The Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Tommy Torres, winner of several Grammy Awards as a composer and producer of his own and of other artists, celebrates on Thursday his 50 years of life “eager to live new things” on a personal and musical level.
“The 50s I don’t know how to describe them. For one thing, it’s just a number. I do not feel different at 20 and I still feel that I am on my way to something, eager to experience new things, “said Tomás Torres Carrasquillo, the artist’s first name, in an interview with Efe.
Born in San Juan on November 25, 1971, Torres claims to be “freer” over the years, while reviewing his musical career, from his first violin and classical guitar lessons to his most recent opportunity with the Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny.
Beginnings with Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey
From Puerto Rico, he went to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he graduated in sound engineering and composition and had the opportunity to enter the world of music with capital letters.
And it is that Torres worked as a production assistant at the Sony Music Studio in New York with artists such as Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton and Mariah Carey.
After graduating, he began to cement his professional career with his debut album in 2001, which bears his name and which includes the song “How to forget”, which achieved its first international success.
This album was released under the Sony label, a multinational with which Torres says he had problems and for seven years he did not collect royalties from the album or the songs.
A demand and change of focus
After taking the case to court, he managed to collect his works and made a decision: “That is why I started producing other artists,” he recalled.
He began writing to colleagues such as Ricky Martin, Ricardo Arjona, Paulina Rubio, Ednita Nazario and Son by Four, among others, being selected by the specialized magazine Billboard as Producer of the Year in 2007.
With Martin he worked on the album “MTV Unplugged”, which earned Torres his first Latin Grammys in 2007 in the categories of Best Male Pop Vocal Album and Best Long Version Music Video for the song “Tu Recuerdo”, in which he also collaborated the Spanish La Mari.
At those same awards, Torres also won a Latin Grammy as producer of the album “Adentro”, by Arjona, as Best Latin Album, on which he worked on seven songs.
After these experiences and seven years after his first album, Torres returned in 2008 with “Tarde o Temprano,” which earned the artist his first Latin Grammy nomination for an album of his own.
No own experiences
“My compositions are never taken literally from events in my life. In my songs, the feelings that I am describing I have lived them and I relive them at the time of composing, but the story that I tell is usually a fantasy that my mind creates ”, he reflected.
In his opinion, it is “more fun to create new stories based on real feelings” because the imagination “is always more interesting than the life of the composer”.
Torres’ compositions intrigued Alejandro Sanz, who chose him as the producer of his album “Paraíso Express,” which in 2010 won a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Male Pop Vocal Album and then a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album in 2011.
Torres then presented his album “12 stories” in 2012 and, that same year, he won another Latin Grammy in the category of “Song of the Year” for his song “Corre”, performed by Jessy & Joy.
The opportunity came with Bad Bunny
Thus, Torres continued working for almost ten years for other artists, until this year, a unique opportunity arose. Bad Bunny wanted to produce his new album, “El Playlist de Anoche”.
According to Torres told Efe, he was producing a new song for Arjona, when Benito Martínez, Bad Bunny’s first name, called him to make the proposal.
“At 50 it’s another wave. It’s me, I’m not trying to be perfect, I accept myself. I let myself be seen as I am, whoever likes it. And that is a very great weight that you take off yourself, “he said.
For this reason, he stressed that his art today “is freer than before”: “I do not seek to prove anything, I only seek to connect deeply with the emotions of music.”
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Tommy Torres turns 50 ‘eager to experience new things’