Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sultry Salsero: Charlie Cruz

Sexy salseros may be as common as rappers with gold teeth, but it's the talent that makes them part of history. Puerto Rican-native Charlie Cruz is a household name in the salsa world, and it's not just his sexy ways that make him so, though that helps.

There's something about salsa, how it drips with Latin heat and can make any night a sultry night. Crooner Cruz adds to the fire hot beats with his sensual voice, adding his own brand of salsa to the genre. Perfect for a night of dancing, each of his LP's, from Asi Soy to Dinamico to Mas de Mi have become tropical night club must-haves.

Dinamico, which is Cruz's most recent release, went on to score high on the tropical charts, and spawned the soon-to-be classic hits “Sigo Tratando” and “Tu Me Confundes” On describing his recent record, Dinamico, the artist calls the record a” traditional production. It has the traditional formula for salsa. And it contains the 'essentials' for the dancer. “ When it comes to the best of the best for the album, Charlie Cruz picks the LP's first single,”'Tu Me Cunfundes', it's a song that I composed and it came from me.”

Making hits isn't as easy as putting words to a beat, and for Cruz, who composes a good amount of his work, there really is no sacred place or time when he writes best. “I can sometimes be in any room and still compose. In a car, in a plane, in a hotel. I mean the song or the melody can emerge any where,” the composer says. “You record it and continue with the process and sometimes you're trying to compose a song and nothing happens but then all of a sudden it hits it,” he continues.

Aside from his producers, Cruz has collaborated with a good bit of reggeatoneros. While that may sound like adding country to hip-hop, salsa and reggeaton mix as well as chili and tomatoes. On his collaborations, Cruz says“Angel and Khriz are friends of mine. We've known each other for many years. I've known them since they've started singing, and now their famous. It feels great to sing with them, because they're my friends.” In addition, the singer has worked with other reggeatoneros. “I also liked singing with Zion Y Lennox. Also with Alexis Y Fido. It feels great because it's a mutual support. We're “musical 'friends, and when you are 'musical' friends, the chemistry is much better,” the singer remembers.

With all these collaborations, some have pondered if the salsa star will crossover to reggeaton. “No, no. I'll continue with my salsa. I respect reggeaton a lot. Many people do it with a high quality. But I think each person his or her own style. I'm a salsero. It's in my blood. I can make a remix of bachata or ballad and any genre but I will never change my salsa for any other genre,” Cruz says.

Now that he's covered the reggeaton world, the question lingers of who Charlie Cruz would like to work with. “Well in the future I'd like to sing with anyone who does good music. Only if they have a vision. I would have liked to sing with Frankie Ruiz, but he's not with us anymore. I would've given anything to have sing with him,” the salsero confesses.

On the other side, perhaps the singer is being kind, but in terms of singers/producers that he would not like to ever have to work with, Cruz responds, “the truth is there's nobody that I wouldn't work with. I never say no to any producer. With one's I've worked with, I've never had any bad experiences with them.” A writer and singer of many salsa songs, Cruz says “there are many songs” he would have loved to have written, including “Desnudarte Mujer” and “Mi Libertad.” “I wish those songs would've been mine,” the songwriter says. Regardless, the singer has had his own collection of hits, from the “Amarte es un Problema” to “Dejale Que Baile” and it seems there is no end in the future to his commercial and critical acclaim.

Success may have come his way, but Cruz hardly takes all the credit. “My success is due to a terrific group and the many blessings that God gives us, and that's how I've accomplished it.”

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