Sound Machine Retooled

Nominated for a Best Producer Latin Grammy for his work with Carlos Vives, Gian Marco, Rabanes, and Carlos Baute, Sebastian Krys tells his own tale about Estefan Enterprises and Crescent Moon Studios

When someone like Carlos calls you up to do a production, you sort of go, "Why?" You end up working with all these [folkloric Colombian] musicians you haven't worked with before. You have your background and they have theirs. Somebody who loves the Beatles ends up with a bunch of people who never heard the Beatles. Dejame Entrar is absolutely 100 percent Vives's vision. You try to capture that vision and really make it come alive, to bring out the best of that artist and not let your own ego get in the way of what that artist wants to achieve.

With [Panamanian folk-punks] Rabanes, we all grew up with the same background of music: the Clash, Ramones. I used to play in punk bands. I was in that whole [Miami punk] scene, playing in a band called the Suburban Delinquents. We played with [local punks] Quit. That was the heyday of the scene. It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot about production from that experience. Our drummer and our singer would say, "If I'm not having fun, whoever is going to hear this isn't going to enjoy it."

For me, that album Money Pa' Que? has a lot of that feeling. We all speak the same musical language, bringing in that element from Panama, so it wasn't just punk. That was probably the easiest record I ever produced. It was very dynamic. Let's go this way. Let's go that way. Even the single "Everybody." Let's just do a dance song and break into Miami Bass. Let's just do it. We can't worry about what people say. It wasn't a very conscious thing. If you have to think about it, it's probably not a good idea. You can tell we're having a good time.

Sebastian Krys loves working with Emilio Estefan, and it shows in sound
Steve Satterwhite
Sebastian Krys loves working with Emilio Estefan, and it shows in sound

My job is to make the music. The record company's job is trying to find a way to sell it. I look at it from a personal standpoint. Is it going to be fun or not? To me, music has absolutely no rules.

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