Among the greats of contemporary Latin American music—Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, and Shakira among others—is Prince Royce, the silky-voiced singer and songwriter who many listeners and dancers refer to as the Crown Prince of Bachata. Known for popularising bachata music around the world by infusing pop and R&B rhythms into his compositions, Prince Royce, at 33, is already a mainstay in numerous social dancing scenes.
Born Geoffrey Royce Rojas, Prince Royce is one of the most prolific Latin American singers working today. Like most musicians and singers, he took an interest in music at an early age; later, in his teenage years, he began experimenting with songwriting and poetry as a means of self-expression. At 19, with only three of his demos heard by a music industry producer, he was signed to his first record deal. His ascent to superstardom would commence soon after.
In 2010, Royce’s first studio album, the eponymous Prince Royce was released. A commercial success, it had “Stand By Me” and “Corazón Sin Cara” as its stand-out singles—both songs would climb to the top of Billboard‘s Tropical Songs chart; the album would also secure a top billing on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums list. Royce’s debut album would go on to win three awards at the Billboard Latin Music Awards in 2011. In particular, his award for Tropical Album of the Year would announce mark him as one of Latin American music’s future stars.
Fresh off the success of his debut, Royce released his second album, Phase II. Like his first album, it placed first in the US Latin Albums and Tropical Albums charts. “Las Cosas Pequeñas” and “Incondicional”, the albums biggest hits, were nominated for the Latin Grammy Award for Best Tropical Fusion Album. For many music listeners outside of the Latin American community, these two songs would be the first aural encounter with Royce’s voice. They would, however, not be the last.
Soy El Mismo, Royce’s third album, was released in 2013 with the popular hit “Darte Un Beso” paving its way to commercial success. Like his two previous albums, Royce’s third offering would garner critical acclaim. Soy El Mismo got Royce his second nomination for the Latin Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Tropical Album. Two years later, in 2015, Double Vision, Royce’s fourth album—and his first predominantly English-language recording—was unveiled. It would include singles such as “Stuck On A Feeling” featuring hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg and “Back It Up” featuring Latin American superstars Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull. The collaborations with some of the world’s biggest recording artists confirmed Prince Royce as a bona fide star, a status bachata dancers around the world had already given him as far back as 2010. In 2017, Prince Royce’s Five made its way into the Billboard Top Latin Albums charts. “Déjà Vu” which featured Shakira would become the album’s most commercially successful singles becoming certified platinum nine times.
Such is Prince Royce’s popularity that a philosophical question can be thus phrased: if a Prince Royce song was not played at a party did you dance to bachata?
Thankfully, this is not a question The Salsa Club has had to answer because, well, there is always some “Roooooyce!” on offer at its bachata classes and socials.
Stand By Me
Darte Un Beso
Lao’ A Lao’ (Bachata Version)
Te Espero (featuring Maria Becerra)
Cover Image: © Elastic People