Ambition and drive are generally revealed early in the lives of artists. For 19-year-old songwriter-performer De La Torre, it was this spirit that determined he would attend his senior year of high school online, so he could devote his energies to making a series of YouTube videos. It was these videos that impressed Grammy-winning platinum songwriter-producer Desmond Child.
De La Torre has now relocated from his hometown of Bowling Green, OH to Los Angeles, CA. There he is tracking his debut album Nosotros and developing his career with the guidance of Child and co-manager Debbie Ohanian under the auspices of their newly launched company, So Success Entertainment. A debut single, “No Te Entiendo” co-written by the artist with Descemer Bueno and Michelle Fragoso, is accompanied by a haunting video shot in Havana and directed by Cuban urban music legend, X Alfonso.
De La Torre is a Latin artist. Although his parents speak Spanish, as a second generation Cuban-American growing up in Ohio he had few opportunities to communicate in the ancestral lingo. But given that solo male artists are virtually non-existent in pop music, a decision was made that De La Torre would sing en EspaЦol.
When not writing or recording, the artist concentrates on language tutoring as well as voice and acting classes. “I am focusing on personal development, and practicing Spanish two hours a day,” he confirms.
Born Anthony De La Torre, the young artist had an earlier brush with show business. At age 12, through a talent search, he landed a New York manager and some commercial roles plus a voice-acting gig in Go, Diego, Go!, a spinoff of Dora the Explorer. But his parents wanted him to have a “normal childhood,” so it was back to the barren flatlands of Northwest Ohio.
When he was 15, De La Torre attended a Catholic Youth conference that he says, “set my faith on fire.” He considered joining the priesthood and began making Christian rap videos. “There are so many ways to help people without a collar on,” says De La Torre. “My goal is to bring positivity to people––whatever that looks like.” He also assisted his mother with her industrial cleaning service. “Cleaning was a peaceful thing for me,” he notes. He discovered an even more lucrative career, entertaining at birthday parties and events as a Justin Bieber impersonator.
Writing with Desmond Child––co-writer of such hits as “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and “Livin’ on a Prayer”––was initially intimidating, De La Torre explains. “One of the very first times I met him he had already started work on a song for me. Desmond is like a god. I felt completely unworthy to be there. I’m writing ‘I like girls’ and he’s writing a masterpiece. Desmond says, ‘Keep doing it and you will get better.’ He writes constantly. His creativity wheel is always spinning.” De La Torre has an affinity for recording and says the studio is a place for every idea to be considered. “There are no bad ideas, according to Desmond. Even if it’s the worst idea ever, someone might come up with a great idea because of it.”
An impressive cast of songwriters and producers are in De La Torre’s corner: hit writers and producers like Claudia Brant, Fernando Osorio, Rock Mafia, Jon Vella, Gary Go, Jodi Marr and Andreas Carlsson. Additionally, he has recorded in Toronto with Rob Wells, Jesse LaBelle, Shaun Frank and Yash.
De La Torre will be introduced to the world as an independent artist. “You can’t go to a label and say, ‘Hey! I can sing!’ They’d tell you to come back when you have a lot of fans. Labels don’t want to create a star. They want someone who has a million followers already.” The artist’s supple, expressive voice and endearing charisma are coupled with a deep devotion to the craft of songwriting. He might be young, but he is clearly no babe in the woods as he concludes, “Even in this position I have such a long road ahead of me. It’s never been easier to self-produce music, but it’s never been harder to get it heard.”
Contact Angela Rodriguez, AR Entertainment,
305-441-7976, [email protected]
By Dan Kimpel