I met Puerto Rico’s E.O.S. while on Gafeto TV’s tour in Costa Rica. Homeboy was mad cool and I soon learned about his unique production and history working with legends and underground heavy hitters. He was down to make custom beats and I bought one that was just undeniably banging. You should be up on E.O.S. as the music world plays follow the leader, read up on a true innovator. – Jehuniko
Jehuniko: What’s going on in Puerto Rico? What’s the vibe like?
E O eSe: Saludos. Greetings from the island of enchantment. Over here, we have a very unique vibe. It’s laid-back yet progressive. Highly influenced by the American way yet very proud of its heritage and its people. We are a small over-populated caribbean island rich in culture and natural resources with beautiful coastlines, mountainsides and a very busy metropolis.The land of salsa, reggaeton and bomba y plena.
How long have you been producing?
I have been producing since 2001. Always was super curious to learn how music was put together, so I did.
How are things politically & economically in Puerto Rico and how does that affect the music?
Rough times. Politically, right now, we are being pulled apart by the lack of a strong, willing government that is there for the people. Massive corruption amongst government agencies, police brutality, unfair judgement, rising crime rate, gossip and media manipulation are evident and of daily occurrence. Music here, since way back, has always been affected directly by current socio-economic circumstances but we always find a way to make it rich in flavor, something you can dance and shake your hips to. Music in Puerto Rico is everywhere and is probably the only thing that continuously moves the hearts of the people. We have always celebrated music as what it is, as love, as change.
Appreciate the raw truth, mixed with the love of music. I know you have worked with both major label artists as well as underground artists, give us an idea of where you have lent a hand either in the studio or with production.
Worked as a a recording/mixing engineer in Miami for a number of years in the studio projects of artists such as Vico C, Tego Calderon, Wisin y Yandel, Calle 13, Mr.Easy, Omar Garcia and Latin Fresh. Have always kept my production amongst people that i have chemistry and can vibe with. People like Ephniko, Mista Medley, Tito Yang, Chelo, Omar Garcia & Yeyo, to name a few. I love independent / “underground” artists that are true to their passion and expression the same way i love the big ideas and the perfectionism mainstream artists bring to the lab.
Nice. You blessed me with a killer beat for my upcoming album as well. Who & what inspires you to make music?
Life. People. Faces of joy. Expressions of discovery. I absolutely love to see the reaction of people when they hear something that blows them away. The feeling has no comparison. Flavors and fusion inspire me. The never-ending possibilities of combining sounds and mixing up rhythms will always keep by brain and heart pumping.
Last CD you bought?
Gotta confess. I download almost everything so when I buy a cd, its either because it is hard to acquire elsewhere or because I like it so much that I want to own the actual artwork and casing. Last ones I purchased were “Distant Relatives” by Nas & Damian Marley and “Que Viva La Musica” by Ray Barretto.
Who is really grinding in Puerto Rican hip hop?
Well. Commercially, Calle 13 & Tego Calderon hold their own worldwide without ever watering down their sound. In the underground movement, Intifada, SieteNueve, Velcro, Yeyo, Mista Medley & Omar Garcia are all excellent exponents that are definitely grinding hard.
What are your thoughts on the practice bombing of Vieques?
I’m against military practices period. War makes nothing good. Just really happy that all that mess in Vieques is finally over and that the people there can live normally after all those years of simulated war stunts and unnecessary bombing.
Describe a day in the life of E.O.S.
JaJa. Not really a morning person, so I wake up always after 9 or so. Shower. Juice. Ipod in shuffle mode to see what pops up and inspires. Run errands, possibly go surfing for an hour or so, go to work, get back home, food, get in the lab for a few hours, tv, more lab, bed…all depends on how muse displays itself.
Why do you work on music instead of working a regular job?
I do both. I also work in the hotel industry. Keeps me stable and productive.
I know you travel with your music so tell me (1) travel story/tour memory that stands out?
I went to Costa Rica in 2009 with Ephniko (Colombia) and met up with a big crew of b-boys, graffiti artists, DJ’s & MC’s from all over Central and South America. We rocked the city, small towns, a large festival and a beach party; a video was filmed, a whole soccer stadium was painted up, numbers were exchanged, good times. The energy and vibe was amazing. Pura Vida.
Yes, that tour was great. We rocked some nice shows. Thanks for holding down th DJ duties for everyone. Tell me about this upcoming project that you mentioned to me.
I’m putting together a sonic experience. It will be the first release under my creative collective “Audioescapismo”. I’m developing an electronic music hybrid mixing up latin rhythms and dubstep, hip-hop and spanish raps. Spanish is such a rich language that I wanted to show off our side of things. All original production featuring a number of artists from Latin America and beyond. Total futuristic, neck-breaking, club-smashing, heavy, sh&**^%t!! Still deep in the vaults. Coming soon…this summer. Will keep you posted.
Aside from that project, what else is going on? I recently described your production as a mixture of dancehall, dubstep, music in Spanish, some hip hop, just a real unique hybrid with that variation of organic drum rhythms. So what else do you have planned?
I’m constantly working and adapting to change. I listen to a lot of different genres at once and dig to find my ideas & samples. I’m a born & bred puertorican hip-hop kid from the 80’s that fell in love with electronica and now lives it. I’m just a huge fan of good lyricism and dope beats. The lab is an extension of me.
Just finished the album “New Dawn” by an up-coming hip-hop artist from PR named Mista Medley which has really hot tracks in both english & spanish. Heads up. The kid is a monster! Been working as well in a bunch of remixes and just finalized material for an upcoming surfing film by one of our island’s best surfers/videographers named Babby Quiñones for the third installment of his MPOV series. Will be starting production for the new album of pop sensation Chelo very soon as well. Staying busy.
A Music industry veteran recently told me that “Latinos” or Raza do not support their own. Hip Hop en Espanol, what needs to happen to elevate our genre?
We need to unite as one language and not be afraid to mix up all the beautiful colors of our musical spectrum. We need to stop trying to be “real” and just be it. Speak the truth regardless. We need uplifting songs, not the contrary.Our music needs to learn how to grow instead of just getting fatter. We need to stop chasing our influences and become them; stop pretending. Spanish hip-hop should be huge. It should be endless. It should portray our daily realities instead of creating false fantasies…We need to value our music.
Where can people find you online?
Currently working on updating all web links. Will update very soon. Meanwhile,you can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks