The excitement in Jennifer Lopez’ voice is palpable, even over a phone line from Los Angeles.
“You are the first. The first!”
For anyone that thinks they may have seen it all when La Lopez performed at Dubai Media City in November 2012, the singer-actress-mother has something different up her sparkly sleeve.
Her concert at the Dubai World Cup on March 29 – the world’s richest horserace – will be the first performance of a brand-new show she’s putting together, right now.
“I’m at the beginning of a new project, putting together new visuals in a way that feels fresh and new, for me and for my fans,” Lopez said on Wednesday. “You want that every time fans come to see you that it feels new. We are at the very beginning stages of doing that because we don’t even have a single out yet.”
It was 16 months ago that Lopez’ first global tour, Dance Again, brought her to the UAE for a sold-out show where she treated a capacity crowd of 15,000 to hits from the 1990s to today, as well as some memorable dance performances, including one with her boyfriend, Casper Smart.
This time, she’ll play to a whopping 60,000 people — at least — as the latest performer to take the stage at the Meydan track for the annual after-race concert. Previous performers include Elton John, Carlos Santana and Toni Braxton, doing full sets. Lopez will likely be playing for over an hour.
If you loved the dance aspect of her Dance Again show, you won’t be disappointed this time either, as after our phone call, which took place in the evening, LA time, 44-year-old Lopez was off to audition dancers for the upcoming show.
That’s after reading to her six-year-old twins, Max and Emme, and put them to bed, however.
This hard-working mum also has her ongoing American Idol judging role to fulfill — she was filming the live show the day after we spoke. She’s just released her seventh perfume, called JLove. Oh, and she’s just signed on to produce and act in a new TV police series, Shades of Blue, although she couldn’t discuss the new project.
This trip to Dubai will sadly be a brief one, with Lopez spending just two days here – in contrast to her last visit, where she even celebrated Thanksgiving and had her whole family, including her mum, with her. “Even last time, I didn’t get time to do all the things I wanted,” said Lopez, adding that Dubai was one of the most memorable stops on her tour. While here that time, she also opened an Audi showroom, had dinner at Cavalli Club, and hosted fans at a concert afterparty at the Rixos hotel.
With all that on her plate, you’d imagine she faces a certain amount of stress, but luckily for her, the place she escapes from it all is on the stage. I mention to her that Carlos Santana, who played in Dubai last month, told tabloid! that performing is his de-stresser.
“It’s true. I understand what he’s talking about. You do feel like it’s your most natural state,”said the New York-born singer. “It’s not that you don’t have nerves before or you’re not anxious about it and you’re rehearsing, but once you get out there and you’re doing what you do, and you have that interaction with your audience and your fans – there’s something about it. Some people go out there and throw up,” she says with a chuckle. “For me it feels very zen. Right before I go on, I’ll be thinking about the performance and then a minute before I go on, it goes quiet for me. I get very very relaxed and happy and I just love that feeling. I love getting the energy. The energy of a live show is something that is intoxicating for me. It’s a good time for me, and I love making people happy, and making them dance and making them scream. It’s a fun thing and I feel blessed to be able to do that.”
Access to Jennifer Lopez’s concert at Meydan on March 29 is exclusive to Dubai World Cup ticket holders. Hospitality ticket prices start at Dh350 for Apron Views. All ticket categories can attend the concert. For more race day information and other hospitality ticket options visit www.meydan.ae