In our latest Artist Spotlight, Diego "Mr Producer" shares his rich musical journey, from his early beginnings influenced by his family to his time at Berklee College of Music. Known for his eclectic musical influences and a focus on producing music that grooves and surprises listeners, he envisions a future filled with collaborations and embracing innovative tech in his music.
▷ I have always been interested in the production side of the music. My heroes were George Martin, Quincy Jones, Liminha, Giorgio Moroder and Phil Ramone among others. I got into music through my parents and my godfather. My mom would always play the guitar for me. My dad had a huge collection of open reel tapes with incredibly diverse music, courtesy of my godfather who owned (still does until this day) a very remarkable vinyl collection. By age 4, I was already breaking turntables and fascinated by music. I started playing with bands mid 80s and in 1992 I earned a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston where I earned a degree in Jazz Composition. After graduation, I ran away from the cold and moved to Miami! I then bought a studio. I worked by mostly producing for other people to make a living (until I released my first album). My friends started calling me 'Mr Producer' and I didn’t complain! The name had stuck! When I perform or release albums, I present myself as Diego Jinkus which is my real name. I have been using my legal name since I started doing music professionally which was back in the 80s. Web3 really led me back to my roots. I’m coming back to producing tracks! That’s my focus now, so I’m claiming back my name! 🔥🎶
▷ This is a tough one. I became a musician because of The Beatles. I just couldn’t get enough of them. I became mesmerized by disco music and the soul/ funk/ R&B of the 70s. I love Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Chic. Then in the 80’s The Police and Prince blew my mind. The 80s was a machine gun of good music! While I was at Berklee in the 90s, I went through my jazz years. Miles Davis and Pat Metheny were my gods. But I would always stay faithful to the funk and soul movement. In those days I discovered Meshell Ndegeocello, Jamiroquai, and The Brand New Heavies. There are some current artists that influence me: Tom Misch, John Mayer, Silk Sonic, Honne...There’s so much great music out there!🎶
▷ I discovered Audius through a fellow Argentinean and fellow musician Tomas Mika. My favorite thing about Audius so far is the community! It is very supportive🙏🏼 Also, the level of artistry that you can find among the artists on this platform is astonishing! I love the contests. I also wish they brought back the grants!
▷ Music is an aural experience, so my creative process always starts by listening. I want to know what the song has to say. Each song has its own lyricism. The song 'speaks' in a particular way. I try to think how can I surprise the listener! Oh! And it HAS to groove and swing. Non negotiable. These are some of my faves. During my first album, I was recording a Colombian percussion ensemble for another production, so there were a lot of Latin rhythms to mess around with. It took me forever to finish this track with all the editing, mixing, tweaking the drums and percussions, the vocals, horns, thousands of guitars. I also love “No quiero que te vayas” and “Fly Free”. Those are my two favorites
▷ For what little I learned about Web3, I see finally the artists becoming the real owners of their work. There are some things that I’d like to see happening in the industry through the blockchain technology, but I always hear my colleagues saying 'it’s impossible' or 'it will take forever to happen.' For example, if one wanted to sell copyright shares of your song - that would be very interesting. Can you imagine? Being able to tokenize your music with each token representing a percentage of your rights? That would be a game changer for any artist! To be able to control your assets like that! I’m still one of those guys who are not so well-versed in the Metaverse. So... I am not “metaversed” ;-) I am saving to buy a VR Set...🎶🚀
▷ I want to go back to production. I just want to concentrate on that. Writing songs, collaborating with other artists, especially singers and rappers, and especially, other composers. Maybe I will focus on creating NFTs and audio collectibles. The technology is evolving so fast that it is difficult to make plans. I like performing and playing live. However I think I can bring my 'A game' to the production field.