Puerto Rican songwriter and producer Juan G. Rivera, better known as Gaby Music, has worked with some of the biggest stars in the music industry, from Daddy Yankee, Enrique Iglesias, J Balvin and Ozuna to Cardi B, Romeo Santos and Anuel AA. On the strength of five mega-hits on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs chart that he co-wrote, Gaby spent his first week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Songwriters chart last week (dated July 6).
Daddy Yankee and Katy Perry’s “Con Calma,” featuring Snow, placed the highest at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs (for a 10th week), followed by Lunay, Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny’s “Soltera” (No. 4); DJ Snake’s “Taki Taki,” featuring Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B (No. 7); Nicky Jam and Ozuna’s “Te Robare” (No. 9); and Wisin & Yandel and Romeo Santos’ “Aullando” (No. 11). (Note: Gaby Music is No. 4 on the latest Latin Songwriters chart, dated July 13, behind Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Sky.)
The news of being at No. 1 on last week’s chart took Gaby Music by surprise. “I was very impressed because although I stand out more as a producer, collaborating as a composer on several songs for Ozuna, Anuel AA and other artists gave me this opportunity,” he tells Billboard.
Billboard spoke to the Grammy-winning songwriter and producer to speak with him about his career, the process of working with Latin superstars and his favorite songs of all time. Read the Q&A below:
What was your breakout hit?
My breakout hit was “Ahora Dice” by Chris Jeday, J Balvin, Ozuna and Arcángel.
Any ritual before a songwriting session?
Before any session, I like to get the artist’s vibe to get to know them. Before the session, we talk to each other even if it is not related to music. The idea is to know ourselves better.
What’s your favorite song of all time?
“Ella Quiere Beber” by Anuel AA.
What places inspire you the most to write a song?
My house. Besides my personal studio, I have a personal laptop with speakers at my house. I do get inspired at my house.
What song do you wish you wrote?
Sech’s “Otro Trago.”
Any advice for young people who want to be a songwriter?
I would say to be patient. The opportunities come when least expected. If you don’t have the connections, use social networks and the opportunity will come.
How do you chose to work with new talent?
Beside having a good image and talent, they need to be creative and different.
The weekly Latin Songwriters and Latin Producers charts are based on total points accrued by a songwriter and producer, respectively, for each attributed song that appears on the Hot Latin Songs chart (which blends streaming, airplay and download sales data); plus, genre-based songwriter and producer charts follow the same methodology based on corresponding “Hot”-named genre charts. As with Billboard’s yearly recaps, multiple writers or producers split points for each song equally (and the dividing of points will lead to occasional ties on rankings).