Nicky Jam Feels 'Like a Proud Father' Seeing Reggaeton Break Records: 'I Knocked on Doors'

The singer also opens up to PEOPLE about his role as Butch Cat in the new Tom & Jerry film and why his kids think he's "the best dad in the world"

Nicky Jam wants "to be everywhere."

The reggaetón star made his mark as one of the first to breakthrough with reggaetón in the '90s and now he's relishing the success of his new film Tom & Jerry. The Dominican-Puerto Rican star opens up to PEOPLE about fatherhood, his new movie and being an "architect" for reggaeton.

"I feel like I'm a proud father. There's nothing better," the 39-year-old tells PEOPLE about reggaetón in the mainstream. "I'm one of the architects of this music, and I knocked on doors back in the '90s and to see where it's at today, it makes me really happy. I'm proud."

"The sacrifice was worth it," he adds.

Nicky Jam
Erick Fernandoq/ La Industria Inc

On March 14, several Latinos — Bad Bunny and J Balvin in the best pop duo/group performance category and the likes of Ricky Martin and Camilo in the best Latino pop and urban category — will be representing the industry at this year's Grammys. For him, it's the recognition the pioneers have deserved.

"Now we have all the respect that we wanted since day one, it makes me really happy," he says. "And I'm a part of it. And to see Bad Bunny today, and J Balvin, and Ozuna and all these artists do so well, I feel that I put my part in that."

The singer is also looking forward to the successes of the new year, especially his voice role in the new Tom & Jerry film. Voice acting was definitely on his "bucket list."

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"When I used to see cartoons, you see the credits at the end. And you realize who did what voiceover; it adds more magic to the movie," he says.

"That's when you know you've made it, when you're doing the jobs that's something to do with kids," he adds. "It's just the best thing in the world. I'm a big Tom and Jerry fan. They're so iconic, and to be a part of it, it's just magic."

Despite the pandemic, Jam has continued in full work mode as he hosts his The Rockstar Show and releases new music. He also says it's allowed him to spend time with his four kids.

"I can't be the typical father, but I try to balance it the most I can," he says. "And when I'm here, I'm with them the most I can. And some of my kids don't live with me, and I tell them, 'Whenever you want to come home, you come home. I'm here waiting for you.' And they come, and they spend time with their dad. And then they leave because they're tired of their dad."

Nicky Jam
Erick Fernandoq/ La Industria Inc

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"I just try to be the best father I can," he adds. "We always on a boat. We go in the water. We play basketball together. I make them laugh. I make fun of other people, so they could laugh. I'm just clowning. I try to be with my kids like I am with everybody. I don't change. I don't change the way I am. They're going to tell you I'm the coolest dad in the world."

On the music front, the singer recently collaborated with bachata legend Romeo Santos on track "Fan de Tus Fotos," which Santos selected.

"Romeo's very picky. I sent him two songs, and he was like, 'I like the songs, but I don't feel it. I don't feel Romeo in the songs," he says. "So I send them a third song. He listened to it. He loved it. He knew it was going to be the hit. We recorded the next day, and the rest is history."

Tom & Jerry started streaming on Feb. 26.

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