After incomes a a long time’ value of A-list purchasers, the Puerto Rican beatmaker plans his debut

Even an abbreted historical past of reggaeton must embrace Wisin & Yandel’s 2006 breakthrough “Pam Pam,” Daddy Yankee’s “Impacto” remix with Fergie the next 12 months, pioneering rapper Ivy Queen’s “La Vida Es Así” in 2010 and naturally, Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin’s 2018 blockbuster “I Like It." Those songs hint the autobiography of Marco “Tainy” Masís, the Puerto Rican producer who, on the age of 29, has spent the previous decade crafting the muse of a sound now on the cusp of worldwide explosion.

Over the previous 12 months, his affect has solely grown. Masís co-produced all however three of the 14 tracks on Balvin’s eclectic Vibras, one of the artistic, infectious albums of 2018. He additionally labored with Bad Bunny on his boundless debut X100PRE. The inescapable, bilingual monster hit “I Like It,” which climbed to the Hot 100’s summit final summer time? That’s Masís on co-production, too. And with a brand new soon-to-be hit on his arms — the buzzing “I Can’t Get Enough,” a collaboration with Selena Gomez, Balvin and Benny Blanco launched in February — he’s teasing the form of genre-blending sound quickly to come back on his personal debut album.

The track, which Masís made particularly for Gomez, is simply the primary launch from an upcoming mini EP that he’ll launch with Benny Blanco, who he initially met over a FaceTime name. Later this summer time, Masís will unveil his first-ever album, with all of his mates: Wisin & Yandel, Bad Bunny, Ozuna and Maluma are all confirmed collaborators. 

Masís has signed as a recording artist with Roc Nation and can launch his personal solo undertaking, with options from Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Ozuna and extra, later this 12 months. 

“I couldn’t have requested for a greater dwelling. To have Lex [Borrero, VP of Roc Nation Latin] and Ty Ty consider in me and information me by this subsequent step; it’s a privilege,” stated Masís. 

Given his flashy resume, one could be shocked by the common-or-garden, soft-spoken man who arrives at Billboard’s New York workplaces on a cold March afternoon, his buzzcut peeking out from the fur collar of his red-and-black plaid coat. Last month, Masís attended the Grammy Awards for his first-ever nomination (document of the 12 months contender “I Like It”), and he seems again on that evening with a mixture of pleasure and bewilderment. 

“I felt like somewhat child, coming in and watching everyone carry out,” he says. “I grew up listening to their music, or am at this second, and to be part of that scene proper there may be loopy.”

In the late 1990s, as the primary notes of reggaeton had been simply starting to clatter within the underground golf equipment of San Juan, Masís was a youngster rising up simply east of the capital. He was in the suitable place on the proper time. One of his closest mates was Josias de la Cruz, a.okay.a. Nely "El Arma Secreta,” a fellow reggaetonero he met by church who would later set up himself as a prime producer to the style’s greatest stars. 

Masís was initially drawn to visible artwork, however when he noticed Nely utilizing music-creation software program program FL Studio, or Frooty Loops, he was entranced. “I put in it, and couldn’t sleep for that entire month,” Masís recollects. “I used to be simply working, making an attempt to apply and listening to different songs, like, how can I make my sound like that?” He turned impressed by Eminem, Vico Si and even Linkin Park, whose mix of rap and rock he discovered “mind-blowing.”

One day, when Masís arrived on the studio, Nely was nowhere to be discovered — however there was Francisco “Luny” Saldaña, one-half of the now-iconic Latin manufacturing duo Luny Tunes. “He instructed me, 'let me see what you are able to do,’ so I began creating one thing from scratch,” Masís remembers. “He heard it and went loopy, and signed me on the identical day.” Masís was 15 years previous and nonetheless at school. 

That form of unrestricted entry and off-the-cuff inventiveness was attribute of the early days of reggaeton, Masís says, when the style was nonetheless a hyper-local development. Even although artists like Luny Tunes “had been the best producers for the time being” in Puerto Rico, they weren’t troublesome to trace down, and their doorways had been (for probably the most half) open. 

His huge break got here by one other reggaeton duo, Wisin & Yandel, gave Masís an opportunity to co-produce elements of their groundbreaking 2005 album Pa’l Mundo.

Suddenly, Masís discovered himself in reggaeton’s inside circle, with strains to Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Zion y Lennox and others. Eventually his rolodex led him to J Balvin. 

These days, Masís, Balvin, Bunny and others are main a brand new crop of reggaeton superstars infusing the style with lure, pop and rock. Masís helped Balvin create “totally different textures — not simply an[other] city album." And for Bunny’s 100XPRE, “we sat down and listened to Limp Bizkit and Blink-182, even some indie stuff — all the pieces.” The whiplash-inducing beat-switches on tracks like “Solo De Mi” and “La Romana” had been Bunny’s thought: “At first, I used to be like, ‘how am I going to combine these two?’” Masís remembers. But, as he rapidly discovered, “it doesn’t need to make sense.”

The particulars of “I Like It” specifically are mind-blowing: Here is a completely bilingual collaboration between the Puerto Rican Bunny, Colombian Balvin and Afro-Caribbean Cardi that samples a half-a-century-old boogaloo hit. “At the start, for those who weren’t from Puerto Rico, you weren’t doing reggaeton,” Masís says. “Now you could have totally different lanes to go to, and never simply be on this field. And I believe it’s going to continue to grow.” 

Masís will mirror on his arsenal of hits in Las Vegas subsequent month, as a speaker on BMI’s How I Wrote That Song panel at Billboard’s annual Latin Music Week convention.

“I attempt to sit again and have a look at these issues,” he says. “I might by no means think about trying on the Hot 100 and seeing a track of ours.” 

As for his new Roc Nation deal and his upcoming debut, “I’ve all the time had it in thoughts, but it surely was by no means the suitable time — both I used to be ending issues for different folks, or there was lots behind-the-scenes,” Masís says. “This is the second, proper now.”