Musician, singer, songwriter, actor, producer—Jencarlos Canela can do it all.
Known for his undeniable talent and irresistible charm, the 30-year-old Cuban-American entertainer has a slew of chart-topping hits to his name and has played multiple roles on television, including Jesus in FOX’s 2016 live adaptation of The Passion a role in the upcoming Eva Longoria-produced ABC series Grand Hotel.
2019 promises to be a year full of changes, new beginnings, new music, and lots of excitement for Canela, starting with his personal brand.
After beginning his career using his full name, Jencarlos Canela—and then switching more recently to just Jencarlos—, now, as Canela transitions into a new stage of his career, he’s formally rebranded to JEN. It’s both an endearing and highly personal nickname that his family, friends, and ever-growing fan base have always affectionately called him.
“That’s a special one for me,” he told Musical Notes Global about the change. “2018 to me was a big year, it was a year of a lot of lessons learned…I believe a lot in energy, and there was so much going on all around the world that I really couldn’t find my rhythm but I needed to take a break. I launched one song last year and it was a year of a lot of transitions for me, professionally and personally. So I really needed to make some adjustments and I used 2018 to make a lot of those changes in my life, in every aspect of it. I just needed to get away from the expectations, get away from my own self. Sometimes we’re our worst enemy and it was an important and very special year for me. So JEN is the symbolism of that evolution, when you feel like you’ve outgrown a past version of yourself. I took the time to really mark that step into the new direction and into the new version, and JEN is that new beginning for me.”
Highly focused on making this year one of his biggest ever, JEN kicked off 2019 with the launch of his new single “Lobby,” the first in a series of tracks that will be shared over the course of the next few months. The track was teased on social media last year, much to the excitement of fans.
“Lobby” is a super smooth jam, and, as the first song JEN has released in the new year, it also represents the symbolic ground floor of this new chapter in his career. “There’s a lot of symbolism behind it,” he explained about why he chose “Lobby” as his first single of the year. “It’s not just about a single, it’s about something bigger. And it’s the lobby. The fact that the song is called ‘Lobby,’ and we are literally at the first floor of this, at the lobby of this skyscraper that we want to build. We don’t want it to be just another song. We want it to be much more…We want to launch music that we feel proud of, that we like. A lot of people liked it. It was a no brainer for us.”
Before moving on to Universal Music Latin, the label under which he released hits like the infectious party anthem “Pa Que Me Invitan” featuring Charly Black and the fiery hot “Baby,” JEN started his singing career independently and became the first independent Latin artist to land at No. 1 on Billboard charts in 2010, a time when unsigned artists were not seeing the same success. It’s an impressive fact that JEN was recently reminded of and it served as one of the catalysts behind the formation of his new record label, a move that has allowed him to become an independent artist once again.
“We were blessed enough to be pioneers in that realm and now to be independent in this industry is like, people look at you and they congratulate you when you tell them that you own your masters, when you tell them that you own your platform, when you tell them that you are now independent.”
Not only is “Lobby” the first single Canela has released under his new moniker JEN, but it’s also the first he’s created under that new label, Union Music Records. With the help of an excellent team, releasing music under his own label will give JEN the creative freedom to continue producing tracks on his own terms, catering to what both he and his fans want to hear.
“We want to do things at our rhythm, we want to do things at our time. It’s my audience, it’s my platform…We’re listening to them, we’re reading the comments, we want to take their wants and needs into consideration, implement them into every single launch that we do, all of the songs that we put out, and it’s only going to get bigger and bigger, so we’ve got high hopes, we’ve got big plans. And the beautiful thing about it is that we’ve got people behind it that believe in the idea, believe in what we’re starting up…it’s going to be a fun ride.”
As JEN looks ahead to the year that lies so promising ahead, he recognizes the importance of enjoying the journey that awaits him. “I think that word right there—'journey’—that’s what I’m most excited about,” he said. “I’m excited about the journey and when you understand it’s about the journey and the friends you make along the way, then as long as you surround yourself with incredible people and you have your goals and your vision—because you’re not going to know it all, you’re not going to have it all—but just that feeling of being okay with putting one foot in front of the other, even when you don’t see the step ahead of you, and you know that sometimes you don’t need the step to take the step but you make the step with every step, with the decision of taking one, it empowers you in a way that makes everything much more fun and much more exciting.”
Fortified with the gratitude for all of the people who have supported him along the way—from his team to his family, but especially his fans—he’s entering the new year with a new attitude and lots of new music to share. “So letting go of that fear and walking into 2019 with that mindset, I’ve got a lot to prove to myself and I’m blessed to have the family I have, the people I have by my side, in my corner that believe in me…I never want to take it for granted.”
Look out for more new music coming soon from JEN and for all of his latest news and updates, follow him on social media: