How Bad Bunny Channeled Blink-182, Reggaeton and Ukulele on the Same Album

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At age 29, the producer Marco “Tainy” Masís has already been working on hits professionally for roughly half his life. While most producers ultimately lose their scorching hand, this one retains discovering one other path to the charts, and this 12 months, he helped put together Cardi B’s “I Like It,” a Number One hit, together with J Balvin’s Vibras, one of 2018’s best albums. Before Christmas Eve, Tainy had already loved one other spectacular 12 months.

Then the 24-year-old Puerto Rican star Bad Bunny launched his versatile, accomplished debut album, X100PRE, which featured co-production from Tainy on 12 of the 15 tracks — one more calling card in a profession crammed with them. Rolling Stone spoke with the producer about sampling the reggaeton group Plan B, getting background vocals from , and finessing the transitions on X100PRE.

Last time we spoke was not lengthy after you launched “Estamos Bien;” when did you begin actively engaged on X100PRE?
[] referred to as me like, “yo, we would like you to come back over to New York” — he was doing the usA. tour, beginning that. So I went over there and we began speaking about concepts and ideas. I had already despatched him a batch of beats simply to see what he was feeling like, to get a greater understanding of his route.

The first time we ever labored collectively was “Estamos Bien.” Or we labored collectively on “I Like It,” however I used to be by no means there when he recorded, so it wasn’t the identical. We have been actually attending to know one another whereas we have been beginning to work [on X100PRE]. We began to click on. He used to do all the pieces, all his beats. For him to really feel comfy with anyone else doing that half, it must be one thing particular [the relationship]. It was cool that he trusted me rather a lot on this.

When you began having these conversations, what have been a few of your reference factors?
He began speaking about films. He wished this Fast and Furious sort of favor in movies. He had this concept of including a few of our childhood issues we used to hearken to — rock, Limp Bizkit, Blink-182, all these guys. I used to be like, I’m completely with you, ’trigger that’s what I grew up listening to. Normally not all people has these influences [in the urban space] and desires to do an entire rock tune. But it’s a spark to mix with what we do.

I believe the rock tune, “Tenemos Que Hablar,” stunned individuals in a great way.
Yeah man. That got here out tremendous fast. He simply despatched me the refrain and was like, “I would like this to be a punk rock tune.” For actual? So I discovered a guitar that I had recorded. Sometimes mates of mine come over and we begin recording stuff, so I had a pair regular guitar riffs, them enjoying one notice time and again, so I can manipulate it and work on it in Ableton. It simply labored excellent. The chords have been precisely there, and I simply needed to nudge it two steps down. It didn’t go method up or too low the place it begins to sound not like a guitar.

Did a variety of this album come collectively throughout these New York periods?
In New York we labored on three tracks. “Cuando Perriabas,” that’s the straight reggaeton one. He had by no means finished one thing like that, however he was like, “I actually wish to do a reggaeton monitor, however I’ll defer to you on this.” I got here up with two concepts, however once I confirmed him the primary one, that was it. He recorded it the following day and despatched over at the very least the primary half of the tune.

Everything was recorded in lodge rooms and doubtless him within the aircraft. There have been by no means studios. We met up again in L.A. and recorded extra tracks. He went to Spain, he was touring. He got here again, we met in Miami. We got here up with a pair extra.

Why did you wish to pattern Plan B on “Cuando Perriabas”?
They’re big for us rising up in Puerto Rico. They got here strictly from the underground they usually grew to become so standard. That tune particularly [“Bellaqueo”] and some others are like anthems over there. He wished that affect, to pattern stuff from once we have been rising up. I discovered this dwell present that they did which sounded wonderful and began chopping it up. There aren’t any chords or melodies behind it [in the performance] that have been totally different from those we have been utilizing [in the new instrumental], simply the vocals and percussion from the sampler.

Quite a lot of concepts on this have been half me, half him, however principally him. I simply had the ending half [of the sample], not the one within the center. He was like, doesn’t this different half match over right here [in the middle]? It was in key; it match completely.

How Bad Bunny Channeled Blink-182, Reggaeton and Ukulele on the Same Album

12 of the 15 songs on ‘X100PRE’ have been co-produced by Tainy.

And what was the third monitor you began in New York?
We did the punk rock one, the reggaeton one, and we began engaged on “Caro.” That was the primary one the place I acquired a way of the place his mindset was. That concept of doing an interlude mid-track was his: I would like this on the tune. At first I’m like, this doesn’t go together with the opposite half — what do you take into consideration? So we had a backwards and forwards on easy methods to make that transition really feel clean and cohesive. The chords change, and the tempo adjustments fully — it’s 4 b.p.m. slower on the center half. I believe the tune is 108, after which it goes all the way down to 104 or 105 and turns into one thing else. But I believe we discovered a approach to make it really feel good.

Did he have already got the Ricky Martin vocals?
No. At one level he informed me, “Yo, are you able to ship me the interlude half? I’ve an concept.” I’m like, “I can ship it to you proper now. What’s up?” He’s like, “I’m gonna have Ricky do it.” I’m like, “you’re loopy!” To me it felt like listening to a Kanye West tune and you’ll hear, like, Alicia Keys doing vocals and ad-libs behind the lead. As a fan, you understand it’s her, despite the fact that it’s not like Kanye West that includes Alicia Keys. It’s these minimal particulars that really feel big for large followers of music.

Have you ever labored with Ricky?
Yeah — not this album however the final one. I met him for the primary time, and he’s a tremendous man. I discovered rather a lot working him and his producer, Desmond Child. Bad Bunny’s actual proud to be a Puerto Rican. To have a legend from our nation work on that is actually cool.

Speaking of “these minimal particulars” on the album: Why did you place a string part on the tip of the primary monitor?
That’s one in all my favorites. We did it in L.A. He despatched me a tough vocal of the refrain, that was the one factor that I had. What I had at first was the ending half. Then I informed him I had another choice too that was completely totally different, that was the center half. He liked them each. But he actually had this concept that he wished a ukulele [which might be heard strumming originally of “Ni Bien Ni Mal”]. But I understood improper, thought he wished marimba, so I began engaged on that. He was like, let’s use all of them. So we left the marimba half as slightly factor on the finish. It’s a special beat in that tune each time the refrain comes out. I requested him, “does it really feel lengthy? I may lower it.” He stated, “no, this can be a piece of artwork. Don’t contact it.”

When did you create “RLNDT”? That beat is especially spectacular.
That’s one of many first beats I ever despatched him, simply to see which method he was leaning. That’s one in all my private favorites that I’ve finished in a few years. That beat is 2 or three years previous, however I wished to provide it to somebody who may ship one thing cool on it — I didn’t need it to be a standard tune. I despatched it to him and he was like, “this beat is wonderful. I don’t even know what to do on it.” I stated, “I do know you’ll determine it out.”

That’s one of many final ones that I heard. I used to be engaged on all the pieces else. Supposedly he had it in his thoughts, recorded it tremendous fast. I used to be sitting down with Beto, his engineer, going by way of the songs and ensuring that all the pieces’s finished correct. We find yourself on that one. I’m like, “which one is that this?” He’s like, “it’s yours.” “Mine? I by no means acquired these vocals.” So he went and performed me the reference. It’s loopy. Normally on the Latin aspect, artists who’re commercially massive don’t at all times go in on the lyrics aspect. That tune’s actually relatable to younger individuals, to us, to children, to adults. [Bad Bunny sings about feeling lost and insecure.] Everybody goes by way of various things in life and that’s one in all them. It’s wonderful to be part of that too.

You have so many sounds on this album — “Otra Noche en Miami” has extra of an Eighties really feel.
That’s completely him. He did the beat and informed me, “no matter you possibly can repair or add, go in.” As quickly as I heard, I didn’t wish to contact it. I simply did some little issues mixing-wise, some issues on the percussion to bolster it, and because the refrain had totally different drums than the verses, I did some stuff to make them really feel a part of the identical monitor. I informed him, “have you ever ever seen Drive?” He’s like, “nah man, is it good?” That tune makes me really feel like I’m watching that film.  

El Alfa is absolutely the one featured vocalist on this album, and that appears like an announcement.
We didn’t even discover that was the one function till the tip of the album once we have been going by way of the songs. I used to be listening with Noah Assad [who works at Rimas Entertainment], and he’s like, “do you suppose we’d like extra options?” I’m like, “I believe we now have sufficient.” He says, “the one function we now have is El Alfa.” For actual?

But that function is so good. It simply feels Dominican Republic: The traditional bachata pattern originally and the fashionable dembow. That music that El Alfa and Mozart La Para and all these guys are doing, that’s what’s popping proper now. And that half the place it feels just like the tune is about to crash, that’s his concept too. “Yo, can we make it really feel just like the CD is skipping?” I’m like, let me see what I can do. I discovered a plug-in.

Obviously there have been quite a few massive albums this 12 months — you labored on J Balvin’s Vibras, which was fastidiously put collectively and cohesive. Were you eager about competing with different massive artists’ albums whenever you made this?
I actually acquired to know Bad Bunny rather a lot on this album. Before this I spoke to Bad Bunny one time, at Complex Con, with Balvin after we did Vibras. We spoke for a minute and that’s it. After Balvin’s album got here out, him and Balvin are shut mates, and he liked Vibras. He’s like, “yo, sometime I would like to have the ability to do one thing like that.” Balvin was actually the one who made the connection between us. We began to know one another engaged on it.

I used to be a fan of him already, however now it’s clear that creatively, there’s not lots of people that may high him. We weren’t being attentive to what was already out, as a result of I already knew what we have been doing was so totally different. I knew it might have its personal place.