We caught up with Pedro ‘SP’ Polanco to discuss his latest album!
Tell us about your new album?
BCHTA Rising is a project I set out to put together where I collaborate as a producer with the rising and on the verge singers and songwriters of this amazing genre. Bachata is a genre that has is roots in small towns of the Dominican Republic and is now internationally enjoyed by many people all over the globe, thanks in part to the modernization of the sound by pioneers of what is known as “Bachata Urbana,” most notably Aventura and Xtreme among others. The idea is to solidify our identity as BCHTA that is for the most part written and produced by young millennials living in the United States who have their musical roots deeply planted in the Dominican Republic but draw their inspirations from the influences of the music and lifestyles of the United States. The album is being produced by me and this amazing young Miami-based producer professionally known as Mayimbito.
What were the inspirations?
The concept of this album is inspired by the drive and passion that I see in the modern millennial Bachata artists … some for whom the spotlight might not be as bright, but still perform as if a million people were watching. There’s also a need for a sense of community in the genre, and BCHTA Rising can provide a sort of platform, not only through this LP, but through the many other aspects of this project as whole… the concert series, tours, documentary, books, etc.
Musically, the inspirations are very diverse … I’m a huge fan of indie music, and the new-wave stuff thats happening in LA and London, and you’ll hear those influences in my choice of sounds and the way I approach chord progressions, and of course there is the undeniable influence of Traditional Bachata.… as far as song-writing, it was very important to me while producing this album that every artist involved in it brought a sense of sincerity when writing or performing the songs. We would get into the studio and really talk about the music that we listened to and what moved us, what made us feel something. I encouraged them to express themselves as if no one was listening,
Who did you collaborate with?
I had the amazing opportunity to co-produce this album with the super talented Miami-based producer Israel “Mayimbito” Palma, who has produced and played for many artists including Prince Royce and Pitbull. As far as the featured artists, I count on the participation of Karlos Rose, whom I had the pleasure of producing his first #1 song a bachata version of “Just The Way You Are,” 24 Horas, A New York based duo who have been nominated for numerous Billboard awards, and have also topped the Billboard tropical charts; Pinto Picasso, is an incredibly talented artist who is signed to Daddy Yankee’s imprint and who is new to the genre of Bachata, has previously achieved success as a song-writer in the urban genre; Kewin Cosmos, a fast-rising bachata artist whom on an independent level has been able to get over 10 million streams on youtube and has over 180,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Also participating are Chantel Collado, JR, Bachata Heightz, Alejandra Feliz, Jeyro, Liza & Willy, Eli Jas, Ralphy Dreams, and Señorito.
What can fans expect?
Sincerity…. we set out to make an album that was sincerely us… 2nd and 3rd generation Americans who’s roots are still in the Caribbean and in Latin America.. we express ourselves freely in both languages, and are not afraid to allow our musical influences to shine in ways not heard before in the genre.
How long did you work on it?
BCHTA Rising has come together so organically, I can’t really pin-point when it started, but if I had to guess, I’d say the first notes were recorded on December 2016
What was your favorite song to work on?
They’re all amazing…. every single song has been a great experience, I try to stay away from non-organic ways of producing music… I like to work closely with the artists and make sure they are a part of the creative process, as opposed to just sending them a completed record and saying “just put your voice on this”… every track came with it’s own unique experience.
Tell me about the event?
BCHTA Rising The concert series, is a summer series of live performances based on the concept of the album… broaden the spotlight of this amazing genre, and show off the talents of these emerging artists. The first one was held as the Historic SOB’s (Sounds of Brazil) venue in NYC where many great artists have performed, including Drake, the Black Eyed Peas, J-Cole and even Celia Cruz and Aventura. The first installment counted on the performances of Jeyro, Alejandra and Karlos Rose, whom are all also featured on the BCHTA RISING
What was the highlight?
The energy of SOB’s is amazing, just to know that many great artists got their starts in this venue confirmed to me that it was a great launch pad for this historic project.
What are you working on?
I’ve had the amazing privilege of working with some of the most important artists in this genre, including most recently with Prince Royce and Chris Brown on a song called “Just As I Am” from Royce’s latest album, which was just certified 2x Platinum. I also had the privilege of working with Hector Acosta “El Torito” on “O Te Vas O Me Voy,” it was an awesome collaboration, as he is highly recognized as one of the top bachateros of the Dominican Republic, and he specifically wanted to work with me because he was interested in the “NEW YORK BCHTA SOUND”.
How did you get your start in music?
I was born in the Dominican Republic and my family migrated to the Bronx when I was 7 years old. Music was my mom’s escape, and her way of nostalgically keeping her heart in the Dominican Republic while making a living here in the United States… so the sounds of the Dominican Republic were very much alive in my house-hold. But as I grew up I was in the search of my own identity, and started listening to music that was “American” as I wanted to be considered an American by my peers. When I was a teenager I realized that music for me didn’t exist, so I started learning to play instruments so that I can create what I felt. That is still the passion and fire that drives me to continue to create today.