Its been well over a decade since reggaetón first made its entrance into the music scene. Artists like Tego Calderón, Ivy Queen, and of course Daddy Yankee, have been doing it for years before mainstream radio chose to embrace this Latin/Reggae/Hip-Hop hybrid. As reggaetón is just beginning to witness the fruits of its labor, the staying power of the artists who started the movement makes the success that much sweeter. One such contender is Hector Bambino aka Hector El Father.
Hector El Father stepped to the forefront of reggaetón during its embryonic stage in 1992. Part of the duo Hector y Tito at the time, the group innovated reggaetón with their unique sound and diverse collaborations. Hector y Tito collectively released five albums, including their final work Season Finale in 2005. Despite the end of the group, the two continued to make waves as solo artists. Then, Hector El Father made a career-changing decision. He signed a major label deal with Roc La Familia and El Presidente Sean Jay-Z Carter. His single Here We Go combines his pure Latin style with a touch of Jay-Zs undeniable edge.
As Hector El Father gears for the release of his Roc debutLos Rompe Discotekas, he reflects on his fifteen-year career, advice from Jay-Z and his stance in preparing the world for the Roc La Familia takeover.
[as translated to Kathy Iandoli]
AllHipHop.com Alternatives: New York City saw you performing on a float during the Puerto Rican Day Parade. How was that experience for you?
Hector El Father: This was my second time at the Parade, but this time I had my whole crew up there with me, so it was a great experience. Plus, with the album coming out it was really great. I really felt the love from the crowd.
AHHA: Explain why you changed from Bambino to El Father.
Hector: I was Hector Bambino when I was part of a duo, Hector y Tito. When I went on my own I became Hector El Father. Since Ive been around for so long and have helped other reggaetón artists come up, such as Don Omar, the name El Father was given to me and it stuck.
AHHA: Is the breakup of Hector y Tito permanent or will there be a reunion?
Hector: No, as of right now, we are both leading careers as separate artists.
AHHA: Youve been a part of reggaetón for such a long time, what have you witnessed as far as changes, since you first started?
Hector: The music has definitely changed over time. The words, lyrics, have evolved and continue to evolve. The biggest change in reggaetón is that it went from being so underground to being accepted by the mainstream internationally, in both Latin and urban markets.
AHHA: With reggaetón fusing with Hip-Hop so much in recent years, do you feel it takes away from the purity of the music?
Hector: Nah, I think the fusion is just adding to reggaetón and helping it evolve. Mixing Hip-Hop with reggaetón just makes the music that much more powerful!
AHHA: How does it feel to be a part of Roc La Familia?
Hector: I am honored to be signed to Roc La Familia, especially right now, since the label is one of the most influential labels out there in the urban market. Its just getting started and will get bigger, and Im happy to be part of it.
AHHA: Who did you have the most fun working with on your album?
Hector: Everyone! Each artist on the album brought their own unique experiences for me.
AHHA: What can fans expect from Los Rompe Discotekas?
Hector: I dont really like saying its going to be the best album, because everyone can say that about their work. But, its going to be hot! There is definitely the element of Hip-Hop in it with the reggaetón and the fusion is really powerful on this record. Fans can expect collabs with reggaetón artists like Don Omar, Wisin y Yandel, Alexis y Fido and Hip-Hop artists like Fat Joe, Memphis Bleek, and Jay-Z.
AHHA: What is the biggest difference between Hector Bambino and Hector El Father?
Hector: The Hector of right now, Hector El Father; this is who I really am. This is all me. Before, Hector Bambino was part of a group, a partnership, and with that comes sacrifices. You dont always get the opportunity to reach your full creative outlet [working in a group]. But now, I am able to give creatively everything I have to offer.
AHHA: Knowing his current position in the music industry, has Jay-Z offered you any advice on this next stage in your career?
Hector: Im kind of taking the approach like I went back to school. Im taking it really slowly, learning new things in different steps. Im not just talking about music, but the whole business aspect in itself. Its such an honor to have him [Jay-Z] guiding me, and helping me take my career to the next level.
AHHA: Do you feel that there is any competition between you and other reggaetón artists?
Hector: Theres always competition. That competition is what makes me wake up earlier to be that much more ahead of the game.
AHHA: If you werent here, where would you be?
Hector: Baseball. Definitely, playing baseball.