Author: Adam Bernard
Tony Touch is a Hip-Hop legend, there's no denying that, so why is it that
his latest album is focused on the reggaeton genre? With that question in mind
we sat down to talk with Tony about his latest project, what inspired the
album and some of the differences and similarities between reggaeton and Hip-Hop.
Adam Bernard: Tell me a little about the new album, "Reggaetony."
Tony Touch: Basically I felt it was time for me to make another contribution
to the urban Hispanic movement that's going on right now which is reggaeton
and Latin Hip-Hop as whole. From NORE to Pitbull to Cypress Hill it's a whole
other movement developing right now in America, for Hispanic Americans in
particular this is a representation of them in the US, we love Hip-Hop, we love
reggaeton, and it's vintage Tony Touch, 50 MC's crazy beats, the usual formula
except I went Spanish on 'em.
AB: Why do you think reggaeton is becoming so popular right now?
TT: Because the Hispanic population in America has grown immensely. The
music has been around for 15 years. It was inevitable that it would take off.
The foundation being reggae with influences of Hip-Hop and salsa make it a very
AB: What are the differences in production techniques going from Hip-Hop to
"To me reggaeton is just another element
TT: There's a strong digital sound on the reggaeton, kinda has a little bit
of a feel of a techno-ish high energy sound. The sound has evolved, the
production is getting better every year. To me reggaeton is just another element
of Hip-Hop, it's still in the same vein, talking about the same thing,
oppression, partying, gangsta shit. The ghettos talk about everything, we got people
in the ghetto who are oppressed and to get over that oppression we party.
It's just like early Hip-Hop.
AB: How long did the transition take to go from Hip-Hop to reggaeton?
TT: I've been pretty much embedded in the reggaeton thing from day one and
I've been actively involved on and off over the years. To some degree I've
always been involved and had my hand in it.
AB: How long do you think reggaeton will last in the US?
TT: Depends on how long and how strong the foundation is. The reggaeton
foundation is very strong. These artists have been selling out concerts in Latin
American countries for years and now that the US has become so populated with
Hispanics it makes it that much easier to break it in over here.
AB: So basically reggaeton has finally made its way to the US because our
Hispanic population has grown so much so over the years.
TT: Absolutely, strength comes in numbers and the reggaeton music is uniting
all these different Hispanic countries and ethnicities bringing us all
together. The sky's the limit. I see much more artist development and the music
developing into more of a Latin Hip-Hop, dancehall, reggae more pop. It's gonna
have different elements, diversity will kick in.
AB: How is that diversity shown on your album?
"For English speaking Hispanics,
this is the album for them."
TT: I kept it vintage Tony Touch, a lot of artists and a lot of producers.
Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Colombians, Dominicans, it's a big mesh and to me it
truly defines the urban Hispanic movement. For English speaking Hispanics,
this is the album for them.
AB: Now that the project is completed, what are you feelings on it?
TT: I'm real proud to be able to do an all Latin album again and I hope to
make a contribution to what's happening now. I felt I made a really good
contribution, you also hear me paying homage to a lot of the old school salsa
elements throughout the album, which I'm a student of and it was definitely
something I needed to get out my system.
AB: How do you feel about your life's accomplishments?
TT: Anytime somebody gives praise I use it as fuel to want to do more.
Being too comfortable is the enemy of progress so I refuse to get comfortable, I
feel there's more to do and more contributions to be made. The fact that I've
been able to represent Hip-Hop, represent New York, represent Puerto Ricans
and take that all over the planet..... I've been to places I never thought I'd be.
AB: Do you see huge differences in the Hip-Hop communities when you go from
country to country?
"Hip-Hop is so accepted everywhere, they're banging
reggaeton in Russia. The Beatnuts just got back from there."
TT: Not as much anymore because the music is so universal, Hip-Hop is so
accepted everywhere, they're banging reggaeton in Russia. The Beatnuts just got
back from there. I'm not surprised, the world is getting smaller and smaller
from the music. We take it for granted a bit over here because we're so
exposed to other cultures here. Overseas they appreciate it more, they aren't as
exposed to it.
AB: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
TT: I'm a fan before anything, that's what keeps me grounded. That's my
approach to everything. I'm a fan of it all. That's what keeps me right there
in sync with everyone.
Visit Tony Touch's website at TonyTouch.com.
Originally posted: September 6, 2005