Torres: Benito would sometimes stop me from adding more to a song that was ready to go. He would say, “We’re losing the magic that the original song had. Take this part and that part out.” For example, in “Demasiado Amor,” we end with a piano solo that’s a minute and a half long. I would never dare to put in a piano solo that long because I would question whether radio stations would play it or if we would lose people toward the end, but he would tell me, “Just keep playing. Trust me.” When you have someone like Benito giving you that confidence, that side of the brain that questions things doesn’t kick in. That’s the role of a real producer: He’s objective and doesn’t care about anything but the result.
Can you give an example of how a song was born, and how that honesty played into the process?
Bad Bunny: “Demasiado Amor” was born from a phrase I had written in my notes, and from that we wrote the song. Tommy sat and played the piano and I told him, ‘This is a piano song, it’s about sadness’ and he started playing until we got to that sadness, and he’d write the song as he was playing. It’s probably one of my favorite songs from the album. It has so much emotion. This song will make you cry.
Torres: “Demasiado Amor” is a great example of how we wrote [together]. We’d get to the studio, talk about a million things, eat sushi and then sit and play the piano and boom, in less than an hour and a half, we’d write an entire song. One, because the sessions just flowed so well and two, because Benito comes up with ideas so fast, it’s out of this world. He doesn’t even write things; he just memorizes everything, and he does like a puzzle in his mind like Rain Man. Meanwhile, I’m over here writing everything down, looking for beats and metaphors as he remembers something we said like three hours ago without having to write anything.
After we wrote “Demasiado Amor” I went in and added a full-on orchestra and then Benito told me, ‘Well you don’t feel lonely anymore and I’m not crying because I feel like you have company now. I need to feel that you’re truly alone.’ After spending all that money on the orchestra, we ended up taking it out.
What does it mean to be a producer today?
Torres: Nowadays, producers have a leading role. It wasn’t like that before. I’ve produced so many albums, but a lot of people don’t even know which ones I produced. Now fans are interested in knowing who the person behind these hits is. Ten years ago, producing meant you would bring me a song and I would produce it in whatever style the singer would want. But now the producer will be part of the songwriting process, bring their own idea and vibe, which makes it “fairer” when it comes to figuring out how you split producing/songwriting credits.