The Latin producer you’ll love working with!
Hi, I’m a producer/songwriter based in the Dominican Republic, the epicenter of the current Caribbean music revolution! If you’re looking for that fresh Latin reggaeton sound, you’ve found your man.
I’ve done production work on albums by Sony Latin and Muxxic/Universal, as well as some of the larger Latin indies. I work every day bringing the latest Caribbean sounds to clients from Europe, Canada and the US. My wildly varied background and my long history with reggaeton allow me to act as a bridge between the global pop mainstream and the Latin craze sweeping the world.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with José Bordas
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Work with the people you vibe with.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: My bread and butter comes from reggaeton, but I’m comfortable with a wide range of styles. When you’re a musician in a Caribbean island, you have to be versatile or you won’t get many gigs! I played Rush and Journey with rock bands in my teens, so I’m comfortable with the rock idiom, I’m Dominican so bachata, salsa and merengue are in my DNA, and I have a craving for contemporary pop!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Making the artist feel relaxed and confident enough to do their best.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Craft and respect.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First, I ask A LOT of questions. Some are business questions which impact the work I’m gonna do: who’s your core audience? Who’s your target? Do you want radio to pick this up? Some are more personal questions: what do you want this track to do for your career? Who’s your favorite artist? Then I take a long walk and try to hear the track in my head. If I can’t do it immediately, I’ll turn on my studio and try ideas until things feel natural, unforced.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: “Can you make me sound good?” I always answer: I can make you sound your best. Another common question is “can I give you suggestions for the music?” The answer is always yes. I can give you my opinion, but ultimately it’s the client who will live the rest of their lives with their tracks. They should get something they can be proud of!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Your song will shine!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My computer, my Audio-Technica, my interface, my headphones and my Nektar GX-61. Oh, wait, I need to bring my dog along, she’s my assistant!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I wear a lot of hats! About 60% of my bread and butter comes from working with artists who are doing reggaeton, especially people who are crossing over from pop and want a guy who's comfortable with both styles (and that's me!). The other 40% is a really mixed bag: electronic pop production, pop/rock keyboard sessions, jingle writing, pop songwriting, brass arranging and traditional Latin genres, such as salsa, bachata and merengue. Some mixing and film scoring as well!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Finishing up keyboard sessions for the first full-length album from NY-based rocker Oliber Delgado, doing a bunch of tracks for German-based reggaeton artists El Tigueraso and El Viejo Beno, producing pop-reggaeton tracks for Edú Bega in California, doing an album for Toronto-based electronic singer-songwriter Silvyrene, and bringing the sound of merengue legends La Coco Band to the 2020s. And I’m also scoring a short film! I like to stay busy.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My production style: lush. My songwriting style: melodic to a fault.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Mac Mini running Logic Pro X and a lot of plug-ins, primarily Serum, Cakewalk Z3ta 2 and TAL-UNO LX. Scarlett 8i6, and my beloved Audio-Technica 3060 tube microphone with KRK Rockit monitors and AKG and Audio-Technica headphones. Korg Micro X and Wavestation, Kurzweil K2000s, Roland Alpha Juno 2. And I use A LOT of iPad synths on my sessions, especially Animoog, Stria and the mighty Sunrizer.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I think I’d rather watch my favorite artists work their magic in the studio, instead of trying to stick my ideas into their process. So I’d give anything to be a gopher on sessions for Stevie Wonder, Caetano Veloso, Rubén Blades, Robyn, Brandi Carlile, José James, kd lang or Residente. I would NOT turn down an opportunity to work with these people, but I’m so in awe of their records, I’d be content to just watch and learn.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If everyone is having a good time in the studio, it’ll come through in the music! That’s especially true for singers.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love that not two days are the same. I LOVE it when my customers tell me I've exceeded their expectations, even if that meant taking too much time on an individual project. I absolutely LOVE what I do, I love producing, I love being in studios, I love hearing and making music, I'd be doing it for free if it weren't my job! I love the challenge of staying current in various genres. And I love that I get to do it with my dog and cats sleeping underneath my chair, and still can cook a delicious meal for my family between sessions.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That if you have formal musical training you can't "get" the street sound. OH YES YOU CAN.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: As a songwriter: Billy Joel, Justin Tranter. As an Urban producer: Sky, Saga WhiteBlack, Louis Bell, Nico Clinico. As a pop producer: Trevor Horn, Greg Wells, Quincy Jones. As a keyboard player: Benmont Tench, Jean-Michel Jarre. As a mixer: Jaycen Joshua, Mark "Spike" Stent.