Latin Pop artist, Luna O’Cero, discusses his latest album, Come n’Try Latin, which differs from his previous work, Tiene Sabor, in that it features songs in English as well as Spanish. He explains that all of the ten songs on the record, including “She’s a Lady,” “Mona Lisa,” and “Quando, Quando, Quando,” were chosen based on their popularity and familiarity with the public.
O’Cero worked with collaborators such as Armando Olivero, Willig Olivero, and Juan R. Tavares Sanchez, who contributed to the album’s arrangements, mixing, and recording. Luna also reveals that his Dominican heritage influenced the record’s traditional Latin rhythms, which were mixed with contemporary sounds to appeal to a wide audience.
Read the full interview below.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your latest album, Come ‘N Try Latin, and how it differs from your previous work, Tiene Sabor?
The main difference between the two albums is the languages, one in English, the other in Spanish. In Tiene Sabor, all but one of the songs are of my authorship. Come ‘n Try Latin is the product of a more mature and experienced Luna O’cero.
How did you choose the ten songs that made it onto the album? Were there any particular criteria you were looking for?
The main criteria was that they had to be famous, well known songs to make it easier for the public to assimilate and maybe even sing along at the first streams.
The album features a mix of classic songs like “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This” and “Quando Quando Quando.” Can you talk about the process of putting together such a diverse collection of tracks?
“Quando, Quando, Quando” competed in the Sanremo Festival, and even though it did not win, soon became the most popular of all those participating. It has been covered by many artists and it’s an icon of Italian musical culture.
How was it like collaborating with Armando Olivero, Willig Olivero, and Juan R. Tavares Sanchez? How did each of their contributions shape the record?
Juan R Tavares Sanchez is a Latin Grammy Award winner, whom I felt proud to have doing the mixing. Armando Olivero did all the arrangements and conducted during the recording sections, his musical knowledge and capabilities were key elements on these works. He has been nominated four consecutive years as best arranger / producer in the Dominican Republic, winning the statuette in 1999 and 2000. Armando’s son Willig is his protege. Willig recorded the piano on all songs and was the recording engineer on five of them, the other five by German Lorenzo.
Come ‘N Try Latin is a fusion of traditional Latin rhythms and contemporary sounds. How did you balance these different influences to create an authentic record?
That is exactly where Armando Olivero was key. With his talent and musical knowledge, he was to compliment me on what I wanted to accomplish.
How has your Dominican heritage influenced your style, and what unique elements do you bring to the Latin music scene that you feel contribute to its evolution and growth?
All six Merengues in the album were arranged in the basics of tradition, mixed with a modern sound to make the songs more attractive to all generations. This new sound is most noticeable on “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.” It has more of a modern beat that almost hides tradition. Salsa and easy listening were introduced to add variety to the album, and not leave out those fans who prefer those genres.
Listen to the full album here: