Wilmer Valderrama may be known for his quirky character Fez on That 70s Show and most recently as rookie detective Vega on the hit show Awake, but the 32-year-old actor is preparing to be the next crossover star. We recently caught up with Valderrama at an event for Dr. Scholl’s in New York City about his plans on dropping a bilingual album, his musical influences, and more! Check it all out below:
You recently announced that you’re recording an English and Spanish album. What inspired you to jump-off a music career?
"I’ve been singing and dancing since I was six years old. It’s just that acting took off faster than the whole singing thing. I guess you can say that I’m returning to one of my other passions, and I’m excited because I felt like this is the most organic and direct way to connect with my Latin community."
Who are you teaming up with for this album?
"I’m super honored to be working with multi Grammy Award-winning producers and collaborating with incredible artists that everyone is very fond of. I’m really excited!"
Can you say whom you are working with specifically?
"A lot of things are still in the works, so I can’t reveal too much, but we will be recording music videos in the next month or so. I will tell you right now that Wisin y Yandel and I are working on something. And that’s one surprise, but the rest of the people I’m working with are also really influential in that world and have become mentors of mine too. This whole process has just been a lot of fun."
What kind of artist do you see yourself becoming?
"I don’t want to mirror anyone. I admire tons of artists, but I want to have my own feel and vibe. I want it to be a futuristic take on the rhythms and sounds I grew up with. For me, it’s all about creating an entity and a new chapter that feels like a brand new human being in a sense. I want to combine all the soulful and spiritual journeys that I’ve had into music."
Who are some of your biggest influences?
"Wow, there are so many! From Oscar de Leon to Celia Cruz to Marc Anthony, you know. I’m a salsero all the way. I also admire and respect Carlos Santana so much. His 'Supernatural' album is huge for me and I have to say has influenced me, but I’m creating something that feels very unique to me and very original to me. My sound is going to be something that people never heard before."
Your new show Awake is also getting critical acclaim for its captivating storyline. How is that show creativity fulfilling for you?
"It’s great! You know I did comedy for so long and to be able to work on a show that’s so unique and innovative is really fulfilling for me. It’s a great chapter right now."
What else can fans expect from you this year?
"Aside from Awake I’ve been really involved in the charitable stuff. I’m launching a clothing line right now called 'This Shirt Helps' and when you buy a shirt, there are a number of organizations that we partner up with that the profits will go to like 'Pencils of Promise', that helps build schools for children in Latin America and developing countries. Eventually we want to launch 'This Concert Helps,' which will bring a number of artists together for the causes. You know things that you do in your everyday can actually be a big help to your neighbor, community, or anything that somehow hits home to you."
Sounds like this chico has a lot going on! Visit This Shirt Helps to get involved.