Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tito "El Bambino": It’s His Time To Be Top of the Line

In his latest hit, “Mi Cama Huele En Ti,” Tito “El Bambino” sings of a morning after scenario in which his sheets are still full of the aroma of last night’s lover. The smell drives him to close his eyes and sexually fantasize about the moon lit events. It’s lyrics like these that fill the records of Tito “El Bambino.”

His songs are soft and sexy, yet never treat women as mere sexual objects. In fact, he’s one of the rare male stars who still sing about actual romance. Lyrics are one thing, success is another. He's worked with Daddy Yankee, The Luny Tunes, Victor Manuelle, all the big names, yet Tito "El Bambino" has made a name of his own.

With all three solo albums Top of the Line and It's My Time and his latest El Patron debuting in the top ten on the U. S. Billboard Latin albums, not to mention the several top forty singles "Caile," "Flow Natural," "Siente El Boom," "El Tra," and his latest #1 song, 2009’s “El Amor,” Tito's career is on fire. Taking a bit of his own musical heat, Tito started his own production line, the successful On Fire Music.

His 2009 album, El Patron has proven to make Tito just that. By mixing sounds of merengue, salsa, pop, r&b, hip-hop, and reggaeton (of course) Tito has made the best album of his short career and has led him to the top of his game, and the recent release of El Patron: La Victoria garnered even more acclaim for the singer/songwriter.

Tito began his career in Puerto Rico alongside Hector “El Father.” The duo, Hector Y Tito, released the tracks Baila Morena" and "Dejala Volver" and many more, all which became Latin-urban club staples. Even with early hits, Tito’s success was hardly overnight. “I started when I was 10 years old, and worked hard until someone discovered me,” he says. From 1992 to the present, Tito strengthened his craft with over ten albums and compilations released solo and with Hector.

Through the years he worked with everyone from Daddy Yankee to salsa-star Victor Manuelle. On working with these various artists, Tito says “these guys have giving me different experiences...they are all good in their genre, (and) I have learned a little from everyone.”

Reggeaton peaked in 2005 with the release of the epic album Barrio Fino by Daddy Yankee, which lead to hits by Wisin Y Yandel, Hector “El Father,” Calle 13, Ivy Queen, and Tito “El Bambino” himself with his first solo top ten track “Calie.” Since then, though, at least in the U.S., reggeaton, while still popular, has taken a bit of a dive commercially, with recent albums by Daddy Yankee and others not performing up to par.

Tito has a different take on the current state of reggeaton. “Reggaeton is getting bigger every day, and the fans and people that like reggaeton is growing really fast. reggaeton is a movement that the Latinos feel connected with, and I can tell you that I am very happy with the support people are showing me” Tito says. Reggeaton overall is very sexual. While much of reggeaton’s sounds are dark and harsh, Tito’s sound is much more “romantic”, being more influenced by organic sounds and filled with lyrics about love and dancing.

Tito’s beats are a nice contrast to the common darker themes of reggeaton music. His sound, according to him, is greatly influenced by his love for” the music of Panama, because (it) is the music that I [grew up with], and I feel very identified with it”. He also credits “Camilo Sexto, Mark Anthony, and Shakira “as his biggest musical influences.

His latest release, El Patron, explodes with various genres of music, from merengue, salsa, bachata, pop, hip-hop, reggae, and reggeaton. Tito gives much praise to God in his songs for his success, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a big fan of his own work. “I like the ‘El Tra’, I like ‘Fans’ I love ‘Caile’ and ‘Flow Natural’, I like all of my songs… if I make a song that I don't like, it doesn't even make it to the recording studio, ” the star says.

A singer-songwriter, when it comes to the production of his music, Tito’s approach varies. “The songs get to my mind little by little, the song does not start as a song, and I get ready by doing a selection of words, getting ready to put a song together. Sometimes will take me a month or sometimes the whole song will come to me in 5 minutes.”

Tito was nominated for a handful of 2009 Latin Grammys, including “Best Tropical Song” for “El Amor” and “Best Urban Album” for El Patron, but he went home empty-handed. More recently, President Obama has caught “Tito Fever,” inviting the reggeaton star to perform at the White House in celebration of Hispanic Heritage. He was among the Latino Elite, including Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, and Marc Anthony. Now, more than ever, it seems to be Tito’s time to be top of the line.

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