Interview: Julio Iglesias

Who did you look up to growing up?
My father was a very important person in my life. He was my best friend, my rock. I loved him very much. I was lucky to have great parents, who have always supported me.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
I have always admired Frank Sinatra. I had the chance to meet him and to record with him and he was not only an amazing artist—with an historic voice—but also a wonderful person, very generous and kind. I feel lucky having had the opportunity to perform duets with many other incredible artists, like Simon and Garfunkel, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Plácido Domingo, Willie Nelson, Sting, Paul Anka, Stevie Wonder…I learnt a lot from all of them.

Are there younger musicians who you mentor today?
Well, I wouldn´t say I am a mentor for the young musicians. There are many young talented artists nowadays and I admire their determination and everything they have achieved. It is very important to be focused on what you want and to work hard. It’s not easy to reach the top, and it’s even harder to remain there.

What’s the most difficult part about growing older?
Having little time left.

Do you see yourself ever retiring?
Life has been generous with me. I hope to have the chance to perform for many years—if the audience wants me to. I love music and simply couldn’t live without it.

What’s one tip you’d give younger performers?
Enjoy each second on stage, work hard and be generous.

What would you have done if you’d never gone into music?
It’s difficult to say, because I cannot imagine my life without music. When I was young, I played for the Real Madrid Junior team, as a goalkeeper. I might have become a football player, but after a car accident when I was 20, I couldn’t do it anymore. Doctors thought I would never be able to walk again, but life gave me a second chance. During the recovery, I discovered music, started to write songs and the tragic accident turned into an opportunity. It completely changed my life.

Julio Iglesias 1 World Tour is on April 27 at the Compass Ballroom.