it is probably the song that, in terms of a ballad and a romantic song, that people associate with me more than anything else.
True or false: Have you ever seduced a woman by singing to her?
Oh, sure, of course. (laughs) It's all about that, bro! I was very shy when I was in high school, so sometimes when I sang, and when I was onstage, it was the beginning of me stepping out of my shell. So absolutely, it's an extension of romance, for sure.
What's your best advice on finding and keeping Mr. or Mrs. Right?
It's all in the details. Details in communication. Details in the way you reach out to somebody. Trying to keep a sense of humor in the path of how crazy things can be sometimes in our lives. Surprises are something that always works. And communication, because it becomes an attachment, how you communicate with somebody. Especially somebody in my case, which is somebody who travels all the time. Communication is the key.
if your love is … ooey, gooey, schmooey