Emilio Estefan isn’t competing in London for the Summer Olympics, but his latest production, Suena (Dream), is — kind of. Written by the local megaproducer, and sung by telenovela stud Jencarlos Canela, the track celebrates Telemundo’s coverage of the games, and will be available on iTunes starting Tuesday in both languages.
Emilio’s got cred with this type of thing. In 1996, he produced Reach, performed by superspouse Gloria Estefan and used as the official theme for NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
“ Suena is what the essence of the Olympics are about,” Canela said from the Dominican Republic, where he is wrapping up a concert tour. “There are the best athletes in the world up on one stage. The love and admiration and respect for each other is amazing to see.”
As for the song’s meaning: “It all started with a dream,” says Canela, who was born in Miami Lakes. “The Olympics show that your dream can come true if you work hard. It’s not impossible.”
Though Canela, 24, is busy traveling, he manages to catch some of the action on TV.
“The swimmers are amazing to watch. What the human body is capable of. They look like fish in the water.”
The telenovela star (e.g., Más Sabe el Diablo, Mi Corazón Insiste) is also a huge basketball fan. “I’m so glad Team USA is kicking a--!”
Big things are happening for Canela, who is finishing up a third album and planning a major crossover by moving to L.A. to do English-language television and film.
So no more drama, tears and romance on telenovelas?
“I appreciate them and I’m so grateful; they’re a great promotional tool,” he says. “And I never say never. But I was a musician first before anything. I never imagined myself as a soap star. I’m anxious for the right project to come knock on my door.”
Canela has one more, smaller project: his 5-month-old son with his girlfriend, Venezuelan actress Gaby Espino.
“He’s always smiling, always laughing,” he says of Nickolas. “He’s a crazy little kid. I love him. I’m psyched.”
Speaking of crossover stars, look for a show starring Ricky Martin coming to a TV near you. The pop star, currently starring in Broadway’s Evita reboot, just inked a deal with NBCUniversal to develop his own series. Previous acting gigs include General Hospital (in the mid-’90s) and guesting on Glee.