Mexico's Cristian Castro said he plans his first album as a singer-songwriter for 2012, but before that he will launch a second disc of his tribute to legendary singer Jose Jose, this one entitled "Mi Amigo El Principe" (My Pal the Prince).

With this disc Castro will offer a new take on the all-time favorites of the person he considers his "idol," to continue with the string of hits he presented on his previous work "Viva el Principe" (Long Live the Prince), which according to the Universal Music label has been the world's top-selling pop Latino disc of 2011.

And though he says that in doing this tribute he's having "the best time of his career," the artist called the project "a great challenge" while presenting to the press in Mexico City the album that goes on sale next Tuesday.

"I'm glad to be the one introducing these great songs and this great singer to other countries," he said, adding that he has recently negotiated bringing the tribute to Chile's Viña del Mar Festival.

One of his greatest satisfactions, he said, is to see how younger generations take to the songs immortalized by Jose Jose, "the best singer that Mexico or any Spanish-speaking country has given us."

The album will include hits like "Buenos Dias, Amor" (Good Morning, Love), "Amnesia", "Vamos a Darnos Tiempo" (Let's Take the Time), "Pero Me Hiciste Tuyo" (But You Made Me Yours), "Ahora No" (Now No), among others.

Since he doesn't believe in recording too many "new versions" as many other artists do, he explained that this has some valid justifications.

"This is a very basic repertoire that couldn't be left out, especially for me, because I've been so close to these songs since I was a kid," so it was "a parenthesis I had to do and I'm happy it has been so extensive, because I didn't expect it to be," he said.

As for next year, he said that "new songs are on their way" with romantic compositions of his very own creation.

"I'm very excited about making a disc as a singer-songwriter in July 2012," and it will be "more conceptualized, with ballads tending toward rock," he said.

Adding another dimension to his tribute, he confirmed that he will play the part of his idol in an upcoming film about the life and works of Jose Jose.

On Friday, he said, he will speak with a producer at Lemon Films to wrap up the details of the film project, which "will be very beautiful" and will portray Jose Jose's career in a positive light, without ignoring the pitfalls like his addiction to alcohol.