Hector “El Bambino”, “The Father”, Now A One Man Show
Hector “El Bambino” “The Father” is known throughout Puerto Rico as a business savvy Reggaeton producer and artist. He has nurtured the musical talents of artists like Tito “El Bambino ,” Don Omar , and Trebol Clan , catapulting them into a league of Reggaeton's finest. He was christened with the title “ The Father ” after working with Don Omar. Hector seems to have a knack for bringing it the best in his artists. “Don Omar is a talent that came to me when I was in ParPue Ecuestre, where I was at the time,” Hector recalls. “He called me out, heard him sing, and I liked it a lot and gave him the chance of a lifetime. At the moment I'm working on my album, and Don Omar will be featured in upcoming albums like “ Sangre Nueva .” I appear on his productions, he appears on mine, it's a matter of camaraderie. We don't have a production together yet, but it wouldn't be a surprise if there's one coming in the future.” Now, after years of hard work, Hector has decided to take the huge step of becoming a solo artist. Reggaeton fans across the world wait with anticipation to see what he has up his sleeve.
The streets of Puerto Rico can be rough, however, the young people who grow up in these streets see the recent growth of Reggaeton as a light at the end of the tunnel. “Well, I think I offer a good thing, and that is the opportunity for young people to make music, and that's why I decided to work in the music industry.” he says. Hectors has touched the lives of many people with his music. People are now experiencing the positive affects that Reggaeton is having on a young generation of Latinos and the music industry. “I think that there are a lot of people that have viewed Reggaeton as something negative, and there are [a few bad people] who follow the music. Now, I think that college students, even teachers are looking up towards this genre and the artists involved,” he says proudly. “The lyrics have more sense, the beats are more elaborated, over they years we have worked a lot more on the lyrics and the beats to ensure that Reggaeton could hit the mainstream.”
The question of the origins of Reggaeton is a topic of debate among the genre's enthusiast. Reggaeton artists and producers may be the best source to go to when a concrete description of Reggaeton is needed. “The Reggae begins in Panama and comes to Puerto Rico, that's where it becomes ‘Reggaeton',” says Hector. “For me, Reggaeton is a mix of Dancehall , Hip-Hop and everything fused together is what makes up Reggaeton.” The word ‘Reggaeton” was formed from the root word ‘Reggae.' The similarities in the words give people the impression that Reggaeton is a music that sounds exactly like Jamaican Reggae. Reggae enthusiasts feel that Reggaeton is comprised of elements stolen from Reggae. Hector's reply to this accusation was simply, “The people from Panama and Jamaica were our influences in making Reggaeton. They were the foundation of it. In my opinion, Reggaeton takes from Dancehall, from Hip-Hop and all and we mix it and give it a flavor…we add a little Latin flow with Merengue, Salsa…and that's where Reggaeton comes from. It is something very Caribbean.”
Hector has always had a desire to see Reggaeton expand to Markets outside the Caribbean. “Well, I think that basically Reggaeton's migration into the United States will be good because its rhythms are very catchy and danceable, and everybody likes it. I believe it's going to be well accepted in the U.S. Labels like Bad Boy Latino and Machete and collaboration with hip hop artist like Jay-Z will affect the Reggaeton industry in a positive way as we join forces. I am very proud, that superartists like P. Diddy and Jay-Z are interested on something that is personally ours, something that belongs to the Latinos. They are interested in the work that we do and I am immensely proud of that.” With the assistance of such collaborations Reggaeton is set to gain a lot of ground on genres that are already prominent in mainstream radio. Fans of Reggaeton, outside the borders of Puerto Rico, have overlooked many artists that have already reached Reggaeton stardom. When asked which Reggaeton artists have the potential to make it big world wide, Hector stated ,“ Daddy Yankee is already big, Don Omar, Wisin y Yandel , Zion y Lennox , and a lot of other good artists in this genre, and I know that list will keep growing. This is just the tip of the mountain, there's still a lot more to discover. Believe or not, I'm a number one fan of this music genre. I listen to everyone's music, and I buy my colleagues' Cds. I would have to say I'm the biggest Reggaeton fan, that's why I make Reggaeton and why I like it so much.”
Reggaeton is rapidly being infused in American society. Many artists foresee the fusion of hip-hop and Reggaeton as something that is inevitable and good. Hector feels that. “Oye Mi Canto” was the door towards Hip-hop N.O.R.E. took much of the credit for introducing Reggaeton to the United States, but fans feel that Reggaeton was already there and that it would eventually stay, little by little. “Reggaeton was already in the U.S. due to its large Latin population. Mostly, they are people that left their countries and came to the States in search of a better future but they had that personal taste for the genre, “ Hector adds, “They brought it in CDs and that's how I think that Reggaeton was already being heard from the beginning in the U.S.”
Reggaeton fans as well as Latinos are concerned because many Hip-Hop artists that had nothing to do with Reggaeton before it hit mainstream. Artists like N.O.R.E and Fat Joe are now claiming their Puerto Rican origins more than before, and attempting to spit out lyrics in Spanish instead of English as if they spoke Spanish all along and a regular basis. In their defense Hector states, “I think that Latin is Latin. Whether somebody grew up in the United States and doesn't speak Spanish that well, the Puerto Rican, the Latin in general, is something that we have inside, something that is within the person and nobody can take that away. I think that Reggaeton is a calling from their hearts, something that can't be avoided. If they want to do Reggaeton is because they are Latin and they want to do it because they feel it's flowing in their blood.”
The recent break ups of many major Reggaeton duos, like Baby Rasta Y gringo as well as Hector and Tito, have left fans in shock and worried about the future of Reggaeton. In regards to his recent split with Tito “El Bambino” Hector states, “Well, we reached a stage in our career that it was necessary for us to go our different ways, because what we were going to last, we accomplished it as a duo. So we preferred to try a different experience, did our solo debuts and thank God, it's going really well for both of us.” He adds that there will always be a chance of a reunion, and there is no bad blood between them. “I have done presentations and been in many of albums by myself and the public has accepted it very well, something I wasn't really expecting, so I don't think it will affect. Same goes to him, because we we're very independent in our music, we each did our own projects, in every album that we were featured separately, we were on our own. We both have talent in us so I don't think it will affect us in our solo albums.”
Its every Hip-hop fanantic's dream to be talented enough to be asked to work with one of their favorite artists. It should be no surprise to fans that Hector has decided to collaborate on a few projects with Hip-hop music mogul, Jay-Z. “I'm a very big fan of his. I'm a person that likes Hip-Hop, since my beginnings I've listened to it. I've always said that I would like to work with three artists: Eminem , Jay-Z or 50 Cent . The opportunity to work with Jay-Z came to me and I still can't believe it. Honestly, this is an incredible experience, and these kinds of things are once-in-a-lifetime and we can't just say no. It was one of my dreams to work with Jay-Z, and now I'm doing a joint-nation with him. I would really like to work with 50 Cent, with Eminem…oh and Dr. Dre …if I keep mentioning [names], I won't stop and the list would never end,” he says with a chuckle.
What does hector have in store for his fans? “There are a lot of productions, right now we are doing “Sangre Nueva” that is filled with new artists and great ones like Tego Calderon, Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, and others. “Sangre Nueva” is produced by Naldo “El Sacamonstro” from Mas Flow , who's one of choristers. “ Rompediscotecas ” is also coming up, which is the album that I'll be featuring my joint-nation with Jay-Z and my CD “ The Bad Brake ” that's coming soon. There is no doubt that the Name Hector “El Bambino” “The Father” will be a name that the world will hear often associated with Reggaeton as well as Hip-hop. As long as he continues to produce quality music fans will continue to support him.