Nicky Jam is one of the biggest reggaeton stars in the world. Now he’s poised to take over Hollywood, crossing over to movies.
The singer born Nick Rivera Caminero is costarring in the latest flick in the “xXx” franchise — third, for those who keep count. In “Return of Xander Cage,” Vin Diesel reprises his role as the title character, nicknamed Triple X, a bulked-up government operative on a mission to stop a mega weapon from getting into the wrong hands. Nicky plays Lazarus, who helps the hero get hooked up with the right contacts.
We spoke to the “El Perdon” chart topper when he was in Miami.
You’re a singer first and foremost. How did you get involved in acting?
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They were looking for someone Latino to play this role. Vin is crazy about reggaeton music. He put Don Omar in two ‘Fast & Furious’ movies. He knows the impact we have on Latin people and he was looking someone of my generation, my music. Video director Jessy Terrero told him, ‘You gotta check out Nicky Jam. He’s bilingual, he’s got that bad boy image, he’d be perfect for it.’
Pretty impressive for your feature film debut to costar with Vin Diesel.
Yeah, it’s a big one to be a part of. The cast was amazing — Samuel L. Jackson, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette. Everything is a win for me. I’m just learning from these talented people. Making movies is great. It was like love at first sight; a whole new, different business. I can see why actors love it so much. I want to be a part of it now.
What’s happening with your music?
My album ‘Fenix’ came out the same day as the movie so that’s awesome. I worked on this record for three years, with my heart. I gave it my all. It’s a little bit of everything: pop, trap, rap, hip hop, reggaeton, R&B, lots of catchy hooks. The first single ‘El Amante’ [The Lover] is on the ‘xXx’ soundtrack and just came out. It’s about a side guy. You know, like the side chick, but a guy. He’s trying not to be the side guy anymore.
You’ve worked with so many great artists. Who is your dream collaboration?
I mean, in the English market, I would love to work with Drake and Rihanna. Who doesn’t, right? In the Spanish market, maybe Romeo Santos.
What do you like to do when you’re in Miami?
I don’t really have a spot. I love going to the beach. I like just walking around South Beach, but sometimes when you’re famous it can be a little difficult. I like the Design District area. Brickell’s cool, too.