What does it take to debut on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart at No. 1? A little help from your friends, which in DJ Nesty's case, include reggaeton superstars Wisin & Yandel.
Nesty's "La Mente Maestra" on WY/Machete is the latest example of the "duo de la historia" giving a boost to their protégés. Through their Machete/Universal-distributed label, Wisin & Yandel have put out such compilations as "Los Vaqueros" (204,000 copies sold in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, according to Nielsen SoundScan) and "Los Vaqueros Wild Wild Mixes," (60,000) as well as a solo album by reggaeton singer Tony Dize (31,000). In each case, Wisin & Yandel have lent their voices, not just their names, to the projects.
In the case of Nesty (aka Ernesto F. Padilla), the Puerto Rican DJ was the main producer, an executive producer and co-writer with Wisin & Yandel on "La Mente Maestra." Other acts on the WY roster, such as Franco "El Gorila," Dize, Jayko, Gadiel and Tico "El Inmigrante," also appear on the album.
Nesty began working on albums with reggaeton's original hit-making producers, Luny Tunes, in 2004. After several releases, including Wisin & Yandel's hit album "Pa'l Mundo," Nesty scored credits on several hits for Calle 13, Voltio and Hector "El Father." Wisin & Yandel manager Edgar Andino says Wisin & Yandel discussed the notion of a compilation album with Nesty and co-producer Victor "El Nasi" Martinez because such albums had become scarce after they were all the rage a few years ago. The final concept was an album presenting Nesty and Victor, but co-produced by Wisin & Yandel, who also sing the first single, "Me Estas Tentando."
The song was at No. 15 on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart at press time. "Fans are looking for new acts, and a Wisin & Yandel endorsement is important," says Andino. Walter Kolm, president of Universal Music Latino/Machete, adds, "Wisin & Yandel have transcended the natural barriers of the urban market and exploded into the mainstream."
In the month after "Me Estas Tentando" became available as a single, it was purchased 9,000 times, with 2,000 ringtones. A key to the promotion, says Andino, are the slick videos that have already been shot to support the album. Currently on rotation is the "Tentando" video, directed by film director Jessy Terrero. Three more videos have been shot, including one of a remix that is not on the current album.
The overriding sonic motif on "La Mente Maestra" is of the electronic dance variety, while the subject matter is pretty obvious from the tracklist: "You're Tempting Me," "Sex," "Let's Get Naked," "Let's Go Do It," etc.