Meeting Topic: Música Latina
Moderator Name: Juan de Dios Martin
Speaker Name: Juan de Dios Martin, producer/engineer; Sebastian Krys, Rebeleon Entertainment; Gustavo Borner, producer/engineer
Other business or activities at the meeting: Announcement of upcoming elections
Meeting Location: Sportsmens' Lodge Event Center, Studio City, CA
On March 28, 2017, Juan de Dios Martin, from Spain, and Sebastian Krys and Gustavo Borner, both Grammy winners from Argentina, discussed their career paths, the state of Los Angeles music production, the difference between Latin-oriented and English-language projects, bridging the language barrier in pop culture, tradition's role in creating great new music, and the role of technology in music recording and production.
Sebastian began: "I'm a record producer, engineer, and co-owner of Rebeleon Entertainment. This is my 25th year doing Latin American music, a lot longer than I thought I could do anything, sometimes making an honest living doing what I love. I came to the US when I was nine years old, and cut my teeth in Miami first, then moved to LA later."
Gustavo continued: "I grew up in Argentina. I went to Berklee College of Music, and after college I moved to LA because it was nice and sunny. In 1989, there were four-hundred recording studios around town. I never decided on Latin music; Latin music decided on me. One of my first projects was working on Luis Miguel's Romance, which sold eight million copies. That's an easy way to get your name around. I speak Spanish, but I work on other things, music for any part of the world — last week I was in Spain. Los Angeles is an international magnet, has the best quality musicians, engineers, and support. I'm here at AES because I think it's good to share our ideas."
Seb, Gus, and Juan discussed the role of culture in working internationally. "Coming from the Latin side," said Seb, "culturally speaking, every country has different codes. Between Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and here, there's a common language, but vastly different codes." Discussing the kinds of projects they've worked, Gus explained, "Latin music is not as narrow for engineers, you're not just a rock engineer. I did Luis Miguel in 1990. I've worked with Placido Domingo, Juanes, and MTV Unplugged Latino since 2004. Recently I've done a number of live records, five DVD's. I did a live concert with Vicente Fernández, the biggest crooner in Mexico, at Azteca stadium with 80,000 people, and recorded Marilyn Manson's latest album. My clients don't know I've worked on all these different genres."
Regarding the Los Angeles experience, Seb said, "I had to change the way that I marketed myself, and realize that opportunities would come just by being in LA and being present...." Gus noted, "It used to be only a few people in every country knew how to do stuff, but now there are great engineers everywhere. But big budgets come to LA for good musicians and the nice spaces." Seb responded, "I think it has to do with attitude. I feel like when you live in a place where things are professionalized, there's just a different attitude. In a smaller location, people will ask what does a job pay, where here, they'll ask, 'tell me about the project, what kind of music is it?' It's more about that attitude of what can my contribution be to what you're doing. You'll have a legendary musician like Abe Laboriel, Jr. play drums, and he'll come and work with complete dedication and professionalism no matter how small the project. It's a consistency in attitude."
Written By: John Svetlik