It’s no secret that Latin pop and electronic music go together like wine and cheese. The two have lived in perfect harmony for years. However, unlike cheese, the ingredients of this unique marriage never spoil. In fact, like cheese’s boozy counterpart, the combination gets better with age.
Cruz knows how to ferment the grapes of dance music’s vines to produce the finest wine. With an innovative approach to music production, the Grammy-winning artist has a profound ability to twist Latin pop and electronic music into his own unique blend. The proof is in the pudding: his global 2019 hit “Ya No Soy Asi,” a sultry collaboration with hotly-tipped singer-songwriter Thiago X, went viral on Spotify in 13 countries.
Cruz’s latest crossover track, “My Baby Shot Me Down,” pours gasoline on a career predicated on genre fluidity. Teaming up with fellow producer Adam Nazar and vocalist V of Vossae, he produced a fiery, moombah-inspired electronic jam oozing with sultry Cumbia flair. Such a tune, which churns a melting pot of genres and cultural music styles, inherently touches a wide range of people due to its diversity—something that Cruz has always wanted to do.
“At the early age of four, I had an ear for music and by five years old, I learned how to play the violin,” Cruz told EDM.com. “I then realized I wanted to make music that would resonate worldwide.”
The road to contemporary crossover linchpin was an unconventional one for the New York-based DJ and producer. While studying audio engineering in his early years in the industry, Cruz, who plays numerous instruments, began making music for a TV channel and found himself performing on weekends with a Top 40 cover band. However, the small venues and weddings at which he appeared were a far cry from the lavish NYC nightclubs he can be seen performing at today, such as LAVO, PHD, and Soho.
He eventually landed a gig as a tracking and mixing engineer in a recording studio in Venezuela, where he had the opportunity to compose a song for legendary Latin pop artist Paulina Rubio. The track, “Me Gustas Tanto,” appeared on Rubio’s 10th studio album Brava! and topped Billboard’s Latin Pop Songs chart, leading to a BMI Award win for Cruz.
The song’s success eventually led to his work composing “La Vida Es Bella,” a track by fabled Latin Grammy-winning Venezuelan duo Chino & Nacho. “On the heels of this success I decided to come to the US to execute what I had prepared for in my professional life,” Cruz said.
Enter “My Baby Shot Me Down,” Cruz’s latest genre-bending masterwork that serves as a tour de force after years of workhorse-like growth. Considering the bright future of the crossover space, Cruz sees the new single as a launchpad to merge the worlds of Latin pop and electronic dance music.
“[‘My Baby Shot Me Down’] is the first of many other crossover friendly songs that I will be releasing throughout 2021,” explained Cruz, who finds inspiration in musical legends Queen, Michael Jackson, and The Beatles. “My formula is simple, I collaborate with amazing mainstream and electronic artists, songwriters, musicians and producers to maintain its essence while sprinkling our Latin flavor and colorful fusions.”
The work of Cruz’s collaborators here is not to be understated. The additional production provided by Nazar, a Miami-based musician and electro DJ, is stellar through the song’s arrangement. V of Vossae also provides a stentorian vocal performance, which has a powerful yet slow-burning presence as it slithers along to the hypnotic sound design of the track’s producers. “How talented Adam and Victoria are, they have something unique that everyone needs to know about,” Cruz gushed. “Its like a feeling that you can hear in this song that makes it that special.”
When asked about his creative process, Cruz, who counts Zedd and Benny Benassi as his dream collaborators in the EDM sphere, points to consistency as one of his pillars. “I do smalls steps every day, adding and subtracting to the song, bouncing it, sending it to my email, listening on my phone all day long and making notes about new ideas,” he continued. “Its like you’re chewing the song everyday.”
You can find “My Baby Shot Me Down” on streaming platforms here.