Where Latin music is concerned, Geoffrey Royce Rojas is a prince among men. Seriously. The stage name of the singer, songwriter, and record producer from the Bronx is Prince Royce. At age 24, after having released two records since 2010, he has won acclaim from his first label (he already has an album of hits titled #1's), gotten honored with the 2013 BMI Latin Songwriter of the Year award, and just got signed to record bachata albums in Spanish through Sony Music Latin, as well as English-language pop albums via RCA Records.
"It's the same label family, but the music and the attitude is way different," Royce says. "The things that I do have to try and keep separate are the meetings, as the brainstorming and marketing stuff can get confusing," he says with a laugh.
Where the BMI award is concerned, he is humbly grateful, amazed to be given such an opportunity.
"I write from the heart about the experience of being alive," Prince Royce says. "What sets me apart, I think, is the ways in which I write about love. We all want to do that, but when I write, I think I include matters of insecurity and self-esteem as well as passion. I always try to do real stuff."
As for the music, whether it's bachata, salsa, or an R&B groove like the one running through last year's Phase II album, Prince Royce will give each of his records something Latin.
"Bachata once had a bad rep, I know, as a vulgar dance sound, but I am, and listen to, so many things," Royce says. "There are beautiful melodies to be made, and songs that sing about beautiful people. I want to make music that's there when you cry as well as celebrating your birthday as well as being in the club. That's what's so romantic about doing all this."
Before jumping off the phone, Royce discusses being a young Latino from the Bronx and the responsibility he feels in regard to younger impressionable Latinos, something that Caucasian artists such as Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, or the guys from Vampire Weekend don't have to worry about.
"Yeah, but I'm fine with it," Royce says. "I have seen an awful lot of negativity in my old neighborhood, and I was fortunate enough to get out, achieve things, and see the world. A lot of people wanted to bring me down, but I didn't let that happen. I want to be up. I want to be a motivator."