As a producer and composer, Julio Reyes Copello has worked with some of the most talented voices in the industry, including Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Paulina Rubio, Ricky Martin and Thalia. His job is to get singers to give everything they have in the studio. And apparently he’s very good at it. He was recently nominated for a Latin Grammy as Producer of the Year. We got a chance to talk to the Colombiano about his work and here’s what he had to say:
You’re nominated for a Latin Grammy as Producer of the Year—what does that mean to you?
It feels really good. It’s the first time I’ve been nominated for producer of the year. I won an American Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album [in 2005 for Marc Antony’s Amar Sin Mentiras].
What does a music producer do?
No one really knows. If we make a parallel with movies, it’s like being a director. You choose the language, the best takes, the direction. A producer gets the best of the artist without being the center of attention. A producer also has to save the artist from himself. Some artists are really hard on themselves. I really make them feel free to do whatever they want. I have to be ready to capture the best and most intense moments. I’m very intuitive.
You’ve worked with a lot of famous names. I’m going to name some and I’d like you to tell me something about each:
Marc Anthony: Marc is amazing. He’s one of the most versatile voices. He’s so intense. For example, in two albums that I worked with him it’s always hard to get him into the studio because if he’s not feeling it he doesn’t enter the room. He’s always waiting for that moment and that could happen in one night. In the last record, Iconos, we did five or six songs in two days.
Jennifer Lopez: Jennifer is the hardest worker I’ve ever seen in my life. She’s really quick and smart. And she’s light. When she enters into a room, she brings a lot of energy. I feel like living at twice the speed when I’m with her.
Nelly Furtado: Nelly is so cool. She’s so talented. She’s one of the most amazing songwriters. She’s 100 percent intuition. Writing with her is like wow.
Who would you like to work with the most?
Someone that I’d love to work with Alicia Keys or Beyonce.
What’s the best thing about being a composer?
I really enjoy and respect the power of music. It makes you go out of your reality for the three or four minutes a song lasts. That’s why I write music, to give people intense moments. That’s my goal.
What are you working on next?
I’m working with Jennifer [Lopez] but as soon as we can talk about it I’ll let you know.