Is Aventura’s Romeo Santos The Next Will Smith?
Will Smith knows a star when he sees one. He’s molded his entire family into them. So it comes as no surprise that one of Hollywood’s biggest forces is throwing his weight behind the guy many are saying is his successor, Romeo Santos.
Santos, 30, is the former lead singer of Aventura, a boy band from the Bronx, New York that popularized Dominican bachata music around the world with their hit “Obsession” and sold millions of records during their time as a group for over a decade.
Now a solo star, last month Santos revealed he’ll be starring in an upcoming ABC comedy series produced by Will Smith and his partner James Lassiter for Overbrook Entertainment. The show revolves around his role as the son of Dominicans living in New York’s Washington Heights torn between his career aspirations and his parents’ traditions.
“It’s a show where, as they say, ‘Each head is its own world,’” Santos told Billboard. “My dad in the show owns a mom-and-pop restaurant. He’s really old-fashioned, really radical, and wants to do things his way. And his dream is for me to take over the restaurant. And [my character wants] to grow, to be a developer who owns all these buildings,” adds Santos, whose real father is a retired cab driver and construction worker. “[He] never gave me permission to be an artist.”
Santos’s solo debut album, Formula, Vol. 1, was released yesterday, a set of music authentic to its bachata roots but embracing other sounds, as well. The first single, “You” (featuring a video cameo from The Sopranos‘ Jamie-Lynn Sigler) spent seven weeks at number one on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart:
On the fusion side (where bachata meets pop, hip-hop and R&B) there’s the current single “Promise” with Usher, “All Aboard” with Lil Wayne, “Aleluya” with Pitbull and a pop ballad, “Rival,” with Mario Domm of Camila. In addition to bilingual skits featuring comedian George Lopez and more, there’s also traditional bachata plus a mix of bachata and rap on a track with rapper La Mala Rodriguez (“Magia Negra”).