Jon Huertas About His New Album

It’s a fortunate man that has been blessed with the talent to be wildly successful at something. But the man that’s good at everything? Now that’s the guy you want helping you pick your lottery numbers.
Fans of ABC’s hit television series Castle know Jon Huertas from his multiple-award-winning performance as Det. Javier Esposito. And thanks to the recent release of his first full-length studio album “Grown & Sexy Music,” those same fans are lining up for a little money-making prognostication.
With the release of the long-awaited pop/R&B album, Huertas’ abilities as a triple threat are fully realized. The highly seasoned actor of stage and screen gave fans a sneak peak of the record Nov. 2012, releasing the first single “Ledge of Love,” revolving around the smoldering relationship between Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Kate Beckett (Stana Katic).
While taking a break from filming the immensely popular television show, the gifted performer chatted with me about his celebrated career and the new album.
Huertas co-produced “Grown & Sexy Music” with Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer Christian Davis. Smoothly shuffling between club dance tracks and classic R&B pop, Huertas and Davis have put together an extraordinary musical sampling of what the artist called “urban pop.” As remarkable as the songs are, the approach to the album was quite straightforward.
“The motivation was, ‘Hey, I want to do some music that I’ll listen to over and over again.’ The songs that Christian and I put on this album, we decided to do stuff that wewould listen to. Each song tells a story. It might not be a story that everyone can relate to, but I think that most people can relate to each story in a song in a certain way. Sometimes what we lack in mainstream radio is songs with a clear story. That’s the same thing as an actor that I want in a script – a clear story.”
“A big part of the motivation is that I’ve always wanted to do this since I was a kid. I feel like we’re gifted with about 80 to 90 years on this planet. And for me, that doesn’t seem like a long time. So I want to try to do as much in that 80 years as possible.”
“I may not become an expert in everything, but I’m hoping to be pretty good at everything, or at least give everything a shot, you know? If I’m not very good at it, then I’m not very good at it. I gave it a shot. If I’m not, I won’t let anything destroy me from the inside out.”
It’s good for a man to know his limitations, but after listening to “Grown & Sexy Music,” this Castle fan is going to have to disagree with Mr. Huertas. It seems he’s an expert ateverything.
His passion for the classic musical films of the ‘40s led him to study musical theater at Texas Christian University. But singing in an R&B group while later serving in the U.S. Air Force was what truly gave Huertas the self-assurance to show off his pipes in front of an audience.
Moving to Hollywood in his early twenties to pursue an entertainment career, the multi-talented Huertas quickly fell in with a vocal group, recorded an album and signed a production deal. But when the record release hit a snag, he decided to focus primarily on acting – at least temporarily.
After capturing the attention of viewers and critics with his singular performance as Sgt. Antonio “Poke” Espera in HBO’s Emmy Award–winning miniseries Generation Kill, Huertas won his trademark role of Javier Esposito, Castle’s tough-talking NYPD detective.

And from there it was off to the races. Huertas won the 2012 American Latino Media Arts Award for Favorite TV Actor Supporting Role in a Drama as well as a 2012 Prism Award for Performance in a Drama Episode, both for his work on Castle. In recent years, Huertas has moved behind the camera to direct the short films “The Box” and “Lone,” in which he also starred and wrote the screenplays.
But the exceptional singer must have always sensed that he was just one note away from a record deal. In between taping Castle, Huertas began experimenting with music again, honing his abilities with a vocal coach and penning lyrics. Ultimately, it was meeting songwriter Davis that inspired him to hit the recording studio.
As eager as he was to begin the project, Huertas admitted to some initial unease due to his prior experience with the failed record deal. “Yeah, a little bit for sure. Back then, there were these weird production deals people would get into. This time I was in the forefront. I wasn’t part of a group. And so I was a little wary but at the same time, I knew that I was gonna do this independently.”
“Before, the game was you would get into a production deal where you do a record and then you would shop it to labels. We didn’t really shop this album to labels or my music to labels. I’d rather put it out there and see if people even like my work before I try to convince a label that they should work with me. So I did the independent route. I wasn’t as wary, because I was doing it my way.”
“But even still, for the future I’m still wary of working with certain people because I want to be able to go in myself with something that works. I want to be able to blame myself. I would never want to put the blame on anyone else.”
“If you sign with certain people and they push in a certain direction, then I’ll hold them responsible if things don’t go right. And I’m like, ‘See, I told you I don’t want to do it that way. I want to do it this way.’ I don’t want to get into that situation.”
“I think my experience before, what it did was help me focus on being an actor. And I’ve been really happy with the way my career has gone as an actor since then. So maybe it was a good thing that I had a bad experience.”
Huertas was also quick to note that his acting career has provided him with unique insights as a musician. “I think so, especially on stage as an actor. Working in theater, you get this instant response from the audience, whether or not the scene is falling flat on its face or if you’re falling flat on your face.”
“With music, as an artist you grab off the audience when you’re on stage performing. Also, some of the greatest artists and singers know it’s about putting a certain type of emotion behind every lyric and conveying that emotion. And hopefully in conveying that emotion, the people who listen to the music will also share in that emotion.”
“As actors, we have to figure out how to put emotion to words on paper, to make people feel a certain way and feel that emotion. And so it helps to be able to do that in the studio or on the stage, to convey that emotion as an actor.”
“The tools to be able to do that cross over into the music realm. That’s why some artists that cross over are very talented actors. I think Usher is a very talented actor and others. Whitney Houston was able to do it in ‘Bodyguard.’ We’ve seen that kind of crossover from singer to actor, but we haven’t seen vice versa.”
Haven’t seen it until now that is. And in spite of his “can’t miss” musical adventure, Huertas doesn’t plan on ever having to choose between the “two masters.” “I don’t think so. As an actor sometimes you’re working straight like we have been, for going on six seasons. And then other times, you have months between solid gigs, whether it be a movie or a series. So I’ve always been able to squeeze the music into that.”
“Because I have focused on being an actor, for the future I might like to actually combine the two. I’d like to work on Broadway. I’d like to every once in a while do a really cool film that’s got a musical base like ‘Moulin Rouge,’ ‘Chicago,’ I’d really like to get to work on one of those.”
“If I could make the music and the acting work hand in hand, that would be my first choice. Second choice, I’d have to choose being an actor because it’s my first love and passion. But I’ll always be tooling around back in the studio. Even if it’s just for me, my family and my friends that listen to my music, I’ll always be doing it. I’ll never absolutely choose.”
Music may be Huertas’ second love, but his work on the new record provided him with an essential perspective. On Castle, Huertas plies his trade in a supporting, albeit important role. With “Grown & Sexy Love,” the singer is front and center. Huertas confessed to an energizing creative freedom as “the man.” “Absolutely. This damn project, it’s an independent project. It is definitely 100%. If it falls on its face, it’s my fault. If it’s successful, then it’s my fault. My face attached to the music.”
“Castle is very collaborative, so a lot of the stuff that we get to bring to the scenes is our own. But ultimately, it’s Nathan and Stana at the front of that show. So yeah, it’s a little daunting to think that all the effort for this album could be for naught and I’ll be the one that everybody’s pointing the finger at. But that’s a risk I’m willing to take and it doesn’t bother me that much because I do have Castle.”
“Like I said, this music thing has always been a dream of mine and it’s a pet project. I hope that it’s successful. But if it’s not, I tried something I always wanted to try and I’ll put out another album. That’s the beauty of the independent music world.”
“I have my own studio here at my house. I can crank out track songs. It doesn’t cost as much anymore to do an album. So I could fall on my face four albums in a row and maybe the fifth album is the one the people say ‘Hey, that’s not so bad’ (laughing).”
Methinks thou does protest too much. The outstanding selection of cuts on “Grown & Sexy Music” are much better than “not so bad.” Look no farther than Huertas’ innate ability to find musical inspiration in anything and everything around him.
“Life, really,” explained Huertas. “And the joy of life. The positive things in life. For people who want to listen to music, I think the majority want to listen to music that picks them up and doesn’t bring them down. They probably have things in their life that bring them down.”
“My music is about picking you up and that sets it apart from what’s bringing you down. That’s where I come from with my music. Hey, let’s talk about the good things. Let’s talk about love, talk about positivity out there, talk about dancing. Let’s talk about having fun, talk about sex, talk about all those things that make people happy.”
Whether he’s acting or singing, Jon Huertas is definitely making people happy.
Captain Founder, Administrator, Editor and Writer

The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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