Cortesía de Sony BMG
September 08, 2008 AT 10:25 AM EDT

Only a few years ago, bachata represented the culture of the rural Dominican Republic, a rhythm that the majority of youngsters considered music for the elderly. However, today more and more youths feel captivated by bachata, and many singers have joined the new wave: a rhythm called urban bachata. And heading it up is Toby Love, a Bronx-born young singer with Puerto Rican roots who began his career as a member of the group that started the movement, Aventura, which he later left to become, in his words, “the captain of my own music.”

In 2006 the 24-year-old launched a self-titled album, and went on to capture the hearts of his fans. And though he hadn’t released a disc in two years, the crooner continued working with other artists, such as reggaeton duet Alexis y Fido, reggaeton singer Tito “El Bambino”, and salsero Víctor Manuelle.

Now Love returns to the spotlight with a new album titled Love Is Back, a fresh fusion of bachata with R&B and hip hop tones that the singer calls crunkchata, and that he describes as “the bachata of the future.” The first single is titled “Llorar lloviendo” (Crying in the rain).

Click here to listen to “Llorar lloviendo”

Toby brought a little love to our office, where in an exclusive interview he spoke to us about his new musical work, which has already hit the market. He also talked about his relationship with the guys of Aventura.

What’s the message you want to convey with “Love Is Back”?
Love Is Back is a statement that says that Toby Love is back, that I’m here with something different.

What’s the meaning of the first single, “Llorar lloviendo”?
To me, a man shouldn’t be afraid of crying for love.

Have you cried for love?
(Laughs) Of course. Who hasn’t? Of course I have.

There are a lot of urban {bachata} singers. What do you bring to the scene?
Well, the melody, my voice, the music. I write about things that happen today. Like my song “Glamorous Girl,” which tells the story of a girl who was a role model in school and everyone wanted to be with her, and now that same girl is in some corner selling drugs or selling her body. I simply sing the truth. There are many singers out there who are fabricated. I’m not fabricated.

Click here to find all the music of Toby Love

What does the group Aventura represent in your career?
If it hadn’t been for Aventura…they gave me my first professional break. They’re my brothers. I respect them a lot. I learned a lot from them.

You give the name {crunkchata} to what you sing. What does that mean?
It’s the bachata of the future. In other words, the urban bachata. A fusion of bachata with hip hop and R&B melodies. You don’t know whether to dance to it in a club as a bachata or with a hip-hop style.

You’re Puerto Rican. Why did you choose the {bachata} genre?
I come from a musical family. My father, [Toby Rivera], sings with Conjunto Clásico. At home I listened to a lot of bachata and merengue. And on the streets I listened to R&B and hip hop. I know that for Dominicans bachata is a cultural issue and I respect that. When I went to Dominican Republic I fell in love with the culture; it was there I fell in love with bachata. My first love is R&B, and for me bachata stands equal to R&B rhythms.

What else can we expect from you?
I’m already recording, even as I promote this album. Expect some R&B in Spanglish. I also want to do rancheras and cumbia. I like different types of music. I want people to see me as a singer, not a bachata performer or an R&B singer, but just a singer.

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