“Pausa” by Ricky Martin is the first part of a bigger project, in a May 29, 2020 story. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Ricky Martin makes ‘Pausa’ to channel newly found anxiety

NEW YORK — The world paused and for the first time in his life Ricky Martin felt anxiety.

From his home in Los Angeles, where he worked with his foundation to get protective gear and food to hospitals and people in Puerto Rico and beyond, he followed the pandemic news and tried to hide his distress from his family.

“I had never suffered from anxiety, and I left home when I was 12 (to join boy-band Menudo). I have seen things, I have lived, but this is a new level, this is a new monster and to top it all, it is invisible,” Martin told The Associated Press in a recent interview via Zoom.

“I spent two weeks with a poker face so my family wouldn’t be affected, but finally I was able to raise my head and say ‘eh, something very good has to come out of this, get creative.’ And I started making music and it was my medicine, honestly, because I really felt like I was gasping for air,” he said.

The result is “Pausa,” a surprise EP “with a lot of introspection” released Thursday, featuring four new songs that evoke romance, and at times, sadness. It includes collaborations by Sting (singing in Spanish,) Carla Morrison, Diego El Cigala and Pedro Capó, as well as the previously released singles “Cántalo,” with Residente and Bad Bunny, and “Tiburones.”

It is the first part of a bigger project that will follow with “Play” — hence his use of the hashtag #PausaPlay in social media. The initial idea was to release a whole album that he had previously been working on for months, but Martin felt that the rhythms were not the most appropriate for the moment.

“I said, ‘Sony, lets divide the album in two. Let’s start now a little calmer and bring in the party afterward’,” he said. “What I am presenting, these four songs, are little magical things that happened during the quarantine, like calling Sting, like talking to Carla Morrison.”

The new songs are “Simple,” with Sting; “Recuerdo,” with Mexican indie-pop singer-songwriter Morrison; “Cae de una,” with Puerto Rican Capó, and “Quiéreme,” with flamenco singer Diego El Cigala. Each embraces the style of the guest. Martin says he got out of his comfort zone “a little” — such as with Flamenco style vocals — but still manages to achieve a natural sound.

The songs were recorded with the artists in London, Paris, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, with the help of sound engineer Enrique Larreal in New York.

“My engineer was able to create a system where everyone — my producer in Miami, me in L.A. — had a sharp, immaculate audiovisual experience. I can be recording and literally see in my laptop the movement he is making in his console table in New York,” Martin said. “What did he do? What did he invent? Well, he’s already receiving calls because there’s a lot of curiosity.”

Martin has been in lockdown with his husband, Jwan Yosef, his four children and his mother, who had come to Los Angeles earlier to care for her grandchildren while the singer was supposed to tour. Aside from his anxiety episode, he says they are having a good time and counts his blessings.

“Many people are alone, many people are suffering. We are all living an overwhelming uncertainty, everyone. It’s OK not to feel OK and seek help,” he said.

His 2020 agenda still includes a tour with Enrique Iglesias in September.

By The Associated Press

CoronavirusEntertainment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

230 new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend

Premier raises concerns about weekend crowding at Sylvan Lake

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

As postponed NHL season resumes, some fans say the lure of parties will be strong

EDMONTON — As hockey fans gear up for a truncated season to… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Canadian professional chuckwagon racer reflects on cancelled season

This year would have marked Troy Dorchester’s 28th year of racing.

Crowds in Sylvan Lake “commonplace” during summer months

The Town of Sylvan Lake looking for solutions from Province for large crowds not social distancing

David Marsden: The remaking of Westerner Park

Red Deer residents have been tested by the COVID-19 pandemic in innumerable… Continue reading

Opinion: Anxiety is on the rise as COVID-19 support dries up

The interview with Navdeep Bains kicked off with pandemic pleasantries about how… Continue reading

Garage sale

Our Lady of Peace Parish will hold a multi-family garage sale fundraiser… Continue reading

Washington NFL team dropping ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

WASHINGTON — The Washington NFL franchise announced Monday that it will drop… Continue reading

Canadian forward Evelyne Viens savours NWSL debut at Challenge Cup

A prolific goal-scorer in college, Canadian forward Evelyne Viens has kicked off… Continue reading

In libel case, Depp says Heard hit him with ‘haymaker’ punch

LONDON — Johnny Depp accused Amber Heard of hitting him with a… Continue reading

Most Read