Fresh off his Grand Marshal gig at NYC's Puerto Rican Day Parade and his A-list housewarming party with wife Jennifer Lopez, Latin superstar Marc Anthony is also celebrating his latest album, Iconos, hitting stores on May 25. I needed to know just how the dad of four (including his twins with Lopez, Max and Emme, 2) keeps things hot, both in his music and on the homefront. Listen up to what he had to say:
UsMagazine.com: Tell me about the new album! It's most covers, right?
Marc Anthony: This record, first and foremost, is a celebration. I was born and raised in New York, and this was my parents' music growing up. When you mature, and you see that these songs served the test of time that you really get a true appreciation for them. It's the celebration of how I was raised musically, and that time came and I felt that it's a little selfish that I really look forward to performing each and everyone of these songs for the rest of my life. But first and foremost it is the celebration of some of the most special songs, songs that had a lot to do with my musical case and who I am as a person.
Us: What was your criteria for picking songs?
MA: I wouldn't say my process is unique, but I literally just have to be willing to marry the song. I've been on this concept for a while now, and I basically go out and I collect all the greatest songs and I sit down and listen to them. Some kick me in the chest, I put them aside. Then I don't listen for about three months, and the ones that kick me in the chest, I review them again. I end up with 10 or 15 songs. It's literally like a dating process, then we get engaged, and then we get married. These are songs I'm going to be expected to sing for the next 20 years. When I see them on the set list my stomach needs to flutter. So that was a big part of the process.
Us: What role did Jennifer play in your song selection?
MA: Jennifer was involved with every song from the beginning of the process. We'd sit around and talk about this and that; whenever she would do something subconsciously -- a gasp or a little twitch, or a little look in her eye -- and I happen to feel the same way, it had a lot to do with the process. I always look for her reaction. She had a lot to do with the album, actually, she was pretty involved. She had always been my muse, but there is one song in there that is over the top for her.
Us: Do your children inspire you? Do you think of songs they will appreciate when they grow up?
MA: That's always a factor in everything you do -- working responsibly and living responsibly. You think about where this album will be in 20 years from now and whether they are gong to be proud of it. The babies are obviously with me every step of the way. There were a couple of songs that Emme picked. Just by her [saying] "again, again."
Us: Do you think she's the more musical one, or are both kids musical?
MA: Emme is extremely musical, she wrote a couple of songs already.
MA: Everything is 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,' and she starts saying names of people that she misses, like her big brothers. It's her way of expressing herself. She is two and she just wants to sing their names over and over again. And then she was missing Uncle Benny, and then she was singing 'Benny.'
Us: What about Max? Is he musical too?
MA: Max is really rhythmic. If you put a little drum in front of him -- he is a boy after all -- he'll bang things as hard as he can. The drums just seem to suit him fine. He gravitates toward the thought that 'Oh my God, I can make noise and hit this really hard, and I don't get weird looks.'
Us: How do you keep the love alive with Jen?
MA: Well she's my girl, and I mean that in every step of the way. In every sense of the word in all kinds of ways. It's about just realizing on any given day, people change, they evolve, and just being open to that. Being aware that having a witness is better than not. Just really appreciating the little things. I feel stupid giving you my advice, but what actually works kind on a simple level, is being aware of each other, being selfless, regardless. Sometimes it can be that simple.
Us: Are you guys going to have anymore musical collaborations coming up? Are we going to see any more tours together?
MA: I think a tour is more likely than anything else right now. We've been talking about it and with the new album, and her new album coming out, we have a whole musical life. I wouldn't tour without her, she wouldn't tour without me so we might as well do it together.
Us: Are more kids in your future?
MA: You think I'm going to tell you? I have to talk to my wife about that first!