Jon Secada is a three-time Grammy Award winner with one hell of an amazing career over the last 20 years, selling over 20 million records worldwide, touring the world and releasing 18 studio albums including both English and Spanish language versions. He recently released his latest single, “I’m Never Too Far Away”, which is a must-listen for fans. Jon took out some time to talk to Media Mikes about the single, his passion for music and education and also plans for his next album.
Jennifer Kish: With a career spanning over two decades, two Grammy Awards, 20 million albums sold, tell us about this new single “I’m Never Too Far Away” and it’s story/inspiration?
Jon Secada: This marks the first time that I am releasing and promoting a song that I didn’t write myself. The song is written by my dear friend and producer Rudy Perez. I have known him for a long time and the minute he played that song I fell in love with it. I told him I wanted to use it and promote it as a single. For me as a singer/songwriter, I love that when you hear a great song that is all that matters. It really feels like it fits me. That is what it is all about especially after all these years to connect with a song that hopefully people will like.
JK: You’ve had so many amazing accomplishments throughout your career – from starting out performing with Gloria Estefan, becoming a tremendous success as a solo performer, penning songs for other artists such as Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez, performing a duet with Frank Sinatra – even starring on Broadway! – Are there any unique projects that you’re currently working on that will surprise and amaze fans – and if not currently is there something you’d like to eventually do?
JS: At this point I am enjoying this cycle of things that I have developed over the last 20 years. I’ve got my songwriting career; I’ve done some theater and the fact that in the last five years I have also done some television, especially being a judge from in a reality based talent show for the Spanish market. At this point if I can keep doing what I am doing I will just keep the cycle going for all things that I enjoy. I have had some great opportunities and I just want to keep doing shows, concerts and singing my songs.
JK: You’re obviously in fantastic physical shape! How do you manage to fit an exercise regimen into your busy schedule of touring and other things?
JS: I have decided about five or six years ago to make it a part of my life. I want to see if that by the time I was 50 that I could be in the best shape of my life. And I feel that I am right now. It is a commitment all around and I just make time for it. I find time to be able to go to the gym and to eat well and all those things to stay in shape. I will just continue to keep doing that.
JK: I know you’ve been very involved with music education in public schools. Tell us about this passion?
JS: Education always has been and always will be a very big part of my career. It is the reason I have a career and it started with me going to college. I will always be connected especially if I am asked by the institutions to lend a hand in terms of supporting education. Thanks to education, I have been successful with my career, with singing, with music and everything that I have been able to do over the last 20+ years and I want to keep doing that. Through television, on “Latin American Idol”, for me it is the connection and a privilege to recognize and discover new talent and to encourage them to always keep educating themselves and never stop learning. I do not think I have ever stopped learning since I started getting into music. So I am always willing to help anything that helps supports the arts. I also love teaching and doing seminars and talking with these kids. Teaching for me was a big part of my career early on. So I will always be a big supporter and do what I can to help others.
JK: I know you have a personal connection with the organization “Tune in to Hep C”, can you tell us about that?
JS: That started for me with the American Liver Foundation, the company that I worked with to create an awareness campaign for Hepatitis C. My father passed away from complications from Hepatitis C about a year and a half ago. So I learned a lot about what Hepatitis C means and what it represents. There are over 4 million people infected in the US alone. Being involved with the American Liver Foundation, I was honored to be a part of the campaign and I continue to be a supporter and a spokesperson for them.
JK: So you’ve given us a taste of some new music with your hit single, when can we expect the new album?
JS: I am working with Rudy Perez right now with what would be a bilingual record. Of course starting with the song “I’m Never Too Far Away”. There is also a Spanish version of that song as well. We are in the process of completing the rest of the project that I have in mind in both English and Spanish. I grew up bilingual living in Miami and South Florida. Everything that I have done has been in both languages, so I love that fact that I can do that with Rudy. I would say it should be completed in the next three or fours months.
JK: What really drives you to keep performing and touring after all these years?
JS: I think I just really love what I do. I am still very passionate about it. Every time I get to the shows, I just love it even more. I love that I still have the energy to entertain. I am very lucky and I hope I can just keep doing it.
JK: Lastly, tell us your upcoming tour schedule?
JS: I am doing some stuff right now in Latin America. Right now I am getting ready to leave for Argentina and Chile for some shows and promotions since I just put out a CD there. So very soon after that I will be putting something together to do some more shows in the US. So stay tuned!
JK: Any plans to return to Walt Disney World’s Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival?
JS: We love doing that! I did the Food and Wine Festival for many years and I would love to come back. So maybe this year we will!