This week Cacoteo.com catches up with,
White Lion Record’s Nico Canada for another exclusive Q&A interview
by Itzel Yagual
Who is Nico Canada and what is he all about?
NICO CANADA: My fans know me as, Nico Canada, one of the founders of Underground/ Reggaeton music and the street studies. I am a producer, songwriter, composer, musician, singer and DJ. I have over ten albums and have participated in over 40 albums. My real name is Jorge Nicolas Rodriguez and I’m a thirty-six-year old Puerto Rican native. After the September 11, 2001 tragedy in New York, I joined the Army and completed seven years of military service.
Where did you grow up?
NICO CANADA: I grew up in Canovanas, Puerto Rico. The first time I traveled to the United States was at age 14, to visit family. I have a studio and currently reside in Canovanas, Puerto Rico.
At what age did you discover your musical talent?
NICO CANADA: I have been involved with music from the time I was four years old. I started playing songs on a keyboard and after that I started taking piano lessons at a local school in Puerto Rico. When I reached my teens, I began performing as a dancer. Then, I formed groups Microhouse and Behind the Building. After that, I began programming music. The first time a collaborated and recorded, was with Ruben DJ, one of the first Puerto Rican rappers. This was my 1st recorded collaboration and it consisted of 2 reggae tracks.
What motivated you to become a music artist?
NICO CANADA: I have always been passionate about music and always knew that I would be doing something that was music related.
Are there any artists that you look up to or that inspired you to create music?
NICO CANADA: When I was growing up, I was really into artists such as Mad Professor, Africa Bambaata, Run DMC, Electrobus, Herbie Hancock and Sebastian Back.
What does a typical day look like and what do you do to relax?
NICO CANADA: I usually get up at 5am, do sit-ups, and then go for a run. After that, I head to the studio to wrap up any previous work. To relax, I usually head to the beach, cruise in my ride, spend time with my kids or go skydiving.
When you are cruising what do you listen to?
NICO CANADA: I listen to all types of music, not just underground music. Most of the time, what I listen to depends on my mood. If I want to relax, I will listen to instrumental music. If I’m upbeat and feeling ready, then I listen to reggae music.
What artists have you worked with in the past?
NICO CANADA: When I was starting out, I produced music for Vico C, Ruben DJ and DJ Playero. Later, DJ Playero and I produced Daddy Yankee’s first album, titled “No Mercy.” I then produced White Lion Records first album, titled “White Lion.” My first music accomplishments and productions, lead to the discovery of artists such as Alberto Stylee, Rey Pirin, Maicol & Manuel, and Nano. I then created the first two productions that merged both U.S acts and Puerto Rican artists. The first one, I produced along DJ Tony Touch in the D&D studio with artists KRS-One, Mad Lion, Daddy Yankee, Mexicano, Alberto Stylee, Don Chezina, Rey Pirin and many more.
Then, I produced Boricua Guerrero along DJ Playero, which was one of the biggest musical productions of the genre. Some of the artists that participated in that production were Fat Joe, Nas, Big Punisher, Lost Boyz, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Rey Pirin, Yahiah, Don Chezina, Daddy Yankee, Alberto Stylee, Mexicano, Michael & Manuel, Pantyman & Hornyman. I also have produced music and worked with artists Tito El Bambino, Ivy Queen, Hector el Father and Franky Boy.
Any new albums coming out or songs we should look forward to?
NICO CANADA: “Happy Hour,” one of my recent productions, is a dance and house music album, and can be purchased on I Tunes. Most recently, I worked with a variety of artists on a production called “A Lo Under,” that will be released in the summer of 2011. The album has 30 tracks that are mixes and remixes. The album features artists Zion & Lennox, Michael & Manuel, Jowell & Randy, Guelo Star, Don Chezina, Wiso G, Angel & Khriz, Alexis & Fido, Aguila, Alberto Stylee, Ivy Queen, Polaco, Tha Pres, Cosculluela, MC Ceja, Omar Garcia and many others.
When is your next performance or event?
NICO CANADA: In May of 2011, I will we working on promotional events. On June 25th, 2011, I will be on tour with other artists in the Dominican Republic. After that, I plan to tour in Florida with other artists.
What is the feeling or message you want your fans to take away when they listen to your music?
NICO CANADA: I want everyone, to stop thinking about their problems and their debt and just focus on having a good time.
Do you have any advice for young artists who want to pursue a musical career?
NICO CANADA: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and keep your options open. If you focus on one aspect in the music world and it doesn’t work out, you will be stuck. If you have an open mind, and are open to different roles than the likelihood of success in your musical career is much greater. If you can’t afford to get equipment, get a job don’t just sit there and wait for things to happen. Be sure to move, learn new things and be quick. Music business is fierce and you got to keep yourself up to date on the latest and upcoming trends. Also, you must have a good attitude, be ready to work hard and build connections.
If fans want to connect with you, where can they find you on the web?
NICO CANADA: My fans and those that want to stay connected with what I do, can find me on Twitter.
NICO CANADA – A LO UNDER (COMING SOON)
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