Following up our hot streak of exclusive artist interviews, this week Cacoteo.com hooks up with famed Reggaeton producer el “Dirty Joe”
by Itzel Yagual
Tell me about Dirty Joe, who he is and what he does?
DIRTY JOE: I am a composer and music producer and my record label is Dirty Joe South Records. I have been a part of the reggeaton and underground scene for as long as I can remember. I first got into reggeaton and the underground music through dancing. My boys and me use to go out to events and other gatherings to dance and show our moves. Years later, I took my interest in music to another level by obtaining an education in music.
When did you decide that your career would be in music?
DIRTY JOE: I decided to make music my career right after I finished school. I knew it was more than a hobby because all I ever thought about was music.
What was your childhood like?
DIRTY JOE: Growing up wasn’t easy but my family kept me on track. Whenever my family and I got together, we sung and played music. Contrary to what people think, my family was not well off, we lived in a barrio and we had our share of struggles. From the little that I had back then, I worked my way up the ladder to be successful.
Who is on your top playlist?
DIRTY JOE: When I’m not working, you will find me listening to Hector Lavoe, Eminem, Alejandro Sanz and or Marc Anthony.
Can you name a song of yours that you play often?
DIRTY JOE: I often play “Amiga celosa” by Guelo Star and Pipe Calderon, a song that I produced not too long ago. Currently, Guelo Star and Pipe Calderon are in Colombia shooting the video to that song.
When you go out what do you wear? Do you prefer sneakers and jeans or slacks and dress shoes? Are you into the bling?
DIRTY JOE: When I go out, I like to dress formal. Classy and elegant is usually my style.
What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?
DIRTY JOE: If it’s liquor I enjoy Black Label. If it’s a non-alcoholic beverage, I like lemonade.
Some people say you are one of the greatest producers, how does that make you feel?
DIRTY JOE: I feel very honored by that. I have worked very hard to get where I am. It’s good to know that people appreciate and enjoy the music I make.
What makes you different from other artists/producers?
DIRTY JOE: What sets me apart from other producers is the fact that I am trying to preserve the true essence of reggeaton music, its raw and street quality.
Some say that people change when they are in the Biz or when they get a piece of the fame, have you changed?
DIRTY JOE: When you are successful in the music business, your economic status changes. As far as people are concerned, some do get wrapped up in the fame and let the fame go to their head. I am happy with my success but I do not let the achievements get the best of me an nor do I think I’m better than other people. I am very humble with what I have accomplished and I don’t believe in bragging.
Is your artistic character the same character you play at home? Do you play different roles or are you exactly like the person in the video?
DIRTY JOE: I never try to be something I’m not. In videos, depending on the content of a song, I’m usually the one chilling. How people see me in videos is who I am in my everyday life.
Is there anything in the past you would have done differently?
DIRTY JOE: One of the things I wish I had done earlier is artist management. Currently, I am working with my artist, “Naiz” on his first album. The music on the album is Latino pop. Expect his album to be released later this year.
What is the best advice you have ever received and why?
DIRTY JOE: Regardless of what career you choose, as long as you become successful at what you do, that is truly what matters. When I first started pursuing this career, it was not easy because there was not a lot of support. Some people use to tell me “why don’t you go be a doctor” or a “lawyer.” Others would say that I needed to invest in a career that would mean something. Instead of listening to the negativity, I listened to my father, who told me to focus on my dream and to become the best.
What is the worst experience you have ever had in the music biz?
DIRTY JOE: So far, I have been pretty lucky because I have not had any bad experiences. There are sacrifices that come with this type of career. I have many sleepless nights, I travel quite often and sometimes I skip meals because of back-to-back projects. On the other hand, I don’t regret the sacrifices I’ve made because I love what I do.
Is there a specific place you like to write? At what time do you enjoy doing work?
DIRTY JOE: I have a room in my house where I go to after everyone is asleep to focus on my music. It is there, in this private room, where I take my guitar and often create some of my best work.
Do you prefer making the music first and later writing the music or vice versa?
DIRTY JOE: There is no secret formula to making music. For me, I am always creating something from nothing. Whether I’m beating a drum or making sounds with my mouth, my mind is always grinding and thinking of new music no matter where I go.
Where do you think reggeaton music and underground music is headed?
DIRTY JOE: Reggeaton and underground music has a strong presence and receives a lot of support from the online communities. I think the movement will become stronger in the years to come and build a stronger presence with the offline communities.
What are your thoughts on people that download free music versus purchasing the music? Is that right or is that wrong?
DIRTY JOE: I think it’s wrong because people don’t realize how this negatively impacts the artists. To support the artists, fans need to by their music. Those that download music for free will not get the photos, artist information or the lyrical content information that comes exclusively in an album.
Is it tough in your genre? What do you do to stay on top or ahead of other artists?
DIRTY JOE: I like being innovative so, I try to bring something new each time around. In my music, you will find that, I work against the rules and bring what is opposite to the trends. If the trend is reggae pop, I will do reggae or underground music.
Can you tell us about your current and future projects?
DIRTY JOE: I am currently working with Jowel and Randy on their mix tape album titled, “Kolatronico.” scheduled for release in 1-2 months. I also have other projects pending with a long list of artists. Can’t reveal any information but be sure to look out for a couple of surprises in the near future.
Can we find you on social networks?
DIRTY JOE: To learn more about me or for general contact information look me up on me on Twitter or on MySpace.
Gracias A Dirty Joe for the great Interview de parte Cacoteo.com!