Cristian Castro is the Hot Latin Songs chart's No. 3 artist, behind Luis Miguel and Enrique Iglesias. His feats include 29 top 10 hits, led by 1996's "Amor", which he wrote, and which stayed at No. 1 on the chart for 11 weeks. Here's what Castro had to say about his hit:
"I wrote 'Amor' in New York when I was living there. I was feeling anxiety about love, something I'd been feeling for a long time. There was a certain amount of frustration, and desire to explore romantic themes. It was 1995. New York seemed like the best place to examine those feelings.
"I purposely chose to live in solitude -- that was both good and bad -- it allowed me to create. I recorded 'Amor' with producer Daniel Freiberg. He helped me structure the song and take it from my head and guitar to a completed song, created a chorus and the melodies. It's song about asking love to give me a chance. It isn't about a woman. When I started working on the song, I was in a zone, a trance, and it allowed me observe people in the city.
"After we recorded 'Amor' we went to Rome and filmed the video. It was a beautiful journey, and in the end the song gave me hope. I've been lucky from the start. It's not just about being supported by a label. Fans buying the music is key. I'm also lucky in that I'm the son of [actress/singer] Veronica Castro and [comedian] Manuel ["El Loco" Valdes]. People have opened doors because of them."
This story originally ran in Billboard Magazine in 2011.