Reclining on his couch in a beautifully appointed living area at his New Jersey home, Frankie Negron strikes you as a pretty relaxed guy. As he recounts his accomplishments, it would be understandable for Negron to now finally sit back on this sunny afternoon and coast a little: child performer and student at the school of performing arts, Broadway showman by age 20 and, most famously, salsa superstar, earning him Grammy Award nominations, Billboard Award nods and two Premio Lo Nuestro awards for song of the year, not to mention several number one singles and four gold and platinum album awards to his credit.
However, Frankie Negron did not get to be one of the most successful salseros of the 20-something generation by chilling out all day. His latest project is an ambitious first English language record, entitled Independence Day. The album is a composite of Negron’s natural romanticism with rock, pop, and a healthy dash of the sounds of his past. It’s a bold, creative move for a young man with a dedicated Latin fan base, known for his romantic ballads and emotionally charged vocal performances. Yet, for Frankie, Independence Day felt like the perfect next step.
“For me, making Independence Day has been a transition based on emotion and inspiration. Growing up in New Jersey, I listened to great rock bands like Springsteen and Bon Jovi, yet lived in a Puerto Rican household where Salsa was played non-stop. As strange as it might sound, there was no great divide between the two styles,” explains Frankie.
Always looking to up the ante, the talented Negron began working on the album in mid-2008. Some of Negron’s most powerful and high energy songs on Independence Day are “What Can I Say,” “Holding on to Love” and “Stand by Me and Fight” – songs with messages that leave no question of his intention for the record. “I can rock, but I’m still a romantic guy,” smiles Negron, “You have to have emotion when you sing. If you don’t make me feel, I’m not into it. I like to make people feel.”
The last 10 years have proven that Frankie is that great artist with great songs. He is confident his fan base is going to make the transition with him, assuring them that he won’t be going very far.
“As a singer, you shouldn’t be pigeonholed. You have to remember singing is an art, and if you’re influenced by certain music, and your passion comes from the heart, why not try something new? I will absolutely go back and do another salsa record, I haven’t left it behind; I just want to do more than one thing. Once people hear this album, there will be no doubt to my audience that this is just another facet of who I am.”
“There is an unavoidable element of shock when one sees and hears Frankie Negrón for the first time. Negrón continues his full-court press to be the generation’s next definitive voice; when he opens his mouth and reveals the voice of a true artist, disbelief is the only reasonable response. If he continues along his current track, Negrón will have earned it.”
– Evan C. Gutierrez, All Music Guide/Billboard