PRODUCER WORKING ON UPCOMING AMERICAN IDOL'S 'DEVIN VELEZ' ALBUM
Featured image courtesy of Jaime Rodriguez
AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER PRODUCES UPCOMING CHRISTMAS SINGLE FOR AMERICAN IDOL STAR
This music producer and international Award-Winning film composer has won for Best Original Score International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema Amsterdam in 2018 and has been nominated in Milan, Italy and Europe for Best Original Score for his projects. He has engineered Guitar track session for Miley Cyrus, directed the band for a sold-out show at the UIC Pavilion, and is a voting member of the Grammys. Eddie’s vote counts for both the Grammy Awards in four categories and the Latin Grammy Awards – no small feat considering The Recording Academy demands an impressive list of commercial credits to participate.
“The creative part of music is passion for the unseen. I can hear where the music is going – not just where it is today,” says Eddie. In 2002 he opened Rushing Wind Productions and in 2007, he constructed an acoustically-sound, stylish 1,000-square-foot home studio.
“What is important to an artist or director is just as important to me,” comments Eddie. “Our final tracks reflect the beating heart of a project.”
Expanding on his success in music, Eddie has produced radio and television jingles for Telemundo, Del Ray Farms and TCF Bank. Eddie’s warm, rich voice is heard through his character Apple Peace in You Are Special, created by author Cynthia James. Eddie scored the double CD set and served as senior sound producer for the project. Most recently he scored the teaser trailer for a book sweeping the country, From the Barrio to the Board Room, by author Robert Renteria. “I’m here today, doing what I love for people I believe in. Music changes the world. Every day is a huge blessing,” he says.
Eddie scored his first film in 2016. The feature-length, international movie drama, Nawal the Jewel, depicts an Indian-Iranian woman’s struggle with patriarchal oppression. The music “was a perfect translation of courage. When I heard it the first time, I knew we had hit our mark,” said the film’s director and writer Renjilal Damodarin.
Eddie lives with his beautiful wife Juanita and their two children, Joshua and Alexa Lee in North Aurora, Ill. What is one of Eddie’s most memorable projects? Co-writing and producing the original track “Never Forgotten” with his daughter. The song, with bright overtones of reggae/pop, was inspired by the memory of people loved and lost. Let’s ask more questions with this award-winning composer and producer and sit down with him to get to know him better.
NIE: Thank you for taking your time and having this interview with us. So we heard you are working on a upcoming album for American Idol contestant Devin Velez. What can you tell us about the album and what can we expect?
Eddie Torres: Yes, but actually this would be the second project I’ve produced for Devin Velez titled “Should've BeenMe (Pop)”. The new EP project will start with a Christmas original song in which Devin has actually written. The following songs are to be determined as far as styles of music but what I can say is Devin an amazing singer who appreciates the live musician feels to projects. Not your typical “cookie cutter” type of project. So being creative in his music is what puts a smile on Devin’s face as an artist. He’s very vocally gifted but really trusts my direction. That’s why we work well together. Musical chemistry.
NIE: What has your experience been working with Devin and how will this EP be different than the previous?
Eddie Torres: Working with Devin has beencreatively great! We have been growing our artist and producer relationship for some time nowand the synergy is there. Devin recently commented to me how he trusts me my work as his producer and business. Devin also shares with me how after The American Idol show he felt having a relationship with a producer he could trust was very important to him. Devin in this project verses the first is that he has gain more experience intrusting his creative inputs as an artist and in production.
NIE: You’ve worked with artists around the world. What would you say are some of the differences in musical style and the creation process you experience from different areas of the world?
Eddie Torres: The differences in many countries I would say is the different rhythms but then there’s that musicianship approach to music for the most part. Being a musician I take an appreciation to that. Taking an instrument and playing it as apposed to programing music all the time has that what I call “a little dirt” to it. Basically means tempo variations is acceptable because there’s that human feeling to it and its generally a good feeling.
NIE: You have worked on many genres of music, which speaks to you the most? And why?
Eddie Torres: Yes, through out my musical career I have produced from Pop, Alternative, R&B to Salsa but then music has become a fusion of various genres and have been also so much fun to produce such as pop-country to rock-symphonyish. One of my favorite genres to produce and tugsat my heart would be CCM (contemporary Christian music) projects. Though the genrescan also be a fusion of styles its more the positive lyrics that come out of these projects.I believe we’re in times that great genres of music along with a positive touching lyric is needed. These projects speak much of me as a producer but also enjoy the challenges of working the many different genres.
“Believe in your work.”
- Eddie Torres
NIE: Some say music is the universal language. How do you feel your style translates in various countries? And what countries do you feel your music connects most with?
Eddie Torres: I too agree music is a universal language. Music moves people in every part of the world. Someone in the [United States Of America] said to me once on a radio interview trying to describe the music I produce “The music you produce feels profound”. In Europe when winning an award for Best Original Score on aninternational film in London someone said, “Eddie’smusic score could tell a story on its own”, “It’s organic”. I never tried to sound the same on any project weather film or for an artist. The reactions and comments I get are what I believe the translation of my styles in various countries. I feel my music connects with every country based on the feedback I get and really that’s my musical goal, “The World” but It was such and honor to have been awarded in two different countries Amsterdam and London and nominated in Italy and Spain.
NIE: What is your biggest reward about being producerand why?
Eddie Torres: That fact that I’m able to make music day to day for many projects such as artist, film, television, animation and radio is the biggest reward. As a producer I’m able to help bring to life the vision my clients have for their projects. It’s so fulfilling to be part of the beginning of very little to work with to the successful outcome. I call it the A and B (before and after). Then to see my credits tagged to the projects brings a smile reminding me of the hard work, the passion and hours put in for the final.
NIE: What are some of your techniques that have helped hone your skills?
Eddie Torres: Not sure if you would call this a technique, but my studiois equipped with digital dimmers and soft lights and I love to dim all my lights just right to help me get in the right mind formusic inspirations. I believe being in the right environment is super important for any music creator. Works for me all the time.
“Always put a value on your music. You’ll be more respected and appreciated.”
- Eddie Torres
NIE: Where did the desire to be in the entertainment industry stem from?
Eddie Torres: I was nine when dad walked in with a twenty-six dollar guitar for himself. Well I took it and would watch other musicians play and run memorizing their hand positions and grabbing the guitar until I hit my first note. [I] was on stage by eleven years old and became a gigging musician doing the band thing and playing in church. I get called for my first bass session in a studio in the north side of Chicago and the studio world just lit up to me. By this time I learned how to play guitar, bass, piano, drums, percussion and trumpetand started creating my own music ideas.
Two singers from Florida hired me for the first time to produce their musicin my little studio work station at home and I made a whole thirty-five dollars a song. I did eight songs. Then two friends so more potential in my work and said I could produce for a living and trusted me with my commercial project with an amazing singer in Chicago.
I finally took the leap of faith and left corporate America after thirteen years and started my music business Rushing Wind Productions. That was in 2002 and been at it full time till today. Film scoring came in around 2016 with my first opportunity of an international full feature “Nawal The Jewel” where I’ve received awards for Best Original Score. The film has also received several awards from Best Film, Best Director to Best Lead Actress my now good friend Hollywood actress Reem Kadem.
My commercial work has now awarded me the privilege to be a Grammy voting member. Music industry has its up and downs but my passion for making music will always be at its UP!
NIE: What has been the most challenging for youin your career, and why?
Eddie Torres: Honestly what comes to mind is, since I’m not in a music city like Los Angeles, New York or Nashville connecting with the music industry can sometimes be challenging. Many musicians would generally move out to one of these music cities for a greater chance in getting connected. I chose to like some to work through this and make my musical career in this state. This is why I’m very grateful to have also been able to do work internationally especially in film. I’ve met some great people internationally.
NIE: What obstacles do you face as a producer and what do you do to overcome and achieve your goals?
Eddie Torres: Our music industry and technology is changing so fast drastically that we’re always having the challenge of staying up to date. As a district advocate for the Grammys I represented my district to help pass the The Music Modernization Act in 2018. This bill helps us music producers along with music creators in getting compensating on todays online streaming of music. On the technology side, justifying the upgrades and subscriptions to some of our software’s to make music can be taxing.
NIE: What would you say is the biggest asset for anyone in the industry to achieve?
Eddie Torres: The one thing that comes to mind is having your credits placed to your work. Today streaming music is becoming the standard and being able to get your credits that show your work is becoming more difficult. Having my credits on commercial work was the proof needed from the Recording Academy to except me as a voter in different categories. It goes with our resume of work. Very important!
NIE: What are some of yoursecret tips that help you in this industry to keep grounded and focused?
Eddie Torres: Not sounding to religious but I pray before starting any project first. Grounds and focuses me all the time. Also every time I work on a project I put myself in my client’s shoes and ask would I hire me to produce their project. The other is that I am people driven, and it’s so important to me to feel the synergy with my clients. You have to connect with then. We all want to showcase our music, but we need to learn to listen to our clients first.
NIE: Who inspires you to be a better at your profession?
Eddie Torres: Wow, I get inspired every morning when I think of my number one supporters and fan my wife and two kids. Those voices in my mind of we’re proud of you is in my mind every moment I step into the studio. In the music well I’m inspire by guys like Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL in how he offers composing tips and encouragement to everyone who dreams to have the opportunity he had. Hans Zimmer who thinks outside of the box when making music. I took his Master Class. Also Brian Tyler who has a really cool concept on making music being able to play multiple instruments and his studio is on his grounds like mine. These guys in the film industry just seem like regular musicians like myself and made it to where they are by pursuing the dream.
NIE: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to pursue a career in the field?
Eddie Torres: First I would say to them is fall in love with your work as it will help you to be patient when the slow days come. Also be flexible with your business opportunities, the better bigger projects will come. Shadow an industry producer on a day-to-day routine. That should give you a good idea of what our work days can be like and see if it’s a good fit for you.
NIE: What are the most impactful words of wisdom someone told you and who was it?
Eddie Torres: Always put a value on your music. You’ll be more respected and appreciated. Film director/writer Noel Izon. These words came while having lunch with him in London.
NIE: What are three things you would say to your younger self that you know now?
Eddie Torres: Believe in your work. Study film score. Invest in Apple stock!
NIE: So what else is next for you?
Eddie Torres: Building my film scoring industry. Something about putting my music to film that is so inspiring and gratifying. I’m also currently writing music for some TV shows on Oxygen TV network, a short film in the USA and five new music productions. Also gearing up for an informative video and more info to come on that soon on that.
NIE: We appreciate and thank you for your time, but before you go is there anyone you would like to thank at this time?
Eddie Torres: It’s been my pleasure and honor to be interviewed by NIE. Thank you and your team at NIE for this opportunity. I’d also like to thank all my current and previous clients for allowing me the opportunity to work with them on their projects. To my beautiful wife and two kids who have been my number one fans and support. Also special thanks to Devin Velez for allowing us to mention him on this interview. To those who believed in my music and have always supported me thank you! And super thank you to the International Film Festivals like Fusion Film Fest for supporting the music to film in their fests.