LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - She may be only 20, but Mexican pop princess Belinda has already spent a large part of her life in the music industry. The former star of kids’ telenovelas is beginning a new stage in her career with “Carpe Diem,” her latest album.
With its high-energy, electro-pop-rock sound that’s heavy on the attitude of Pink and Katy Perry, the album solidifies the transition from kiddie act to teen diva that Belinda made with her 2006 EMI Televisa release, “Utopia.” The set will receive a March 23 release on Capitol Latin in the United States and on EMI in Mexico and Latin America, and is scheduled for a May release in Europe. Previously Belinda recorded on BMG, then signed with the now-defunct joint-venture label EMI Televisa in 2006.
Since then, EMI has reorganized its worldwide operations and ended its formal partnership with Mexican broadcasting giant Televisa in the United States and Mexico, with Capitol Latin and EMI Mexico absorbing the artist roster. Belinda will still benefit from Televisa’s programing clout in the States, where Televisa supplies shows for the Univision network. Her latest telenovela, the edgy “Camaleones,” aired in Mexico last year and will likely air stateside this summer. The show’s theme song is “Sal de Mi Piel,” a track on “Carpe Diem,” but the first official single is “Egoista,” a duet with rapper Pitbull.
The single “has nothing to do with things I did before,” says Belinda Peregrin Schull, who uses only her first name professionally. “It was a pretty big step.”
An English-language version of “Egoista,” pairing her with a yet-to-be-determined male artist, is in the works for Europe and possibly the States.
EMI senior vice president of global merchandising Peter Palmer says plans include a signature collection of Belinda-designed jewelry and accessories, as well as bundles of music, video and merchandise offered through her Web site. “We are no longer parochial in our thinking,” says Palmer, who oversees merchandise and direct-to-consumer music sales. In particular, “merchandise is not an afterthought anymore. We’re in at the beginning of projects rather than coming at the end or halfway through.”
Once the singer’s international promotion wraps, the label can also help with touring in the States. Capitol Latin is interested in helping to set up a tour of small clubs. The live aspect will be key for Belinda, who has never formally toured stateside, despite co-starring in the 2006 Disney Channel movie “Cheetah Girls 2.”
For now, she’s working on choreography to match her new sound. “You always have to find your own style, and that’s what I’ve achieved on ‘Carpe Diem,’” she says. “There’s not another Latin artist that’s doing this right now.”