We can't lie, Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush has become one of our favorite guilty pleasures, and we have Carlos Pena, Jr. to thank for that.
The 23-year-old -- who was born to a Spanish and Venezuelan father, and Dominican mother -- took a break from his summer tour to talk to us about fellow touring buddy Victoria Justice, learning how to speak Spanish, and his relationship with a famous Latina celeb.
For the full scoop, read our interview with Carlos below:
It’s great. Just to get time to hang out after the show and get to her know her, get to see her work. She’s a really cool girl.
Were you guys friends before the tour kicked off?
Yeah. We are both on the same network [Nickelodeon], so we seen each other here and there, but we've really only spent a lot of time together recently on tour.
I’ve heard you met the Haunted Hathaways cast. What was that like?Do you think we can see you coming out on an episode anytime soon?
I did, they were awesome, oh man! That show is really awesome. It really was amazing. [As far as an episode apperance] I will tell you that if I get back, and they are still shooting, I will definitely go and try and do that.
As the only Latino in Big Time Rush, what sort of influence has your Latin background had on the band's music and performances?
We all have different backgrounds and we bring different strengths to the group. I think listening to merengue and salsa has been really helpful. I try to bring that to the stage when showing the boys dances. You gotta show them how to move their hips!
How do you feel you have been an influence on the Latino community?
You know what, I don’t think I have had a good opportunity but I definitely see that in my near future. I’m definitely trying to get back to my roots. I’ve really been practicing on my Spanish. I got a Rosetta Stone and I’ve just been trying to get back to all the conjugating of verbs and stuff like that. Trying to figure it out once again!
All the girls want to know: are you single, are you dating? What’s going on?
I am very much in a relationship but she is Latina, so it’s all good.
So are the rumors true? Is it Alexa Vega?
They are! She’s Colombian.
Very cool, that’s awesome! What would you say are some of the things that drew you to her?
I mean you know, Latinas have the best bodies, so that was definitely a huge plus. She is such a sweetheart and she is so driven, kind of like me. She's actually on tour with me for a little bit. The other day we were shopping in the mall, and I ran in to go find her in a store and I said ‘Hey, have you seen a small girl, blonde hair curly?’ They started laughing and said ‘Let me guess, Alexa, because y’all personalities are exactly the same.'
That’s so cute! Let's talk Rushers. What do you love most about your fans and what would you say sets them apart from the rest?
Our Rushers tend to be quite amazing. They have been for five or six years now. They’ve supported us from day one and haven’t gone back and forth, and that’s truly been amazing. We try to have everyone be a fan of everyone, no discriminating against the Jasminators, the Directioners or the Beliebers.
Big Time Rush’s album came out last month. For those who haven’t heard it yet, what song do you want them to pay the most attention to?
The song called “Amazing,” which I think is amazing. And there is song called “Na Na Na,” which I think is a fun driving down the road song, singing with your friends song. Also the song “Song for You,” which features a really cool rap that Karmin did. I think those are the top three contenders for must listen.
What can we expect from you in the next few months or so?
I don’t know. We are trying to figure out where we are with Big Time Rush, whether we are going to film another season, and if we are going to do another album. Right now we are focused on the tour and I know we are going to Mexico in the middle of August right around my birthday, so I’m excited about that. The boys and I are going to get a little vaca and get away for a bit, and kind of reconnect and come back and see what’s up.