EXCLUSIVE: Prince Royce Talks 'Dreams Academy Music Contest' and Working with J Balvin and Bad Bunny

@princeroyce/Instagram

Prince Royce is using his childhood lessons to help young people like himself who want to start their career in music. The Bronx singer has teamed up with Sprint to help encourage the next generation of creators and dreamers. They’ve started the Dreams Academy, a grant and mentorship program that is offering an opportunity to enter a contest to win $10,000 and be mentored by the 28-year-old singer himself.

We sat down with the bachata superstar to talk more about this great program that will help make someone's dream a reality, what this means for Latinos, and his collaboration with J Balvin and Bad Bunny in their song "Sensualidad."

Read it all in the exclusive interview below:

Can you tell us more about your partnership with Sprint Latino?

So I started working with Sprint about two years ago. I used to work with Sprint at a Sprint store in the Bronx and with the money that I made working there I did my first demo with about 12,000 that I saved up. Ever since I’ve partnered with Sprint we’ve done so much for the fans so much for the community from meeting fans at Sprint stores from creating cool contests that will get me closer to them. It’s all about getting back and I think that this is what this contest is about.

We’re launching a new project called the Dreams Academy and they’re doing several of them it could be different fields but my field is music. So we’re doing a contest that fans have until December 31st to participate in, and it’s basically they can upload videos singing, they can upload videos playing an instrument, whatever musical talent that they have. The fans are going to choose the finalist and then myself and my team are gonna choose the winner and we’re giving $10,000 grant and they’re also getting a meeting with me so I can mentor them. I think growing up I was 14 years old when I was in music I would have wished A. the $10,000 would have been great and B. you know to meet up with somebody that maybe had this involvement and profession. I think it would have been dope to ask questions about, how to get a record deal, how to do a demo, what’s the best route? How to write a song? And I think that with this contest we can do that with young talent. There’s also a second and third place prize of $5,000 so I think that’s pretty cool for the fans.

 

 

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That’s amazing! Do you think Sprint Latino is really serving the community and getting it right?

Definitely, definitely. I think that ever since I started with them it’s all about giving back to the community. We’re constantly always figuring out new ways to give back, new ways to be involved with the people. I think especially nowadays, we have social media we have such a digital space and it becomes easier for us to connect with more people you know through these contests and through everything we’ve been doing. So I think that definitely, I think that ever since we started with Sprint we’ve done a lot and it really fills my heart with joy to be able to give back.

Do you think other brands should be marketing to Latinos today?

Of course, of course. I mean Latinos are growing so much in the U.S. There are so many Latin people like us, that are bilingual. We grew up - maybe born and raised or grew up in the U.S - who love English, love Spanish, love Latin music, love Latin culture but still feel very American like myself. I definitely think now I identify with Latinos in the U.S. It’s definitely something that I want to continue to promote. I’m very proud of where I’m from and what I’ve been doing. Latin music is what’s gotten me here so I always try to represent.

So you mentioned that you’re from the Bronx, what’s the biggest things you value from your old stomping grounds?

I value taking the train. I think New York and the Bronx was a great place for me to grow up. I’ve been to so many cities now and not to knock other cities but I feel in New York it was such a melting pot for me. I mean you take the train and you're with people you go to school. Other cities people drive more so you’re alone in the car. I think that New York kind of forces you to socialize and forces you to be with people. I think that it made me who I am today. I’m a people person, I love to hang out with people. I love to meet new people and new fans and in case I didn’t say it, the fans that want to participate they can just go online and hashtag #LiveUnlimited and #Contest. Also go on Sprint.com/Dreams in order to participate.

Perfect. So I’ve been playing your new song Sensualidad on repeat.  What was it like working with Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and more?

Great vibe. I mean Balvin we had worked together a while back and it’s great to see his growth. It’s great to see the way he’s grown since we last collaborated maybe like four or three years ago. It’s great to see him do his own thing and represent his community and his roots in his own way. Bad Bunny you know I’m a big fan. Growing up in the Bronx I’ve always been a big fan of hip-hop and trap and I think that although it’s a very controversial topic within Latin music right now I think that it’s something growing up we’re kind of used to that in English music and it’s refreshing to see that English movement coming into our music. I think that with this Sensualidad song we kind of brought in a little bit of everybody’s flow. Bad Bunny comes in with his essence, Balvin comes in with his essence, I came with my essence and we made a really dope track. I’m a fan of the record. 200 million views in less than a month, I mean I was at a random spot the other day that they played it, it’s like playing everywhere, everyone’s telling me they hear it in the club, they hear it in the street. And I think that that’s what it’s all about, working together, and I’d love to continue to do more records like that. They’re great guys, young guys that are really working, they’re really hustling, and it was a great vibe in the studio with them recording the video. We were just in Colombia, we sang it live and it’s just good vibes.

How was Colombia?

Really dope. We were in Medellin, in Balvin’s hometown. I think that the song is proof of social media nowadays. The song has barely played on the radio but everyone already sings it as if the song has been out for a year. So I think that that’s what it’s about, doing new things and blending cultures together.

So last question what’s a message that you want to give out to Latinos?

A message that I want to give out to Latinos is that anything is possible. I just ran a marathon in New York. 27 miles. I would have never thought that I could have run it. I still think back like, 'how did I continue?'

Did you train for that?

Yeah but honestly I didn’t do too much professional training. I kind of trained on my own with my cousin, who also ran it with me, but I think that that is proof to me and my fans that when you dedicate to something you can really achieve it and I think that’s what this contest is about. I know there are people who don’t think about singing as a profession or playing an instrument as a profession, they do it as a hobby. I think this is the opportunity for those kids also to think, “Hey, let me upload this video,” and they can be the winner of those $10,000 and that meeting with me to be able to mentor them. So I think that hopefully, this can motivate people to continue to follow their dreams.

Perfect, thank you so much for your time.

Latina yeah!