“American Idol”‘s Devin Velez is ready to take on the competition and become the show’s breakout star. (Photo/Courtesy FOX)

“American Idol” Devin Velez on becoming the next Latin superstar: “I want to be like Marc Anthony”

Devin Velez is ready to give it his all tonight on the “American Idol” stage as one of the singing competition’s top 9 contenders. The Chicago, Illinois native has made it further in the competition than he ever thought possible but he says he’s prepared prepared to come away a winner whether he scores the coveted title of “American Idol” or not.

Between rehearsals for the hit Fox show, the 18-year-old vocalist chatted with NBC Latino about who considers his fiercest competition, revealed plans for an upcoming Spanish language album and shared why he’s ready to become the next Latin superstar.

NBC Latino: How does it feel to be this far in the competition?

Velez: I never in a million years dreamed I would make it this far. It was always just a dream. I’ve been watching the show forever and I never thought it would be me up there on stage.

NBC Latino: Who do you think is your strongest competitor?

Velez: I think it’s Burnell Taylor. I think we’re very similar in the sense that we both have our own sound. We’re known for our tone and I think that many times the judges critique us in the same way. So I’m definitely trying to stay focused and pray. I’m really relying on my faith right now. No matter, what I have a great fan base now and I’m excited about that.

Devin Velez performs in front of judges on "American Idol."

Devin Velez performs in front of judges on “American Idol.” (Photo/Courtesy FOX)

NBC Latino: How did it feel to be called a “Spanish Ken Doll” by judge Nicki Minaj? Are you ok with the possibility of becoming a sex symbol?

Velez: You know, I was kind of surprised that she called me that but I’m ok with that. It’s kind of become a joke and my fans are really funny, uploading photos of Ken dolls up on my Twitter and Facebook pages. But I wouldn’t mind being a buff action figure! And I could totally rock Ken’s bathing suit.

NBC Latino: You’re half Puerto Rican and half Colombian. How has your Latin identity shaped you?

Velez: I’m very Hispanic. My mom raised me to be proud of who I am, whether it’s embracing my Christianity or listening to Spanish music. I love that there are so many Latinos though, and I really appreciate my Latin fans. And I love Latin food – platanitos [plantain chips] are the bomb!

NBC Latino: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Velez: “American Idol” or not, I see myself involved in music, playing the piano somewhere. I don’t have to be on stage, but I know music has to be in my life. My fallback is to go to college and me a music educator because I feel that music has touched me and has helped me learn about myself. It’s a great way to express yourself and I’d love to share that with kids. But I’d love to be like Marc Anthony – he can sing his butt off! I love that he may not have looked like a superstar, but his music touches everyone. You can cry to his music or you can dance to it. His voice is something that’s totally unique and has his own tone, just like me. So yeah, I’m definitely going to be releasing a Spanish music album – I want to be like Marc!

NBC Latino: Who is the one person in the world you wish you could sing for?

Velez: I would love to sing for David Foster. He’s one of the great producers of all time – I mean, he’s written for Celine Dion and Josh Groban! I would love to sing for him and get his feedback, just to hear what somebody so huge in the industry has to say about my music.

NBC Latino: What do you want to be remembered for from your time on the show?

Velez: I definitely want to be remembered for my Spanish, my vibrato and my outfits. My little trademark is a flower, like maybe on my jacket or best. And I want to be known as the Christian boy. At the end of the day though, I want to be remembered by my fans as someone who gave it their all.

%d bloggers like this: