It’s time to meet Jorge Blanco. After all, the rest of the world already has. And based on his countless loyal fans worldwide, who never missed Jorge on television or who came to see him perform live across Europe and Latin America, it’s clear the Mexican-born singer is one of the great talents of his generation. With the release of Jorge’s debut Hollywood Records single, “Summer Soul,” it’s now America’s turn to swoon.
At 25, he may be young, but with “Summer Soul,” Jorge proves he is steeped in the great pop tradition of summer pop tunes. Says Jorge of the song, “’Summer Soul’ reminds me of my own unforgettable summer days and nights growing up, when it seemed like there was a feeling of romance and adventure around the corner every moment.”
Even before its release, the single drew attention from the big leagues. It will be featured on ESPN programming from July through September in Major League Baseball broadcasts as well as the Indy 500. A sports fanatic himself, Jorge is thrilled to have his music provide the soundtrack to some of the great sporting events of summer.
Last year, Jorge moved to Los Angeles, setting up shop in the studio to write and record music for his debut Hollywood album. His goal was to zero in on songs that best represented his musical identity. Jorge says tracks like “Summer Soul” and “Risky Business” satisfy him that he is on target. “I’ve written dozens of songs,” he says, “and I find that I’m getting closer and closer to the sounds I hear in my head. I’ve learned so much working with so many great people.”
Jorge made the move to L.A. after three years in Argentina, where he starring in the worldwide hit series from Disney Latin America, “Violetta.” The show was dubbed into several languages and broadcast around the world for three seasons. It not only brought Jorge fame as an actor, but it also gave him a chance to show off his skills as a singer, an ability that routinely had him performing in arenas on “Violetta” tours with his co-star, Martina Stoessel. He played over 350 sold-out concerts, including a European tour that sold more tickets than One Direction.
“When I go on stage in front of so many people, I feel an inexplicable rush of adrenaline,” he said in an interview last year. “When I’m on stage, I feel like I’m at home and I will do what I want to do. I’m a perfectionist and I want to give my all.”
Considering how admittedly shy Jorge was growing up, it’s startling to picture him so comfortable in front of thousands of fans these days. That’s how far the kid from Guadalajara has come since he first discovered a passion for music. It was his musician aunt who first put a guitar in the hands of then-5-year-old Jorge and gave him his first lessons. “I’ve always been in love with music,” he says. “I always sang just for joy, but because I was a very shy kid, I would just sing for myself.”
That all changed when he started performing in school talent shows. Those experiences opened the door to auditioning and winning at age 15 a starring role in the 2007 Mexican reality-show Disney Channel hit, “High School Musical: La Seleccion.” Says Jorge of that experience, “It changed my life totally.”
That, and starring roles in shows such as “Highway” and “As the Bell Rings” served as the warm-up act. Landing the role of Leon on the Disney Channel Latin America telenovela “Violetta” took Jorge to the pinnacle of fame throughout the Spanish-speaking world and beyond. Premiering in 2012, it featured a multinational cast to tell the story of a female singer who returns to her hometown to find love. The show aired across Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East, making Jorge a global star. His time in Argentina not only seasoned him as an actor and singer, it matured him in every other way.
“I became independent,” he recalls. “I learned to take care of myself, take care of my home, to eat well, sleep well, keep up good relationships with colleagues and stay in touch with family. I felt homesick lots of times, and I missed my Mexican food everyday.”
Once “Violetta” wrapped, Jorge set his sights on music full time, and that meant moving to L.A. So far, he loves his life there, with plenty of Mexican culture everywhere to remind him of home. With all the political talk of walls and borders, Jorge hopes to offer an antidote. “I’m a person who thinks music has no limits and no boundaries. Music gets people together. I oppose anything that has to do with dividing people. I say, be kind, love each other, and whatever language you speak, we’re all the same.”
He’s been spreading his wings, as well. His killer version of the Beatles’ classic “Baby You Can Drive My Car,” from the “Cars 3” soundtrack will be out this summer, even as his readies his debut EP for the fall. At 25, Jorge Blanco is excited to get “Summer Soul” out to lay the groundwork for breakout success in America. “Everything I’m doing is not just for myself but for the fans, too,” he says. “It’s a way to thank them and show them all these years of support have not been in vain.”