It’s a chilly spring morning when we call Ricky Martin at his LA home. He’s gearing up for the release of his latest album. As a father to four children, global hit maker and humanitarian – both through his own foundation and as an outspoken defender of LGBTQ+ rights – the prolific Puerto Rico-born artist is no stranger to juggling several roles. But with everything on pause since 2020, Martin has taken time to reflect and explore different versions of himself (not least the platinum blonde beard reinvention), and his new work brings all aspects of his being to light.
It’s been a year since we’ve been in lockdown — how has it been for you?
Well, like for everyone else, it’s been extremely overwhelming. I definitely have issues with losing control, and I found out with this pandemic! [laughs]
How was it with your family? You were in lockdown with your husband, Jwan Yosef, your children and your mother…
The kids were very responsible about it – they were, like, “Dad, wear your mask!” It was wonderful to see; they’re so resilient.
I’ve been very creative. I had started work on my album a few years ago, but something had been keeping me from finishing it. I guess I needed something as big as a pandemic for me to just really get down to it. I made phone calls to the people I really love and respect, like Sting, Carla Morrison and [Bad] Bunny. It was survival mode… but the medicine of music was helping.
What do you think the role of an artist is in a time like this?
I focus on the work I’ve been doing with my foundation for so many years. When COVID exploded, I started creating all of this movement with my foundation to find PPE for frontline workers, for hospitals in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic… it was a lot of work.
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