Music

Prince Royce Overcomes Shyness for Ultra-Personal Album ‘Llamada Perdida’: ‘I Tried Not to Overthink’

A lot has happened in Prince Royce’s life since his last studio album, Alter Ego (2020). Along with having his promotion and touring plans derailed thanks to the pandemic, the bachata star went through a divorce in 2022, following a 12-year relationship. Now, Royce presents what is arguably his most personal work to date in Llamada Perdida, his seventh studio album, released Friday (Feb. 16) under Sony Music Latin/Smiling Prince Music.

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“I think that at a composition level, it’s very personal. I tried not to overthink the album, to have fun, add personality,” the bachata star tells Billboard Español, confessing that the most difficult thing was not to put his feelings on paper, but to share them with his fans.

“I am kind of shy, I don’t like people knowing that I am suffering, that I’m crying. I like to pretend everything’s fine on the outside, not to be fake but, no one wants to be seen as vulnerable,” he explains. “But you know what? I think it was a way for me […] to let go. The beautiful thing about music is that in the end the audience doesn’t know if its fiction or non-fiction. It could be a little bit true, a little bit of a lie, a fusion of many things. I think that gives me the opportunity to vent, in some ways.”

With 23 tracks (22 songs, actually, plus one skit) fusing bachata with uptempo/disco, regional Mexican, merengue, urbano and more, Llamada Perdida — Spanish for “Lost Call” — is “a celebration of overcoming obstacles, especially in love, [which] represents the end of a life chapter as well as the acceptance of a new beginning,” as described in a press release.

Beyond that, the Royce and D’lesly “Dice” Lora-produced set takes us on a fascinating roller coaster of emotions. It is heartbreaking in “Un Papel and “Frío en el Infierno,” which talk about the pain of a separation and letting the loved one go, respectively; funny in “Los Lambones,” and hopeful in “La Vida Te Hace Más Fuerte.” And it includes a long, eclectic list of collaborators: There are both established and emerging Latin stars like Nicky Jam and Jay Wheeler (“Si Te Preguntan…”), Maria Becerra (“Te Espero,” with a surprising sample of Cutting Crew’s “(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight”) and Gabito Ballesteros (“Cosas de la Peda”), as well as less-predictable names like New York rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie (“Boogie Chata”), Dominicans Ala Jaza (“Sufro”) and Luis Miguel del Amargue (“Anestesiada”).

“I think the overall concept of the album is the form of communication,” Royce says, explaining why he chose its title. “If you take the call, something can happen. If you don’t take it. If you say something; if you don’t say something. If you send a drunk text; if you don’t send it.”

During the interview with Billboard Español, Prince Royce spoke in depth about the album, the lessons he learned over the last four years and — half seriously, half jokingly — the role that alcohol played in his life. Watch the full interview above.

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