Edgar Barrera is the producer of your favourite songs — and a #1 Latin Grammy nominee

Estimated read time 5 min read

MEXICO CITY – Edgar Barrera is likely one of the most in-demand folks within the music enterprise. He has labored with everybody from Madonna and Shakira to… featherweight And Carol J. He already has one Grammy Award and 18 Latin Grammy Awards to his identify, and is a front-runner in The 2023 Latin Grammy Awards are on Thursday.

Not like most of his contemporaries who dominate the music business, Barrera is primarily a producer and songwriter, and was just lately named Songwriter of the 12 months. Grammys in February.

“Being an artist and a public determine and issues like that do not actually get my consideration,” he instructed The Related Press in Spanish throughout a video name from Miami earlier this yr. “I do not like this fame or something like that. To be hiding within the again, writing songs, producing, doing what I love to do, what I understand how to do, that is sufficient, I do not want the label of being an artist, or being labeled.

But it was named 13 occasions at this yr’s Latin Grammy Awards, held in Seville, Spain, together with within the largest class: Document of the 12 months (for “La Components” by Maluma and Marc Anthony), Album of the 12 months (for Camilo’s “De Adentro Pa Afuera”) and Tune of the 12 months (twice – for “NASA” by Camilo and Alejandro Sanz and “un x100to” by Grupo Frontera and Dangerous Bunny).

He is additionally been nominated within the Latin Grammy Awards’ New Songwriter of the 12 months class, and says he is proud to be acknowledged alongside his collaborators and mentors. Barrera walks the road between what a producer is and what an artist is, and feels higher behind the controller than in entrance of the microphone.

“I’m right here to offer a service to the artists,” he added. “I am there to facilitate what they wish to say of their profession, and that is my job.”

It is unattainable to restrict Barrera – or the artists he works with – to 1 style.

“Generally I spend weeks or so doing city stuff, then weeks doing regional Mexican stuff, then one other week doing pop, and likewise tropical for one more week,” he mentioned. “I do some little bit of every little thing, so I don’t get saturated with one rhythm or one sound.”

Barrera’s wager was to introduce Dangerous Bunny to regional Mexican music — and within the course of, work with an artist he all the time needed to get into the studio with.

“It is very tough, when an artist is so good at what they do, for instance, Dangerous Bunny is likely one of the greatest composers within the business and will get one of the best outcomes,” he mentioned. “What can I contribute Bad bunnyWhat can I ship him so he’ll take a look at me once more? He would not want anybody’s assist.”

Luckily for him, the Puerto Rican reggaetonero singer has needed to do one thing with a Mexican contact for a very long time.

However, there may be frontera group, Till just lately it was a comparatively unknown band that Barrera inspired to get going from their beginnings taking part in cowl songs at events to performing on the Zocalo in Mexico Metropolis throughout the Mexican Independence Day celebrations in September.

“From taking part in in entrance of 20 folks in April final yr to taking part in in entrance of 220,000 is a good achievement,” Barrera mentioned.

Barrera had an instantaneous reference to the band as a result of they’re “children from my metropolis” and grew up in the identical space on the border between Texas and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Barrera, who was born in McAllen, Texas, raised in Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, and has twin citizenship, defines himself as a frontiersman.

“We come from the identical tradition, we communicate the identical language,” he mentioned of Grupo Frontera.

“Un x100to” is likely one of the few regional Mexican music songs that managed to succeed in the Tune of the 12 months class at this yr’s Latin Grammy Awards.

Barrera was additionally nominated thrice within the Greatest Tropical Tune class: for “La Components” once more, “Ambulancia” by Camilo and Camila Cabello, and “El Merengue” by Manuel Turizo and Marshmello. He puzzled how Marshmello would translate to the style, however Barrera was pleasantly stunned by the American DJ and producer’s curiosity in Latin music.

“He mentioned to me: ‘It isn’t about translating something into my voice, I wish to delve deeper into your voice, I wish to make merengue, train me methods to make merengue,'” Barrera recollects.

Being nominated for Producer of the 12 months once more represents all of the behind-the-scenes work that Barrera enjoys, though he cautions that it is “rather more than simply writing a tune.”

“I do not anticipate issues to occur, I all the time make them occur within the studio,” he mentioned, summarizing his common strategy.

In the end, he measures his achievements not by the variety of awards he accepts on stage, however by the variety of awards he accepts on the streets.

He mentioned: “For me, the best success a tune achieves is its acceptance and consumption by the viewers.” “There is a mariachi band (in Miami) taking part in each night time, they usually play my songs on a regular basis, and that to me is the reward for the music you make on the finish of the day.”

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